Protecting Terrorists

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Protecting a country against terrorism while at the same time also protecting our personal freedom, liberty, and democratic rights, is a very difficult task. Too much protection can limit our freedom while too little can allow terrorists the freedom to operate without hindrance and lead to a national-security catastrophe. Treating terrorists out to kill innocent people as one treats other prisoners of war can deprive us of valuable information that can in turn lead to the death of thousands. Giving our enemies the same fundamental rights of Americans is very dangerous. Unfortunately we must sometimes be willing to suffer limits to our own privacy in order to save democracy from those who wish to destroy it. Yet, drawing the lines of permissible conduct is like walking a tightrope. Can we let government eavesdrop on our private conversations? Do we allow torture to extract important information that may be life threatening? There has been much debate on these issues and there are no easy answers to these questions. We must weigh their pros and cons very carefully before giving away any of our liberties. One wonders if we can trust our government to make these decisions for us since they need the wisdom of a Solomon and the honesty of a Moshe Rabbeinu.