Is Liberty the Price of Security?
The conceit of the Bush years was that there is an inherent trade-off necessary between liberty and security. In order to combat the new threat of trans-national, Islamic terrorism, the Bush Administration told us that America would have to suspend its core values, including traditional forms of due process, absolute bans on cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment of prisoners, privacy from warrantless wiretaps and other forms of state surveillance, as well as government transparency and accountability. Was this trade-off necessary? Did it make us safer?
During the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama argued that Bush's policies weakened rather than strengthened the country, and that there is no tension between national security and America's core Constitutional values. Has this proven to be true? Has his administration been able to restore the integrity of American justice, while also keeping the country safe? Critics from both the Left and the Right have argued that Obama has not fully delivered on his promise to bring America back from what former Vice President Dick Cheney called, "The Dark Side." Is this fair? The address will explore these issues, and more, and include questions and answers with the audience.