Closed-Circuit Security Cameras & Racial Profiling

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Adam's Apple, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Apr 25, 2004
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    Lame Excuses
    By Jonah Goldberg, National Review
    July 29, 2005

    There’s a big difference between excuses and arguments. For example, “I can’t do it now, I’ve only seen this part of Roadhouse 612 times” is an excuse for not mowing the lawn. “I mowed the lawn yesterday” is an argument. In the wake of the London bombings, it seems we’re hearing a lot of excuses but not a lot of arguments for why we shouldn’t do certain things.

    Take closed-circuit security cameras in public areas, like they have in London. I don’t like the idea that much myself, so I’m a bit sympathetic to those who oppose such things here. But at the end of the day, opponents are offering excuses — not arguments — for their recalcitrance.

    Opponents say it’s an intrusion into privacy. No, it’s not. A policeman — or anybody else not burdened with a restraining order (man, I hate those things) — can watch you in a public area to his or her heart’s content. That’s why they call it a public area. It isn’t any more of an infringement if they watch you with an unhidden camera than if they do it with their naked eyeballs.

    Another claim is that cameras won’t prevent attacks. Well, who says? Doesn’t it become slightly more problematic for a terrorist cell to send one of its stooges to his death if his face can be traced back to the mosque from which he came? Isn’t it possible that cameras, combined with other intelligence, may alert authorities that an area’s being cased before the actual attack?

    Besides, is it so outrageous that preventing a suicide bombing might come at the cost of certain folks moderately curbing their wild, freewheeling ways on the morning train to work?

    Or consider New York’s new policy of having the cops search the bags of passengers on New York subways. No one is shocked that the New York Civil Liberties Union is aghast. They say it’s an infringement of people’s constitutional rights and will do nothing to prevent terrorism. Well, I suppose it is a very low-level infraction, on the order of the tyranny of airport searches. But somehow most people still think they live in a free country when they fly to Tampa.

    It’s flatly batty, however, to argue that such searches will do nothing to prevent terrorism. Sure, it may not do enough, but it will surely do something. Presumably young Pakistani or Arab terrorist men will have a slightly more difficult time carrying backpacks full of bombs, nails, and broken glass into the subway, and blowing them(selves) up at the moment of maximum damage.

    Which brings us to complaints over racial profiling.

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  2. taff

    taff Member

    Jan 7, 2005
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    United Kingdom
    The cameras are used throughout Britain.They have proved extremely useful on the weekend with all the drunks causing trouble.It is normal procedure for a policeman to walk a suspect into the view of a cctv operator to check if they have the right man.Also when the police are attacked the cctv operator calls back up for them immidiatly.

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