Which of us is naive?

A friend of mine thinks the government should be unconstrained in killing, imprisoning or torturing terrorists and enemies.

He thinks I am naive to want the government to observe due process of law or any Constitutional, legal or ethical limits.

I think my friend is naive to think that the government’s unconstrained power will always be used against people he thinks of as terrorists and enemies, and never against himself or people he cares about.

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3 Responses to “Which of us is naive?”

  1. Anne Tanner Says:

    I agree with you, Phil. Earlier this spring President Obama reserved to himself the right to kill Americans. He has sent drone aircraft after one person–knowing that he also would kill hundreds of children like his own. Even if I thought I could trust this president, what happens if some of the folk we’ve had running for the presidency recently came into the same powers? Might you be the next target? It’s not as dumb a question as you might think.


  2. Flying killer ink blots § Unqualified Offerings Says:

    […] This post by Phil Ebersole is something of a Rohrschach blot for one’s views of power, inevitability, and the trajectory of society.  Either you look at drone attacks and many related and troubling uses of force and say “You’re naive to think you can have a rule against this” or you look at it and say “You’re naive if you think we can allow this without it all going to hell.”  There is a way to sort of be on both sides, and say that it is wrong and that it will indeed lead to something hellish, but it is naive to think it can be stopped.  Maybe so. […]


  3. Atticus Finch Says:

    Phil, you are right. Also, for the sake of argument, even if they never used those types of power on US citizens it would still be wrong. The US is supposed to be a pillar of justice and morality – how can we uphold those standards and receive those standards in return if we are torturing and holding people without trial.

    If the Government will abuse it’s powers is a moot point in my view (although an important point because inevitably they will). It’s more about justice, morality, and demanding those in power behave accordingly. Or maybe I’m the naive one…


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