Trading Liberty for Illusions by Wendy Kaminer

Are people so obsessed with privacy and fair treatment that they cannot willingly suspend liberties for the safety and betterment of the United States?Wendy Kaminer, a lawyer and published author, claims that Americans are not trading liberty for security, but rather a false sense of security. According to Kaminer, there have been a number of historical atrocities in regards to equality, and individual freedoms that only arise during a scare or times where the general public may feel frightened. Kaminer also argues in her essay “Trading Liberty for Illusions” that facial recognition systems used by airports, as well as the police, do not work at all and are only comforting people with a “false promise of security” (398). The issue with Kaminers essay is that it is primarily based on opinion rather than fact, and does very little in regards to providing alternatives to ponder and implement.

Kaminer writes that “Our most revered, or at least respected, presidents have been among the worst offenders” (397) but did not enhance security. That is completely untrue, and an example she uses is the internment of many Japanese-Americans during the second World War. America had just been blindsided by the December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor, where many Americans lost their lives. At this time, the imperialist nation of Japan was an enemy of the United States, and to make matters worse was just across the pacific ocean.

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Japanese immigrants were flooding into the United States. The government had to take precautionary measures to ensure that its people were well protected. Any one of the immigrants could have been a spy for the Japanese and could have cause more harm to innocent civilians. Naturally, not all of the people who were interned were not intending to cause the country harm, but the government and its people had no way to distinguish between innocents and allies to the enemy. The rights and liberties of the citizens had to be restricte.

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