Terrorism vs. criminal justice

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I actually agree with a lot of what you say. But stripping away the details and looking at the issue at a macro level it becomes a more fundamental one.

How should we as a society and nation deal with attacks by extremists?

Do we treat it as a criminal justice matter (i.e. post commission of an attack)...?

Or do we treat it as an ongoing threat/war by enemies outside of our society, using the open aspects of our society as means to attack it (i.e. preventing the attacks)..?

Until we can come to grips, and be comfortable with, the very different yet very profound implications and consequences of choosing one premise or the other, we as a society are simply screaming rhetoric at each to no substantive purpose.


Newer version[edit]

There are two pregnant questions undergirding this issue, which might in someways also explain why there is a cohesive argument against assumed NSA/surveillance overreach.

One is a more technical/capabilities issue, the other a higher-level open question (which are actually a series of questions) about what we as a society seek.

Question 1

Let's take a hypothetical suspect, who is legitimately a true suspect of neon a possible terrorist seeking to carry out an attack. Law enforcement/government has, 100% legitimate derived probable cause for a warrant that this person might be a legitimate terrorist suspect. The FBI (or whichever agency has the legitimate reason to suspect the person they are seeking to ragout with surveillance/wiretap, etc.) and gets a particularized warrant.

How do they, from a technical stand-point, actuate said electronic surveillance in real-time, without having in place, the type of systems and capabilities is seems the NSA has?

Question(s) 2

How should we, as a society and nation, deal with mass attacks as well as the threat of mass attacks by extremists?

Do we treat it as a criminal justice matter (i.e. post commission of an attack)...?

Or do we treat it as an ongoing threat/war by enemies outside of our society, using the open aspects of our society as means to attack it (i.e. preventing the attacks)...?

Until we can come to grips, and be comfortable with, the very different yet very profound implications and consequences of choosing one premise or the other (post attack vs. prevention) we as a society are simply screaming rhetoric at each to no substantive purpose or larger direction on what our collective goals as a society should be in the context of national security and surveillance in the service thereof.