The Instigator
Team_Policy_Debater
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
thett3
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

Due process is more important than national security

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
thett3
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/6/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,367 times Debate No: 22621
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

Team_Policy_Debater

Con

Resolved: That Due Process should be valued over National Security.

Definitions:

1. Due process


http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...

"A fundamental, constitutional guarantee that all legal proceedings will be fair and that one will be given notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard before the government acts to take away one's life, liberty, or property. Also, a constitutional guarantee that a law shall not be unreasonable, Arbitrary, or capricious."

More specifically due process can be defined as the government not limiting any of your constitutionally guaranteed rights, i.e. 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th 6th, 8th, 13, and 14th amendments.

2.Should

http://dictionary.reference.com...

"must; ought (used to indicate duty, propriety, or expediency)"

3. National Security

https://www.google.com...

"Measures adopted by the government of a nation in order to assure the safety of its citizens, guard against attack, and prevent disclosure of sensitive or classified information which might threaten or embarrass said nation."

I'll be taking the side that due process should not necessarily be valued over national security.

Now realize that I'm not arguing Due Process isn't important, but rather it should not always be valued over National Security.

Remember keep it clean and appropriate.

Out of the gate either accept ourdecline my definitions (in which place present your own).

Ready set go!

thett3

Pro

I thank my opponent for starting this debate. I accept his definitions, and look forawrd to his case in the next round.
Debate Round No. 1
Team_Policy_Debater

Con

Anthony J. D'Angelo once said , "Become a student of change. It is the only thing that will remain constant."

We live in a world of change where nothing remains constant except that it will change.
The revolutionaries overthrow the regimes, and then becomes the new regimes waiting to be overthrown by the next revolution.

The Cold War was one of the most insidious threats our country has ever faced, but with its end began a new threat.

Global terrorism conducted by non-state actors has posed a more upfront threat than the Cold War ever did.
Our embassies our military bases were attacked, Americans were sought and killed. But this was never on our soil, our land.
This all changed on September 11, 2001. But I refrain from going into detail, because we all know what happened.

Contention 1. Shifting threats
While the threats that face our country shift and change, threat always remains constant but our responses don't.
Yesterday it communism, today it's global terror; yesterday it was Nuclear stockpiles, today it's the Patriot Act.
Our founding Fathers established the Constitution to remain as a binding code for all future generations.
They recognized that "ours is a nation of laws and not men."
Most importantly they established a system of civil rights for all Americans, among which was the right to due process.
But the system of laws they created was designed for their times.
Yes they foresaw future threats and compensated for them, but it's fair to say they never imaged anything like our current world.

Contention 2. Principle not rule
Interesting though, the founding fathers designed the Constitution as a breathing document, one to be interpreted with the times. It's was designed as a set of guiding and lawful principles, not rigid system of rules.
This form of transformation is found in Courts.
The Courts have the ability to interpret the provisions of the Constitution, including Due Process, and model them for the times.

Premise. Times call for Due Process to be limited
The 5th amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to Due Process. Similarly the 14th amendment guarantees that no State shall be discriminatory among its citizens and take their "life, liberty,or property, without due process of the law."
In fact Due Process is the only single thing in the Constitution mentioned twice.
Due Process can largely be defined from other amendments such as the 4th (no unreasonable Searches and Seizures), the 6th (right to a speedy and public trial), 8th (no cruel and unusual punishment), 13th (no involuntary servitude), etc.
But certain instances and certain shifting threats would require that this approach to Due Process must be suspended with current threats.
For instance the right to a speedy and public trial, if a U.S. citizen is to engage in an act of terrorism it is safer for society if the individual be detained without trial, or be subject to military trial.
The reason being that classified information could be released, civilian trials don't always result in conviction, civilian trials may not always result in a life long or death sentence (meaning the individual will be released again into society), and that it violates international law under the Geneva Convention requiring that terrorists or unlawful combatants be tried under Military Tribunals and not Civilian Courts or Court Martial.

The same applies to things such as the Patriot Act.
Giving the government to intrude upon our privacy increases the chances of terrorists being apprehended.
In the end the nets benefit for society is far greater if their privacy is intruded upon versus another terrorist attack.
And on that note, when was the last successful terrorist attack?
Even still in that how many failed terrorist attacks have there been?
Our government has suspended some provisions of Due Process but has not blatantly violated them.
The result?
We are more secure from attack than at many points in the past.

Contention 3. Not without safeguards
Again noting ours is a living constitution and not dead one; it is to be reinterpreted by the Courts as needed.
The Courts can also serve as a safeguard in this process. If the government blatantly violates our rights to Due Process they can step in and correct it as needed. We are not without safeguards.

This would conclude that Due Process should not be valued over National Security, but rather that they are both instrumental in protecting a nation and at times should be limited in order to perserve our freedoms and security.

I now stand ready for my opponet's rebuttle .
thett3

Pro

I'll create a short case of my own, then refute my opponents arguments.

I affirm: Due Proccess should be valued over National Security.

I first observe that the only justifiable role of the State is to protect the rights of it's people. Give the State the arbitrary authority to revoke rights and harm its people, and you've destroyed it's purpose.

Contention one: Valuing National Security over Due Process devalues them both

There are two philosophies when it comes to government and their jurisdiction over rights, the first is that the State must uphold the rights of its people at all costs, and the second is that the governemnts job is not to protect it's citizens liberty, but rather to protect its citizens from any threats at all. The second is essentially what my opponent is upholding, and it fails on both moral and practical grounds.

It is also, unfortunately, the course that the U.S. government has taken with respect to rights.

Let's examine the practical effects that the U.S. government has had on the liberty of its citizens.


Robert Higgs contrasts the early American government with today[1]:

"There was a time, long ago, when the average American could go about his daily business hardly aware of the government...he could decide what, how, when, and where to produce and sell his goods...Just think: no farm subsidies, price supports,or acreage controls; no Federal Trade Commission; no antitrust laws; no Interstate Commerce Commision...no National Labor Relations board; no federal consumer "protection" laws; no Security and Exchange commision; no Equal Employment Opportunity Commision, no Departnment of Health and Human Services...There were no general sales taxes, no Social Security taxes, no income taxes. Though governmental officials were corrupt then as nw, they had vastly less to be corrupt with. Private citizens spent about fifteen times more than all governments combined. Those days, alas, are long gone."


Indeed, the more we are "protected" from harm by our government, the more we sacrifice the very basis of all protection: economic security and self reliance.

Hoppe furthers Higges sentiment[2]:

"Two-hundred years later, matters have changed dramatically. Now, year in and year out the American government expropriates more than 40% of the incomes of private producers, making even the burden on slaves and serfs seem moderate in comparison. Gold and Silver have been replaced by government manufactured paper...the meaning of private property, once seemingly clear and fixed, has become obscure, flexible, and fluid...every detail of private life, property, trade, and contract is regulated and reregulated by ever higher mountais of paper laws...the committment to free trade and non-intervensionism has given way to a policy of protectionism, militarism, and imperialism."

The experiment of governmental power being able to strip away rights has failed, and renders them useless. After all, why would one want to sign a contract with an entity granting them the power to take away your property, liberty, and even life[3].

Contention two: National Security?

What does "national security" even mean? My opponents definition is as follows: "Measures adopted by the government of a nation in order to assure the safety of its citizens, guard against attack, and prevent disclosure of sensitive or classified information which might threaten or embarrass said nation."

Essentially, in the Neg world, anything that can even be viewed as a threat is enough to strip away due process--even things tat merely "embarass said nation". Pardon my language, but what the hell does that even mean? Essentially, if you negate the government can take away your rights because you embarass them? This shows a clear line to affirm the resolution. Nazi Germany was embarrassed by the Jews and political dissenters it had in its borders, so it slaughtered them; and if you follow my opponents logic to its full conclusion, you get the same result. If we can lose due process because of something so absurd, than why have a government at all? What exactly are they to protect us against if they're the ones harming people in the first place? Consider these questions before negating.


==Rebuttal==

Shifting threats:


There's literally no substance behind this argument at all. It in no way justifies a restriction of due process, he merely says that the constitution is no longer relevant. My response: so what? There was no prerequiste to accepting the debate that I had to defend the Constitution as in its current form, merely due process. He argues: "they foresaw future threats and compensated for them, but it's fair to say they never imaged anything like our current world." but he gives no examples of what these threats are, or why they matter, so ignore his entire contention.

Principle not rule

I also agree that the government should legistlate based on principle rather than rule. I've already given arguments in support of my principle, that is that national security becomes worthless without the rule of law (due process). My opponent does not justify his position in any way whatsoever.

He argues: " For instance the right to a speedy and public trial, if a U.S. citizen is to engage in an act of terrorism it is safer for society if the individual be detained without trial, or be subject to military trial." Why? Why does it matter where they are tried? He hasn't explaiend why violating their due process rights makes us safer in any way at all. Further, even if you find some impact coming off this, it isn't unique to his case-- violent treason against the United States is a de-facto renunciation of citizenship, so due process doesn't need to be applied.

He argues that we can't try "terrorists" in courts because they wont always get a death sentence, but this begs the question as to how we even know they're terrorists if we don't try them in court! Removing the need for a trial allows the government to label everyone it doesnt like a "terrorist" and thus able to be assassinated with imputiny. Already the government has detained innocents at Gauntonomo bay becuase they refused to give the "terrorists" a trial[4]. Don't buy into the rhetoric that showing justice is an act of weakness, it is not. Further, his only offensive ground is that civilian trials dont always give convictions, but military trials do. Well what kind of trial is it if there's an automatic conviction?! Moreover, he argues that we CANT try terrorists in civilian courts because ot violates international law. First of all, dont buy this without a card considering we've done it before[5], but also if we legally can't try people in civilian courts, than we are upholding due process by trying them in military courts. His minimal impact is turned.

My opponent isnt even arguing the resolution. He says that the steps our government has taken to value national security are justified, but that isn't weighing it against due process, so he loses automatically.

Safeguards

My Opponent argues "If the government blatantly violates our rights to Due Process they can step in and correct it as needed" This is foolish. If the government doesnt respect the rights of its citizens, why would it respect the right of the judiciary to override it? It would not.

He argues that the constitution is a living document. I disagree. He gave no logic or evidence support his assertation, so I'll just assert right back that he's wrong.

His final statement is: "This would conclude that Due Process should not be valued over National Security, but rather that they are both instrumental in protecting a nation and at times should be limited in order to perserve our freedoms and security" No. He's failing to uphold his BOP when he basically says "well the res might be true or false". That is not negating.


My Opponent failed to argue the resolution properly or tried to weigh due process vs. national security on any meaningful level.

Affirm.

Citations:

1. http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Team_Policy_Debater

Con

Rebuttal 1: The purpose of government is to provide for the protection of its citizens
In response to my opponents case: “first observe that the only justifiable role of the State is to protect the rights of its people. Give the State the arbitrary authority to revoke the rights and harm its people, and you've destroyed its purpose."

This would be in contradiction the purpose most legal scholars have assigned the State. As John Locke once said, "Government being for the preservation of every man's right and property, by preserving him from the violence or injury of others is for the good of the governed."
He explicitly states that the rights of men are preserved by the Government by protecting them from harm.
In and of itself Government is an institution created by The People, for the People's desire.
To that end, Government's definable role will alwas be the popular opinion of the time (saying that the action doesn't blatantly violate the Constitution).
For that reason our Government has complete interest in limiting some Due Process in the necessary pursuit of National Security.

Rebuttal 2: National security is necessary to secure Due Process
It's been stated that there are two philosophies to come at this from, and that's true, but my opponent fails to take into account that this isn't early America, it's 2012.
They brought in a quote talking about how citizens in the Founding era hardly noticed the effects Government played on their lives.
I would like to argue irrelevancy. The quote is referencing how large the Government is, not whether it supposedly tramples on Due Process.
It applies to the same of the second quote. The topic of this debate is National Security and Due Process, not how the government controls our economics more and more.
Furthermore I would like to provide an indictment of unreasonable on the author. He stated "Now, year in and year out the American government expropriates more than 40% of the incomes of private producers, making even the burden on slaves and serfs seem moderate comparison."
Slaves kept none of their profits, but rather were owned, fed, and subject to any abuse their masters gave them. Quite simply they had no rights, no due process, they were property not people.
Remember this from History Class?
The same applied to Serfs, the kept enough of their profits to feed their family, and maybe trade for some there supplies.
While technically free, they were 100% dependent on their Lord.
This doesn't sound like American society today. Yes there is dependency, but even in that we're freeing than any country ever has.
This author should not be considered further in this debate due to unreasonably and presented false facts.

Then my opponents final point, "why would one want to sign a contract with an entity granting them power to take away from property, liberty and even life."
I'm not sure of the relevancy of this... Almost everyone would, has, and will continue to.
My opponent failed to support how both Due Process and National security fail if Due Process isn't upheld.

Rebuttal 3: National security
My opponent attempted to distort the definition of National Security.
The definition of National Security is actually quite reasonable. National security is the instance of the State providing for the protection of its citizens from foreign or domestic attack, preserving the National Image by stopping the leaking of classified documents, etc. This is a common man definition, and my opponent’s points simply don't apply. They took the definition out of context, it's embarrassing the nation my releasing classified information.

Furthermore they brought up an argument saying that the Jews were slaughtered because the Nazi's were embarrassed by them... This is such a distortion of history it isn't even funny.
The Nazis blamed the Jews for their loss of WW I and the Depression. They made them out to be communists in disguise attempting to overthrow and destroy all that was German. For THAT reason, and the fact that the Nazis considered the Jews sub-human they proceeded to murder them along with Homosexuals, Christians, the mentally and physically weak, Russians, Poles, etc. Let's at least get history right.

Response to my opponents Rebuttals: Shifting threat
You'll see my mention this a few times later. My Opponent isn't sticking to the definitions provided at the beginning of this debate.
I also defined Due Process as the rights provided under the Constitution, so quite plainly, yes they have a duty to argue Due Process through the Constitution. I suggest my opponent look at definitions more carefully.
Secondly, for examples of shifting threats:
1. Weapons of Mass Destruction
2. Interlinked Global Terrorism
3. Technology
Now you might wonder, technology?
Due to technology the world is shrinking, what once took months to travel across the world take a day. New that once took months to deliver takes seconds. The world is shrinking, while threats are growing.
And I would agree due to this shrinking, Due Process should be limited in some instances.

Response to my opponents Rebuttals: Principle not Rule
(See second rebuttal for first part).
It matters where he's tried because Military trials have a better conviction rate that Civilian trials do.
In the exact same case of a proven terrorist, the military trial would better convict and incapacitate the defendant leading to better National Security.
They attempted to distort the point by saying that Military trials convict 100% of the time therefore it isn't Due Process. This was a miscommunication, not 100% but they convict where Civilian trials don't because Military judges and juries are more experience than Civilian Judges and juries.
Also it is completely unique the case.
The 6th amendment (Due Process) guarantees the right to a Civilian Trial; denying them that upholds National Security but violates Due Process. This is the definition of my case.

Also, my opponents argument that we can't determine whether or not a terrorist is actually a terrorist fails to understand the criminal process. The Courts are where his guilt is determined, not whether he is a terrorist.
For instance Ahmed Ghailani was tried in a civilian court. He pled twice to participating in U.S. embassy bombings, and working with Al Qaeda, yet he was found not guilty on over 200 charges except the intent to commit terrorism. [1]
Thirdly, I'm not arguing that Justice is weakness, so that argument doesn't have any sway.
Finally as stated, one of the definitions of Due Process are Constitutional Amendments (6th amend.), and trying U.S. citizens would violate the 6th amendment, therefore violating Due Process, as a result my opponent’s "turn" doesn't apply due to Resolutional misinterpretation.

Now on the resolution. The question is whether Due Process SHOULD be valued over National Security. If I can show that one shouldn't be valued over the other, I've upheld my burden. I ask my opponet to look more closely at the resolution.

Response to my opponents Rebuttals: Safeguards
First, it is not foolish to trust in the Courts of the United States, they are more responsible for the retention of rights than any other government entity.
I ask my opponent to actually prove why the Courts wouldn't uphold, instead of stating unfounded opinion. Precedence shows that the Courts would protect rights if they were blatantly violated.
Secondly, the Constitution is a living document, as defined by the Courts. The Courts interpret the Constitution and its application to modern events, take the Interstate Commerce Clause as an example.
And finally, my opponent has misinterpreted the resolution, and it's role.

1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

thett3

Pro

Sorry for a late round.

==Rebuttal==

My Opponent concedes to my framework. His only response is that the purpose of the State is " the preservation of every man's right and property, by preserving him from the violence or injury of others is for the good of the governed". I'm glad my opponent decided to help me do my research for me, turn: You are violating the rights of the governed by coercing them into unsolicited "protection", protection that the government cuased the need for in the first place. Indeed, its fairly obvious that virtually every attack on the United States in history including Pearl Harbor, the Iran Hostage crisis and 9/11 were caused by the U.S. government meddling in the affairs of other nations in the name of 'national security". A positive correlation between interventionism and terrorism exists, according to CATO[1]. Indeed, presuming that the purpose of the State is to protect rights, the States just role would be to stop facilitating terrorism against the United States, not to become terrorists themselves. My framework stands, and since he's offered none of his own you already have to affirm by default.

He argues further: " Government's definable role will alwas be the popular opinion of the time (saying that the action doesn't blatantly violate the Constitution)."

This claim is problematic in three ways: 1. It's flat out false. If the purpose of the State was to follow the whims of the mob, we would be in an even worse situtation than we're currently in. The purpose of the State is to protect the rights of its citizens, not to bow to their irrational impulses--indeed, the historical illiberal results that follow from this "popular sovereignty" are all too clear, evils such as slavery, Jim Crow, and genocide. This is not just governence, it is mad brutality.

Secondly, the problem of using the Constitution as the sole safeguard is that it is often completely ignored (note the 10th amendment in particular, which has been completely ignored out of existence because it contradicts the desires of the federal leviathan) or changed to suit the whims of the masses. Income Tax is a violation of property rights, but the masses wanted to steal from the wealthy, so the government passed the 16th amendment allowing it. The government was very close to passing an amendment to forever prohibit the right of same sex couples to marry because of bigotry from the masses, and while it was narrowly defeated, it would've passed by a landslide a mere decade before. The Constitution is no safeguard to liberty.

Third, that's US specific and addresses around .5% of all the countries in the world.

Interdependence of security and due process

My opponent makes a silly rebuttal to this point, arguing that massive and unwarranted governmental violations of private property rights do not violate due process. True, the government does not give you a trial before it decides to rob you of your livelihood and income, but that is a violation of due process in and of itself. Look to his definition: " one will be given notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard before the government acts to take away one's life, liberty, or property." Since he makes no real attack, I'll just extend that cleanly across and urge a vote for the affirmative.

Later on, he makes a condescending ad hom against Hoppe. I can be rude right back. Apparently he hasn't heard of hyperbole, which is the strategy Hoppe was using. Since he's dropped the empirics and impact, you can cleanly extend the Hoppe card. He also asserts that people in the U.S. are "freeing[sic] than any country ever has." I find it astounding that he would make that statement while dropping clear evidence to the contrary. Nonetheless, my opponent evidently does not know what freedom is, but having ever part of your life regulated and re regulated, having your income stolen to support programs you didn't ask for, and being killed or imprisoned if you refuse to pay is the very defintion of tyranny.

He drops the entire warrant behind the argument anyway, preferring to attack straw men--allowing the government to value "security" over due process leads to the government becoming the threat itself. I am no Reagan fan, but he was correct when he state "Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem."

Vagueness of N.S.

My Opponent loses the debate right here. He tries to rebut that " National security is the instance of the State providing for the protection of its citizens from foreign or domestic attack"[emphasis mine]. Turn: He loses. If national security is to include protecting citizens from domestic attacks, using taxation (That is how governments pay for everything--legalized theft, they do not produce), than the very definition of national securiy is self contradicting and therefore cannot be upheld.

He accuses me of taking the definition out of context, yet never explains how. He's right, the Nazi killed the Jews because they scapegoated them, bt he never addresses the fact that in principle the government could slaughter us all because we embarrass it. Vote Pro unless you favor genocide. He should lose conduct points for accusing me of not knowing history when I merely was using hyperbole, and the arguments for strawmanning everything and taking hyperbolic expression at face value.

He's either flat out dropped or strawmanned the majority of my points, so you're affirming.

==Opponents case==

Shifting threats

My opponent throws out a few "new threats" but never explains what benefit we get from violating due process in order to meet them. Indeed, as you can see from my case an ultra powerful government of aggression actually increase threat levels, but I digress; my opponent needs to justify how violating the rights of citizens in order to keep them "safe" is a good thing. He has not, so ignore this point.

Principle not rule

He asserts "[a] military trial would better convict and incapacitate the defendant leading to better National Security". There's simply no warrant behind this at all. I can tell you that if you vote Con aliens will abduct you, but unless I prove it somehow it needs to be disregarded. His only impact is that military trials have a higher conviction rate (he asserts this without a card) but he never explains why this is good. Why presume that civilian courts let the guilty walk free as opposed to military courts more often condemning the innocent? We have no reason to blieve that, and impactless arguments get ignored.

My opponent once again strawmans my rebuttal. It is putting National Security over due process to arbitrarily kill suspected terrorists without trial, so my argument still stands. His however does not since a military trial is essentially due process anyway-there is ot enough variation to grant him much offense.

He brings up an isolated example of a terrorist who nearly walked free. Cool story, I can cite hundreds of innocents imprisoned without a trial for national security[2] which clearly outweigh.

Safeguards

Strawman. He does not dispute that a government that won't respect its due process boundaries wont respect its court boundaries either, so his safeguards are rendered useless. He says that since he courts supposedly define the constitution as living that makes it ok. Despite this being a complete fallacy (appeal to authority) it should be turned anyway, because making a "flexible" document essentially means making a scrap of paper. Contracts only work if they are binding.

Vote Pro.

Citations:

1. http://www.cato.org...;
2. http://www.rte.ie...
Debate Round No. 3
Team_Policy_Debater

Con

Team_Policy_Debater forfeited this round.
thett3

Pro

My arguments are so irrefutable that my opponent conceded...well, or he just ran out of time.
Debate Round No. 4
Team_Policy_Debater

Con

Team_Policy_Debater forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by frozen_eclipse 5 years ago
frozen_eclipse
oh in that case i decline
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
No he picked the right side. The resolution is Due Process > National Security, and his position is Due Process < National Security.
Posted by frozen_eclipse 5 years ago
frozen_eclipse
o.k i want to accept but im confused about your posistion......you said....."I'll be taking the side that due process should not necessarily be valued over national security."....but your on con....did you pick the wrong side?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
Team_Policy_Debaterthett3Tied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: I haven't read this yet but Con loses conduct for the forfeits.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
Team_Policy_Debaterthett3Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Voting on an ff'd debate I saw on the forum!