Sunday, September 10, 2006

Maybe there is Hope

I watched the 1.5 hour long Town Hall meeting on Ted Koppel's The Price of Security and I must say that it gave me more hope than anything I've seen or read in a long time. Because if these people:

Zoƫ Baird, President, Markle Foundation

Bradford Berenson, former Associate White House Counsel

Lanny Davis, Member, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

Jim Dempsey, Policy Director, Center for Democracy & Technology

Viet Dinh, former Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy

Clark Kent Ervin, former Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security

Alamdar Hamdani, Civil rights attorney

David Holtzman, author, Privacy Lost

Paul McNulty, Deputy U.S. Attorney General

Alberto Mora, former General Counsel of the Department of the Navy

Nuala O’Connor Kelly, former Chief Privacy Officer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Ted Olson, former Solicitor General and member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights and Adjunct Professor, Columbia University Law School

Tom Ridge, former Secretary of Homeland Security

Anthony Romero, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union

Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director, Electronic Privacy Information Center

Rep. Chris Shays, Chairman House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threat and International Relations

George Soros, Founder and Chairman, Open Society Institute and Soros Foundation

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (ret.), former Chief of Staff, Secretary of State Colin Powell

Gen. Tony Zinni (ret.), former Commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM)

Dr. James J. Zogby, founder and president, Arab American Institute

can ALL agree that there must be oversight of the executive branches surveillance powers, that partisan bickering is doing more harm than good, and that the war against terror requires a new approach both strategically and legally then things may not be as bad as I have been fearing.

One additional thing that everyone agreed on is that if we don't have the civil liberty vs national security debate before the next successful terrorist attack we never will.

(I'm planning on getting a copy of the transcript.)