With the nominations of Edward Felten and Jane Nitze to serve on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, the White House has done at least one good deed this week.
Civil Liberties and Constitutional Rights
Too often, national security and personal liberties are portrayed as inversely related. This is simplistic, and also clearly wrong. After all, in the absence of security, it would be impossible to enjoy our freedoms at all. Nevertheless, some of the hardest national security choices are inevitably those that involve tradeoffs with civil liberties. The need to gather information on our enemies rubs up against expectations of privacy. The eroding line between war and law enforcement endangers principles of due process. And the need to keep secrets increasingly leads to tension with a robust free press.