Comment: Why we do not need more surveillance cameras

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Why we do not need more surveillance cameras

American citizens do not need to be supervised going about their daily business like prison inmates, who are naturally suspected of malevolent intentions.

Cameras don’t make things simply more sophisticated; they make permanent records. Your neighbor monitoring his own private property, or a corporation doing the same, is not akin to government officials reconnoitering large public areas looking for anybody who might come off as “odd.”

Having more cameras on our streets aren’t going to keep us safe from or help to “stay ahead” of terrorists. A suicide bomber is not going to care whether or not he is caught on camera blowing himself up. Actually, the idea of a permanent recording capturing what he views as an act of self-martyrdom might just tickle his fancy.

What expanded surveillance will do is put Americans more at risk of being harassed and abused by petty government bureaucrats – police, prosecutors and other revenue collectors of all varieties. After all, once the cameras are installed, why not maximize their utility by looking for drug and prostitution activity, speeding or traffic violations, etc.?

What Rep. King needs to realize is that the “war on terror” is a metaphorical war that is a poor framework for dealing with the terrorism that afflicts Americans as a result of their government’s invasive and destructive actions abroad. It is war with no end, because terrorism is a tactic, not our actual enemy.

jhon