You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe


Lawrence Harmon

The false choice between security and civil liberties

There is security you see. There is security you don’t see. And suddenly there is a sense that there is no security at all. The last category best describes this terrifying week, which began with two terrorist bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon and ended with a running shootout with the suspects through Cambridge and Watertown.

When law enforcement and the public finally catch their breath, a deep discussion needs to take place over how best to proceed. Terror attacks on American soil — homegrown or otherwise — inevitably raise debate over the danger of trading away our civil liberties for safety. But often this is a false choice. Much more can be done to protect us without threatening the American way of life. And it must be done; this week, three spectators died in the Marathon blasts, and an MIT police officer was later killed by one of the suspects. And that says nothing of the 176 people who were wounded — some horribly — in the Marathon bombings.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week