They Hate Us for Our Freedom
In a rare, but not unprecedented, unanimous 9-0 judgment earlier today, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the security certificate sections of Canada's anti-terrorism laws. The Court said that these certificates violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Every judge, man or woman, left or right, Liberal appointed or Conservative appointed, agreed.
Not surprisingly, the Court has essentially ruled that it is unconstitutional for the state to hold a person indefinitely, without charge or trial or being able to see the evidence against them. For those of us that value freedom and liberty, this is absolutely obvious. Those kinds of powers are usually exercised by totalitarian, fascist and dictatorial states like Cuba, the former Soviet Union, South Africa under apartheid, Saddam's Iraq and Pinochet's Chile to name but a few. Canada is not, nor should not be in this league.
The Court, in essence, has balanced the real danger of terrorism versus cost to our civil liberties of these draconian measures and civil liberties rightly won.
Let's put the "problem" into perspective:
In 2004, according to the US State Department, approximately 2000 people were killed world wide from acts of terrorism. In the past 20 years, about 5000 Western civillians have died "due to jihadist and Arab insurgent violence", including Lockerie, Bali, Madrid, London and 9-11.
Canada hasn't had a terrorist attack since 1985, when Air India was bombed. Last year, the "Toronto 17" were apprehended while possibly planning an attack (though the real threat may have been exaggerated and the 17 may have been coaxed into action by the government's own mole) without resorting to extraordinary police powers or judicial measures.
According to Michael Rothschild, a former business professor at the University of Wisconsin, your odds of being killed in a plausible terrorist attack in your lifetime are 1 in 1282:
Even if terrorists were able to pull off one attack per year on the scale of the 9/11 atrocity, that would mean your one-year risk would be one in 100,000 and your lifetime risk would be about one in 1300. (300,000,000 ÷ 3,000 = 100,000 ÷ 78 years = 1282) In other words, your risk of dying in a plausible terrorist attack is much lower than your risk of dying in a car accident, by walking across the street, by drowning, in a fire, by falling, or by being murdered.Further, prescription drugs are 16,400% more dangerous than terrorism.
So in response to this minuscule danger, the government decided to allow the state to arbitrarily detain people without charge or trial indefinitely while not allowing them to see or challenge the evidence against them. Today the Supreme Court said "Not so much."
Now given this logic and the clearly totalitarian nature of the law, one would expect that most people who value freedom and liberty would be overjoyed at this development. Sadly, this isn't so. As Canadian Cynic points out, some are quite devastated by this:
There are others. I am amazed that people still think that security certificates and indeed the other sections of the anti-terrorism act are necessary considering the (lack of) magnitude of the problem.
- Socialist Gulag: "For the second time in a week the Liberal elites in this country provided aid & comfort to those who wish us harm all in the interest of maintaining slavish devotion to that damn charter."
- Civitatensis: "Friends of Osama?"
- Canadian Blue Lemons: "Who will rid us of these pestilent priests and protectors of the enemies of our society?"
- Dr. Roy: " Canadians are less safe today thanks to the fiberals and the fiberal supreme court."
- mesopotamia west: "Court in Bed with Terrorism."
Are these people really so scared by the remote possibility of dying in a terrorist attack that they would gladly give the state - hell anybody - the power to throw them in a tiny prison, essentially forever?
Are they truly that cowardly?
I almost wish they were. I believe with these people it is something deeper and more sinister. As the Vanity Press discussed yesterday, I think it occurs because these people are projecting their own hatred of our freedoms outwards. They want to do exactly what they say the jihadis what to do - take away our liberty and impose their moral view on everyone, to use the full force of the state to make society in their narrow image of reality. How else can one explain people that on one hand, do not want the government to have the power to force someone to do their job when it comes to marrying gay couples, but are more than happy to grant that same state the power to detain and imprison people indefinitely without charge or trial, on the other hand? They agree with what they say the jihadis believe - that we are corrupt, morally bankrupt, promiscuous and on the verge of collapse. They propagate these things despite all evidence to the contrary, as demonstrated here and at the Vanity Press.
Read just some of those posts above. They see enemies everywhere, in society, in different religions and even in other political parties. They want the power the state wields over all of us, in order to be able to change us to their liking, by force if needed. They abhor the idea that people can be different from them, live different from them and even think they are wrong. The Supreme Court saying 'no' to that power is what angers them, not the thought that the terrorists are under every bed. They abhor us being free, acting as we like. Each one of them want to be rid of the Charter in order to force upon us some fix for some perceived moral outrage in society - abortion, gay marriage, women's rights, non-white immigration or the lack of Christianity in our institutions as examples.
My liberty, freedom and way of life is not threatened by religious zealots on the other side of the world, who may hate us because of bad Western foreign policy decisions over the last 50 years, it is threatened by these people. They are here, right now fighting hard to get the power of the state to do to us exactly what they claim to fear from the terrorists. They are a far greater threat than terrorists will ever be. They are the terrorists best friends.
They hate us for our freedom.