In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday the country’s interpretation of the Constitution will “have to change” to allow for greater security to stave off future attacks.
“The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry,” Mr. Bloomberg said during a press conference in Midtown. “But we live in a complex word where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.”
Mr. Bloomberg, who has come under fire for the N.Y.P.D.’s monitoring of Muslim communities and other aggressive tactics, said the rest of the country needs to learn from the attacks.
“Look, we live in a very dangerous world. We know there are people who want to take away our freedoms. New Yorkers probably know that as much if not more than anybody else after the terrible tragedy of 9/11,” he said.
“We have to understand that in the world going forward, we’re going to have more cameras and that kind of stuff. That’s good in some sense, but it’s different from what we are used to,” he said.
Meanwhile, libertarians are warning against trading liberty for a bit of added security.
Boston-based civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate told Reason.com he is very troubled by the measures taken by law enforcement officials during the manhunt for alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. His views contrasted greatly with what this reporter came across during dozens of man-on-the-street interviews conducted across the greater Boston area last week, where residents voiced overwhelming support for the actions of local, state, and federal officials.
“It was only after people were allowed out of their houses did somebody spot the guy, proving that an alert citizenry is more capable of ensuring safety than an army of militarized police,” said Silverglate, who described Gov. Deval Patrick’s advisory to “shelter in place” as “outrageous and counterproductive” and likened it to something out of Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel Brave New World.
“The whole shelter in place was symbolically very bad; it gave the people the notion that we were under some kind of military attack,” said Silverglate, who said Boston was more closed down last week than London was during the German bombings in World War II.
As for the huge outpouring of public support for law enforcement in the wake of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s capture, Silverglate called it “very dangerous” and bordering on “adoration.”
“There’s a difference between appreciation and adoration, this has moved into adoration. We have learned that there is a vast militarized law enforcement establishment at the state, federal, and local levels. I actually feel like I am in an occupied country and I don’t know how many other people share my view on that. We have seen the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and it is very scary,” said Silverglate.