Tue 3 Nov 2015
“Reason, Freedom and the War on Terrorism”
Allan R. Gregg November 3, 2015
2015 MacEachen Lecture
St. Francis Xavier University
By temperament and whatever little talent I may possess, I am a researcher. Given the vagaries of the polling industry these days and the fact that we have just gone through one of the most competitive federal elections in Canadian history, it might seem natural that I would talk about the polls and polling. Instead, I have chosen to address the subject of ‘Reason, Freedom and the War on Terrorism.’
I’ve chosen this subject for two reasons: First, because I believe this to be the single most important challenge to democracy in modern history, and second, because of what drove me to become a pollster in the first place – an abiding fascination with, and devotion to civic life.
Growing up on the Canadian prairies in a good United Church family, there wasn’t much talk of politics around the dinner table, and like most of the kids in the neighbourhood, I was more interested in hockey than health care reform.
That all changed forever one uncommonly wintery morning in October, 1970.
I was in my second year of a combined BA-LL.B program at the University of Alberta with every intention of becoming a lawyer. As was my habit, I swung by to pick up one of my classmates for our 9 a.m. Canadian Politics course. Without even a greeting he slammed the door shut and asked, “So how do you like living in a country with no civil rights?”
I’ll admit, I was mystified and a little miffed that he hadn’t even said ‘good morning.’ Sensing my confusion, he explained that the Prime Minister had just introduced the War Measures Act, functionally putting the country under Martial Law and legally removing the right of habeas corpus.
I had been vaguely aware of tensions that were developing in Quebec over a political kidnapping, but I had no idea things had gone, or even could go this far. Even with this vague understanding however, it still seemed outrageous to me that it was within the power of anyone to take away my rights.
When we got to class, everyone was abuzz. Most spoke enthusiastically about the move, endorsing the resurrected law because it was necessary to, “catch the frogs who did this” and “to restore order before things got even more out-of-control”. (And for those of you too young to remember how bigoted our language and attitudes could be, ‘frog’ somehow came to be the derogatory term for French.)
The class was taught by a young graduate from Simon Fraser University named Thelma Oliver. She was a self-professed socialist who drove an E-type Jag without a hint of irony. She was lively, sharp and inspiring. And she proceeded to give a lecture that resonates with me to this day.
She reaffirmed my friend’s assessment that we were now living under Martial Law and that any of us could be detained without charge. Rather than explaining this development in terms of the need to “catch the frogs” or “to restore order”, she made the case that this was part of the bargain of entering into civic society and allowing ourselves to be governed.
Drawing on classic political theory, Professor Oliver made the point that as part of the social contract between the individual and the state, we implicitly give up our right to unbridled, absolute individual freedom in exchange for collective stability and safety. But to ensure that the balance of that relationship was never tilted dangerously against certain fundamental rights that were guaranteed by the state, it was necessary for citizens to be ever vigilant and prepared to remove those who abrogated rights – preferably by ballot, but if necessary, by rebellion. She explained that the skein that wraps the social contract and makes it function is the political process, which in turn, confers upon those who run it, a monopoly on the legitimate use if violence.
I thought … “a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence”… now that, is a very heavy – and scary – concept. And so I asked, “How can individuals rebel if we give those who run the political process a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence?” According to Professor Oliver, that was the conundrum of democracy. Because when you give up some of your unfettered rights, you run the risk of losing more, and there is a very bloody history of those who have fought for the retrieval of lost rights. That is why the foundation of democracy is trust – citizens must trust their leaders to not misuse the power granted to them and leaders must trust citizens to cast a ballot rather than shoot a bullet.
It took a while for the full implications of Thelma Oliver’s lecture to sink in – and arguably a lifetime in politics to learn – but that very day, one thing did dawn on me – government wasn’t “them” it was “us”; that for good or ill, this is the way, as a society, we have chosen to organize and manage our collective affairs; that government has the capacity for infinite good and infinite evil, in equal measure; and because of that capacity, government can never be considered “irrelevant” and trust never taken for granted. The stakes are simply too high.
Today, we are waging a different kind of war – an asymmetrical war where the normal rules of engagement do not apply; where traditional laws and judicial procedures are deemed insufficient to deal with the nature of the enemy. I believe it will be a war without end; a war we are losing; and a war that is unwinnable.
But perhaps most disturbing of all, it is a war that could cause more threats to our freedoms than benefits to our safety, simply in the process of waging it.
Former Supreme Court Justice Ian Bennie, offered a similar caution in 2004 when he declared that, “the danger in the war of terrorism lies not only in the actual damage the terrorist can do to us but what we can do to our own legal and political institutions by way of shock, anticipation, opportunism or overreaction.”
What makes terrorism unique is that the threat is not simply against ‘the person’ but the social and physical infrastructure that makes up society and the state. For this reason, terrorism is not viewed as a mere criminal problem to be dealt with using conventional law enforcement, but as an issue of national security.
The United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism provides this definition of terrorism:
“Any act intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to a civilian or to any other person not taking an active part in the hostilities of a situation of armed conflict, when the purpose of such act, by nature or context, is to intimidate a population or to compel a government or international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.”
While this Convention was adopted in 1999, the modern tools, procedures and laws we use to fight terrorism in Canada were largely adopted only after, and in response to attacks that took place on September 11th fourteen years ago.
In fact, while terrorist acts obviously took place before 9/11, Canada had no specific terrorism legislation on the books before that fateful day. We now of course have a myriad of Acts that deal with terrorism and immigration, including no less than eight new pieces of legislation that were passed in the last Parliament alone. Three however stand out and form the framework of our legislative response to the terrorist threat – Bill C-36 the original “Anti-Terrorism Act” passed immediately following the Twin Towers attack in 2001; Bill S-7, the “Combating Terrorism Act” passed 2 days after the Boston Marathon attack in 2013; and Bill C-51, also unimaginatively called the “Anti-Terrorism Act. 2015”, passed immediately on the heels of the Parliament Hill attack of last year.
The original 2001 legislation amended numerous sections of the Criminal Code and other Acts including the Access to Information Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and has been referred to as “the most massive, complex and controversial legislation ever enacted in Canada”. It allows Cabinet to bypass the courts and unilaterally list terrorist organizations, strip them of their charitable status and seize their assets. It also calls for the courts to imprison terrorists and their facilitators for life and provides a definition of terrorism that includes a ‘motives clause’ for actions that derive from religious, ideological or political beliefs.
Most controversially, Bill C-36 also provided for ‘preventative arrest’ that allows individuals to be arrested and held without warrants or charges on the belief that the arrest can be reasonably expected to prevent a terrorist activity; and ‘investigative judicial hearings’ that allow police and prosecutors to bring a person before a secret court and compel them to disclose information about a suspected or known forthcoming attack. Because these two provisions were so controversial – and opposed by, among others, the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association – they were subject to a sunset clause that originally lapsed in 2007, only to be resurrected again through Bill S-7 with a new sunset date of 2018. Under the terms of this Bill, it became a crime to leave the country for terrorist purposes and since has been updated to include a prohibition on traveling to identified terrorist territories.
The most recent legislation, Bill C-51, which is facing a Charter challenge by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and has been criticized from quarters as varied as former Prime Ministers, academics and the federal Privacy Commissioner, lowers the bar even further on the exercise of preventative detention and investigative hearings, and adds new weapons in the arsenal to be used in the war on terror. Under this law, threatening national security will now include “interfering with the economic or financial stability of Canada”; a provision that some believe threatens legitimate protest. It also criminalizes speech that glorifies or promotes terrorism; a provision that some believe poses a direct threat to free speech.
Even more troubling perhaps, the new Anti-Terrorism legislation amends The CSIS Act, changing the scope and purpose of the spy agency’s activity and facilitating information sharing among seventeen federal institutions. Critics start with the irony that CSIS was originally created as a passive intelligence agency in order to separate the information gathering and law enforcement powers of the RCMP because there was ample evidence that the combination of the two, when housed within the same agency, was leading to human rights violations like burning property owned by suspected extremists. C-15 undoes this separation and converts CSIS from an intelligence service to more of a law enforcement agency with “kinetic powers” including arrest and physical interventions. Moreover, Federal Courts can now issue warrants and bless CSIS activity that explicitly violates the law and Charter, all of which takes place in secret and only in the presence of the judge and government representative, denying the person suspected of the illegal activity to be present to defend him or herself.
Between 2001 and this year, and interwoven between these three tent-pole anti- terrorism bills, the government has also introduced other legislation or amended existing laws that would:
- Give Cabinet the power to create “no fly” lists with little possibility of appeal or review;
Issue security certificates that can lead to the deportation of permanent resident foreign nationals to their country of origin;
- Allow victims of terrorism to sue terrorists and those who support them, including states;
Create an indictable offense for possessing, using or disposing of nuclear radioactive material or committing an act against a nuclear facility;
- Give the Minister the right to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens convicted of terrorism, high treason or spying;
- Force Internet Service Providers to preserve and produce subscriber meta data to police while shielding them from criminal liability if they surrender these data absent a warrant;
- (And just in case there was any doubt) Make explicit that suicide bombing falls within the ambit of “terrorist activity”.
Reviewing this legislative tsunami, it is pretty clear that a pattern exists. New legislation invariably is rushed to passage to respond to each new and different form of terrorist event. Furthermore, the assumption of each new vaunt of legislation is that the nature of last attack will become the norm going forward.
So, in 2001, we acquired new laws to prevent attacks from a foreign threat. These laws focused on security, specifically related to transportation systems and infrastructure. Consequently, grandmothers are now herded like livestock into insufferably long lines waiting to remove their shoes and be wanded at airport security; borders thicken, impairing commerce; and public spaces are closed off and monitored like prisons. In this way, the other victim of this first wave of terrorism became our freedom of movement.
After over a decade without any hint of a repeat foreign attack within American borders (save for the rather pathetic attempts of the so-called underwear and shoe bombers), the focus shifted to the homegrown terrorist, like those who attacked the London subway in 2007, the Toronto 18 arrested in 2006 or the American brothers who planted a bomb at the Boston Marathon in 2013. In this phase, it was determined that fending off the homegrown terrorist requires more and tighter surveillance of one’s own citizens and the concomitant loss of privacy and the freedom of association.
Last year, the preoccupation turned to the “lone wolf” gunmen, like the Charlie Hebdo or Parliament Hill shooters, inspired by, but unaffiliated with, terrorists who it now seems are more preoccupied with foreign conflicts than attacks on the West. A further layer to the lone wolf threat is the possibility of domestic jihadists who have joined these foreign terrorist forces and threaten to return and wreak havoc at home.
While certainly not capable of the same magnitude of damage as the 9/11 hijackers, these types of so-called terrorists may prove to be the most problematic, both in terms of preventing their attacks and also the kind of legislation envisioned for that purpose.
First, surveillance alone does not seem to be sufficient to anticipate and stop the radicalized “lone wolf” extremist.
The brothers who killed the 12 journalists at Charlie Hebdo were well known to police, having been convicted on terrorist charges in 2008; they were both on a no-fly list and refused entry into Britain; one brother had publicly admitted to links to Al Qaeda in Yemen; and neighbours were aware that they had been stockpiling weapons for two months before the attacks. The Parliament Hill shooter who killed Nathan Cirillo had his passport renewal denied and was a known extremist with serial convictions for larceny, drug possession and parole violations. Martin Couture-Rouleau who ran over two Canadian soldiers, killing one, at the time was being monitored by the RCMP as one of the estimated 90 suspected extremists who intended to join militants fighting abroad; had his passport pulled; and told friends he self-identified with ISIL and dreamed of dying a martyr.
To the extent that they are at all typical, surveillance alone clearly does not stop attacks from this new breed of terrorist. To prevent the lone wolf or jihadi-inspired attack requires the ability to anticipate not just their actions, but their intent. To anticipate criminal activity before it happens and then stop it from happening requires the actual relaxation of the rule of law and not simply the generally accepted trade-off between limiting individual rights for collective security. And this is precisely what the most recent spate of legislation sets out to do.
Preventative detention allows police to arrest and detain suspected terrorists or their facilitators for up to three days. If the authorities still have no evidence upon which to lay a charge after this time, they can then go before a judge and ask for “recognizance with conditions” (or the equivalent of a Peace bond), that would remain in effect for a year and could include restrictions on movement, association and communications. Similarly, anyone summoned to appear before an investigative hearing cannot contest the summons and if they refuse to answer any question put to them, can be imprisoned for up to a year. After being jailed for a year, the individual could be brought again before the investigative hearing and if they again refuse the line of questioning be promptly imprisoned for another year. In short, it is possible under this legislation that a citizen could be jailed indefinitely without ever being charged or convicted, based solely on the suspicion that they “might” know of or carry out an act of terrorism. This possibility, in turn, presents a direct affront to the notion of due process and the rule of law.
So if we are now armed with a broad array of legislative weapons to fight the War on Terror, it might be worthwhile to take a closer look at the enemy.
According to the US State Department’s “Country Reports on Terrorism” the number of terrorist-related attacks in 2014 increased by 35% (to 13,463) and the number of fatalities increased by 81% (to 32,700) compared to the year before. Approximately 25% of these attacks were aimed at military targets and 20% of the fatalities involved the perpetrators of the attack. These incidents involved 250 known terrorist organizations, including 33 that had never before been identified as perpetrators by the Global Terrorism Database. The number of lethal attacks involving over 100 deaths increased to twenty from two the year before. So we know the problem isn’t going away or getting smaller. In fact, every year since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the problem has actually gotten bigger.
But the same database also indicates that 60% of the attacks and 78% of the fatalities took place in 5 distant countries – Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria. In addition, the average attack killed only 2.5 people. So we also know that “terrorism” is being played out predominantly in areas of serious civil conflict and in Muslim countries. We also know that with a few exceptions, these incidents take place on a small scale and pose no immediate or consequential threat to the West. In fact, in 2014 only 24 U.S. citizens were killed in terrorist incidents, all of them overseas.
So if this is the case, why is US Homeland security spending $70 billion per year combating terrorism within its borders?
One possible answer is that all of these efforts are actually making us safer and preventing terrorist attacks on US soil.
Luckily for those who care, all thwarted attacks are on the public record so we actually have some indication of whether this thesis is plausible. In fact, Professor John Mueller of Ohio State University compiled a report that includes all known cases of extremism targeted against the United States since 9/11.
His research shows that 53 such incidents occurred over the last 14 years. That sounds like we should be grateful for all the money and effort spent by Homeland Security … until you dig a little deeper.
In three of these cases, no plot had even been hatched but authorities were worried that one might. According to the report, twenty-seven – or half of all of these incidents – were essentially created or fabricated by the authorities themselves who provided the coaxing and resources needed to carry out an attack and then arrested the ‘perpetrators’ once there was sufficient evidence that one actually might happen. (The report also notes that within this category, many of the accused displayed signs of mental illness). No plots involved weapons of mass destruction capable of doing major damage. Only four had a real plan and the capacity to set off conventional explosions and of these, only one actually succeeded in detonating a bomb.
Even in the face of this evidence, a different kind of study, carried out at about same time indicated that Americans worried more frequently about another terrorist attack on US soil than they did about the prospects of their own hospitalization – clearly a massive miscalculation of the actual possibility and risk presented by these two scenarios. This form of “irrational risk” assessment has long been understood by psychologists and behavioural economists – basically, the presence of fear heightens people’s estimation of other potential hazards. Consequently, people will consistently rank threats like airplane crashes and nuclear accidents higher than dangers like car accidents or smoking. The threat of terrorism particularly fits this paradigm. As Dr. Paul Slovic of University of Oregon points out, threats posed by terrorism contain a trifecta of fear because they are “horrific to contemplate, seem relatively uncontrollable and are catastrophic”.
While considered normal, this over-estimation of the risk of terrorism and harbouring a fear of something that is 100 times less likely to occur than drowning in your bathtub creates a climate of hysteria that breeds calls for an equally irrational response – one that is completely out of proportion to the size of the threat.
I think a big part of this fear is driven by a shift in how we see ourselves and others, and how that has changed politics today.
For decades following the Second World War, a progress ethos dominated North American political culture. The next car was going to be faster, the next paycheque fatter and the next house bigger. This notion that progress was both normal and limitless, generated a series of beliefs that were universally embraced. Anyone of my generation will remember being told … “You my child, deserve more than I had when I was growing up”…. “If you work hard and put your mind to it, you can be anything you want” … and “A good education is the key to success”. This value system – and an experience that closely corresponded to it – created not only a sense of well-being but also a sense of good will. If the prospects of progress and opportunity were limitless, then whatever success you enjoyed in no way threatened the amount of success that might be available to me.
Today – in sharp contrast – we seem to be living in a zero sum society, where the prevailing wisdom is that the rich are getting richer while the poor or getting poorer; that whatever prosperity might be available is being unequally shared; and for many, opportunity is actually shrinking. In the same way that feelings of well -being can generate good will, feelings of threat spawn fear, envy and recrimination. This not only explains the anger of the Occupy or Idle No More Movements but also the disdain that the middle class has for “pampered” public sector employees or the excessive obsession the rich seem to have about the poor “ripping off the system”. It also explains why Canadians ignore all the “expert evidence” that suggests crime is on the decline and demand more prisons be built. It doesn’t explain however why governments would play into this irrational fear by similarly ignoring the evidence and advocating for solutions that actually run contrary to evidence and reason.
This occurs because, once the population starts to segment itself into “us versus them,” anyone with a vested interest in exacerbating the rift can easily till that soil. And that is clearly what is happening all too often in the political process today. On one hand, political parties no longer see the need to reach out and expand their base beyond their core constituency, because their core constituency is often at odds with the very voters whom they otherwise might want to attract. To the contrary, it makes more sense to vilify these voters, as a way to motivate your own core.
A vicious cultural wheel therefore is turned by a political one. A fearful, divided citizenry fights off uncertainty by protecting its own turf; politicians exploit this division by choosing sides and offering simplistic solutions to address these fears; and the population seeks solace in the simplistic solutions. So instead of trying to bridge these differences through consensus and finding compromise based on reason, what we see all too often today is the politics of polarization, over-torqued partisanship and dogma.
We saw this toxic mix of a zero sum society, irrational fear and the upshot of the war on terrorism in the federal election campaign that just took place. Introducing issues such as wearing a niqab at citizenship ceremonies, removing Canadian citizenship from dual citizens who are serving life sentences in prison or setting up “barbaric cultural practices” tip lines are designed to divide the population and play on fear. And while this odious tactic ultimately failed to produce the desired political outcome, there is no question that it affects public opinion. In fact, a post-election exit poll conducted by Innovative Research Strategies indicated that the only initiative that benefited the Conservative campaign was the niqab ban and the only factor that hurt the NDP campaign was that they fell behind in the polls.
This type of politics works in this environment because irrational fear of threat also leads to irrational fear of the possible perpetrator, and, from there, the stigmatization of the “Other”. Our efforts to curtail acts of terrorism are no longer aimed at any old generic terrorists but are now directed squarely at Islamic Jihadists. The sponsor of Bill C-51, Public Safety Minister, Stephen Blaney, made this quite explicit when he declared that the new measures were aimed at “jihadist terrorists” who have “declared war” on Canada “simply because these terrorists hate our society and they hate our values”.
To understand the effect of this, contrast the case of Justin Bourque who fatally shot three RCMP Officers in Moncton compared to the Parliament Hill shooter, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. Both young men had recently been rejected by the state and their social circle – Bourque had been refused entrance into the military twice and had been kicked out of the family home for continually stockpiling firearms, while Zehaf-Bibeau had had his passport rejected and was living in a homeless shelter. Both harboured great hostility towards authority and chose a symbol of the state as the target of their murderous intent. One is a convert to Muslim and considered a terrorist while the other came from an evangelical home and is considered a mere criminal, when in fact their targets, intent and crime were virtually identical.
Those who would defend this distinction of course would cite the religious, political or ideological motivation of Zehaf-Bibeau, while Borque’s motivation can be depicted as incoherent and rooted mainly in rage. There is no question that Zehaf-Bibeau espoused extremist views and offered a political explanation for his rampage in a video recorded before the shooting.
But here too, it is worth pausing and considering how Muslim Canadians become radicalized and declare war on their own country; after all, as one sceptic noted, “these people didn’t just fall out of the sky”. The Montreal University students who recently left Canada to join ISIL had families, teachers, neighbours who knew them well but were either unable or unwilling to do anything about their radicalization. And why would Muslims be more likely to be inculcated and accept extremist ideologies more readily than non-Muslims? Surely, it cannot be because their minds are more pliant and susceptible to extremism simply because of their belief in Islam.
I would contend that adopting extremist ideology that includes the advocacy of violence towards one’s own state requires two pre-conditions to take root – isolation within and a deep sense of alienation from the state.
Isolation creates an echo chamber effect where conflicting views are shut out and exposure to alternative ways of viewing the world is absent. Conversely, any research on tolerance and the acceptance of diversity (be it religious, ethnic or ideological) indicates that these attributes flow directly from interaction with alternative ways of life or thinking. Put another way, it is far easier to vilify and hate someone you don’t know than someone you do. Yet in Canada, while we might live in a multicultural society, very few of us actually live in multicultural communities. To the contrary, we are witnessing an increasing ghettoization of new Canadians – and especially visible minorities. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that the members of the so-called Toronto 18 did not intimately know, and possibly had never had any meaningful relationships with non-Muslims.
Alienation, in turn, flows from a deep sense of grievance and wrongdoing. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s father was from Libya, a country that had just been devastated by NATO bombing and descended into chaos in the aftermath. His extremism clearly was rooted in anger.
Similarly, Canada’s listing of terrorist entities and their territories, virtually all of which are associated with the Arab and Muslim world, can’t help but put pressure on Arab and Muslim communities here at home. Do they feel like the enemies within? Most likely. Is that useful for democracy? Not likely. Coming from countries that have been invaded by Western forces or knowing friends and relatives who have been part of the collateral damage of drone strikes on wedding parties or bombings of hospitals can only add to that sense grievance and alienation.
Now, I know it’s considered to be “soft on terrorism” to suggest there are any root causes to this radicalization and terrorism but (without any sense of hypocrisy) here is the advice and warning that the U.S. State Department has for its allies in the war on terrorism ….”We remain concerned about counter-productive actions some (other) governments have taken in addressing terrorism – actions such as political repression and human rights violations, including extra-judicial killings, which could heighten political grievances and exacerbate the terrorist threat. These actions could become conditions that terrorist themselves exploit for recruitment”.
Reason and freedom present a direct challenge in the battle against terrorism … and that is not whether to respond but how to respond.
This calibration must begin with the recognition that this is a battle without end. Does anyone reasonably expect that a single terrorist organization – let alone all of them – is going to surrender or sign an Armistice Agreement with Canada? The threat of terrorism and the possibility of terrorist attacks are now part of our lives and a by-product of the world we live in. Accepting this reality is the first step in grappling with the terrorist problem without creating an even bigger problem for democracy and freedom.
Second, we are not winning this war. Terrorism is spreading to parts of the world where it never existed before, it is getting more complex but also more decentralized and less lethal. The fact that it is not going away suggests we are doing something wrong. For all our might, force and legislation, it is not working. In fact there is some evidence that the tactics being employed are making matters worse, both in the Middle East but also with a domestic population that feels they are being unfairly identified and victimized by these efforts. Against this, it is unlikely that terrorism any longer poses any existential threat to the West. We should celebrate this and measure our response in proportion to the size and the real danger of the threat.
Finally, if we truly embrace freedom, we must heed the words of Thelma Oliver and be forever vigilant of and be prepared to rebel against a state that would use its legislative and political power to advance its own opportunistic interests at the expense of individual rights.
October 19th presents the opportunity for a fundamental re-set in our War on Terrorism– to amend the excesses of legislation that is on the books by making due process, the rule of law and the Charter the tests to which all measures must adhere; to provide all-Party national oversight of our intelligence services; to consider the impact that waging what has become basically a foreign war might have on the sense of belonging and citizenship among Canadian Muslims; and when we do respond to real threats, to use reason instead of fear to guide our response.
Are these changes necessary because I am concerned that I personally may be preventively detained or summoned to a secret investigative hearing, only to be detained indefinitely, without charge? No. But reason also tells me that, given I am four times more likely to be killed by a dog than a terrorist, I should also not be prepared to give up too much of my freedom to prevent this most unlikely of eventualities from happening. Am I concerned that legislation that weakens the rule of law is so easily passed or that Canadians would welcome limitations on the freedom of others because they have been persuaded that this will protect them from an unlikely threat? Absolutely. As we all should be.