Democracy and Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact


Nawal H. Ammar, Kent State University

“Let us go forth remembering those who lost their lives while opposing an immoral war. But not only that, let us also go forth with the mission of making America a land free from economic want, free from social injustice and free from foreign war. Commemorations fail to accomplish everything they should if we leave here and return to the routines of our daily lives, satisfied that we have done enough for one year.”

Tom Grace, May 4, 1987


The events of May 4, 1970, at Kent State University set off numerous reactions and responses. Every year on campus, the heartbreaking memory of the death of four young students—Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer, and William Schroeder—is commemorated. Nine other young students were wounded: Alan Canfora, John Cleary, Tom Grace, Dean Kahler, Joe Lewis, Scott Mackenzie, Jim Russell, Robby Stamps, and Doug Wrentmore. Many survivors of the shootings have expressed the force of their emotions in a variety of ways—resulting to a large degree from the loss of life and loss of innocence. Susanne Sand’s poem “Blood Ties” captures the mood by describing the source of the pain:

we wonder, those of us
left behind
what to do with the bottles
of their memory
how to honor
the unfinished places
they were supposed
to occupy,
now empty at the table
do we just preserve them
or do them justice
in some more consequential way.1

In the past two decades, Kent State University administrators, after many years of silence, have honored the remembrance of the May 4, 1970, tragedy. On May 4, 1990, the University community dedicated a permanent memorial with the words Inquire, Learn, and Reflect engraved on the floor that holds four granite tombs symbolizing the fallen students.2 The memorial is also surrounded by 58,175 daffodils, the number of lives lost in the Vietnam War.3 In 2000, on the thirtieth anniversary of the May 4 events on campus, a Symposium on Democracy was launched to provide a free academic forum of discussion of various contemporary issues and their relationship to the events of May 4, 1970.4 The feelings of loss resulting from the death of four young students on the campus of Kent State University in 1970 cannot be adequately healed.

This book is one effort to pay homage to those who lost their lives on campus, in the war in Vietnam, and in the subsequent wars, as well as those whose lives were transformed by such calamities.5

The Fifth Annual Symposium on Democracy and Homeland Security

In 2004, the theme of the Democracy Symposium was chosen to cover the timely issue of Homeland Security. I had the privilege of chairing the Symposium’s planning committee. This manuscript is a compendium of the papers, speeches, and student posters presented during the two days where scholars, students, and people from both the University and the City of Kent gathered on April 26–27, 2004, on campus to inquire about, learn from, and reflect on how the past can inform the present and ameliorate the future.

The planning committee decided to title the conference “Democracy and Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact.” The planning committee quickly realized the complexity of the issues related to the topic of homeland security. The subject lends itself to a range of academic and scientific disciplines that could not all be accommodated within the short time of the Symposium. In an attempt to focus on the task, the Symposium committee, despite possibilities of covering more issues, decided to include four panels with traditional academic presentations, two keynote speakers, and a student poster session related to the topics of homeland security.

This book is organized to include the Symposium’s three activities. The first part of the book contains papers presented during four panel sessions. Panel 1, “Providing Homeland Security and Democracy in the United States: Meaning and Practice,” contains chapters that define and frame the broad dilemmas posed by the balance between democracy and security. The chapters also clarify the use of traditional and emerging ideas and concepts. Panel 2, “Homeland Security and Public Policy: Formulation, Implementation, and Evaluation,” includes chapters that examine the process by which various issues related to current homeland security become policy, how the policies are put into practice, and how they are scrutinized. Panel 3, “September 11, 2001, and Public Opinion,” presents chapters that describe and assess public reactions and attitudes using various methodologies in the aftermath of that tragic day. Panel 4, “Comparative Perspectives on Homeland Security and Democracy,” introduces chapters examining the comparative perspectives on security, safety, and democracy beyond the constraints of contemporary events and the geographic boundaries of a single nation.

The second part of the book includes two keynote speeches presented at the Symposium. The first speech, by Admiral James M. Loy, the then deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, was titled “Homeland Security: Preserving Our Freedoms, Protecting America.” The second speech, by Professor David Cole of Georgetown Law Center and a volunteer staff attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, was titled “Enemy Aliens and American Freedoms: Double Standards and Civil Liberties in the War on Terrorism.” The two speeches are included as transcribed texts.

Finally, and for the first time, the Symposium included the works of Kent State University students on topics relevant to the theme of democracy and homeland security in a poster session. The session exhibited posters with a format that integrates textual analysis with graphic representations. The posters addressed media coverage of the war in Iraq compared to coverage of the Vietnam War (by Margaret Garmon, doctoral student in the School of Communication Studies at Kent State University), the relationship between U.S. security policy and international law (by Mary Wagley, undergraduate student in history at Kent State University), and the structure of the new Department of Homeland Security (by Mustafa Ozgular, doctoral student in political science and an officer in the Turkish National Police). This session is reproduced in the third section of the book.

The Conflict Between Democracy and Homeland Security

Following the September 11 attacks, life in America changed. More particularly, fear of terrorism has dominated national security discourse. In less than a year and a half after the tragic terrorist attacks on the United States, Congress passed extensive legislation and created a new antiterrorist federal bureaucracy. In fewer than forty-five days after the attacks, the government passed the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act, passed on October 26, 2001).6 The bill passed 98-1 in the United States Senate, and 357-66 in the United States House of Representatives.7 (The act—an antiterrorist bill—makes changes to fifteen statutes.8 It expands the federal government’s ability to investigate, conduct searches, deport suspects linked to terrorism, monitor financial transactions, obtain individuals’ electronic records, crack down on immigrant violations, and conduct broad-range surveillance.

Less than one year after the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, on July 16, 2002, the National Strategy for Homeland Security was published to “set a broad and complex agenda for the United States.”9 The Strategy included a plan for a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS), one of the most significant bureaucratic reorganizations in the U.S. federal government since the passage of the National Security Act in 1947.10 Opened on March 1, 2003, the DHS is composed of twenty-two once-separate federal agencies, has a budget of $27 million (in 2004), and employs 186,200 people. On any given day, the DHS screens 1.5 million airline passengers and 57,000 trucks and shipping containers, and makes 226 arrests and twenty-four drug seizures.11 In October 2004, the DHS budget was increased by 6.6% ($1.8 million) for 2005, indicating an increase by the Bush administration in its commitment to fighting terrorism.12

There is no question about the urgent need for government action to guarantee the security of the United States after the September 11 attacks on American soil. The issues of national security at times of war or crisis are not new ones in the U.S. public discourse (see Chapter IV by Professor Paul Haridakis).13 Today’s discourse, though similar to other ones in U.S. history, presents contemporary Americans with different challenges because of its global context and nature. The historic debate about balancing our security and democratic liberties has often been in the face of a threat of classic war and a known clear enemy. Today, and since September 11, 2001, the idea of “war on terrorism” is a different one: one where the enemy has attacked us at home, just as in Pearl Harbor in 1941; but in 2001 the enemy was “unknown” and “undeclared.” For those of us who lived the first moments and days, we clearly remember the question “Who could do this?” Even after we identified Osama Bin Laden as the leader of, and the nineteen men on board the planes as the operatives in, Al-Qa’da, the organization responsible for the attacks, the issue was more complex than simply identifying the enemy as Arabs or Muslims. It was initially thought that we could not do to Muslims or Arabs what we usually did to “terrorists” in general. Jenkins says, “Any group categorized as terrorists is denied any legitimacy, and the public tends to feel that no measures are too severe to deal with it. It is almost as if the group has been read out of the human race.”14 During the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks, there was a cautionary remark about how, although the attackers were Muslims and Arabs, Islam was an American religion. Muslims represent the largest minority religion in the United States and Canada.15 There was also the depiction that Muslims are not all the same and that this is a very diverse group. These intentions were all seen in the public appearance of President Bush with Muslim leaders and their inclusion in memorials and other public events.

However, this understanding of the complexity and separation of Islam from terrorism was short lived. The prevailing notions solidified by the 1993 essay of Harvard professor Samuel P. Huntington about the “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West took hold in the values of U.S. societal and legal culture. The overreaction of the post–September 11 legislation, guilt by association, and profiling have all underestimated the reality that, in the world today, “the distinction between Western civilization and non-Western civilization gets blurrier and blurrier as you try to get it into focus.”16 The “war on terrorism,” hence, has taken the course of ideal types in a world of pluralism, diversity, and globalization. This path has caused concern about the onslaught on civil and other liberties. These ideas are explored by many of the contributing authors, who see a challenge to the balance between national safety and democratic liberty in the United States today that is caused by xenophobia, profiling, racism, and disrespect for individual and civil rights.

An additional concern to the eroding civil rights of citizens expressed by the authors has been the way the United States has treated immigrants (especially those who appear to be Arab or Muslim) since September 11. Both legislative and administrative actions have targeted immigrants systematically, especially those from Muslim and Arab backgrounds.17 The September 11 attacks on the United States and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have classified Arabs and Muslims as terrorist and approved the principle of guilt by association.18 The reality that Arabs and Muslims are mutually exclusive groups wherein only 20 percent of Muslims are Arabs, and that 20 percent of Arabs are not Muslims, has fallen on deaf ears in both American society and the academy.19 This is “racialization” of the enemy alien, according to Cole: “Viewed from the vantage point of history, the claim that Americans’ freedoms are not at risk when foreign nationals are targeted in the name of national security is false. What we are willing to allow our government to do to immigrants today creates a template for how it will treat citizens tomorrow.”20

In addition to government policy and societal norms, the trauma of the terrorist attacks and the nature of those attackers’ religious affiliations have resulted in changing spiritual conditions in America. In the absence of a public health response to the distresses of terrorism and a real understanding of Islam, many have sought the solace of fundamentalist religion to overcome their anxieties and fears of the post–September 11 tragedy. Many have discussed the public displays of religious excesses, especially those examining George W. Bush’s presidential speech styles. The excesses of public display of religious zeal have been emphasized in this collection to underscore the Bill of Rights allocation of religion in the private, not public, arena.21

The chapters, keynote speeches, and student posters of this Symposium publication explore the challenge of post–September 11 legislation, government actions, media coverage, and other issues that threaten this society’s democratic foundations of political freedom and civil liberties. The memory of May 4, 1970, resonates in most chapters, and many authors mention the lessons from the event that must inform future policies and actions.

Democracy and Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact

The overwhelming message from the authors in this book (including Admiral Loy) has been one of not compromising the liberties enjoyed by citizens and noncitizens in the United States of America. Most of the academic chapters (and Professor Cole’s speech) are clear about the consequences of advancing “the myth of balance” between safety and democratic liberties. Unhesitant, the chapter authors declare in unison that today, in the United States, we have chosen “false safety over real democracy.” Admiral Loy, on the other hand, presents a clear plan for how the government will protect civil rights and the safety of this country.

In part 1 of this section of the book, “Providing Homeland Security and Democracy in the United States: Meaning and Practice,” Professor Polycarp Ikuenobe’s essay focuses on the use of patriotism to justify homeland security. As a philosopher, he assesses the meaning of patriotism as a pretext for balancing security and liberal democratic principles. He elaborates on the conditions of love of country and love of others and concludes with offering a framework of healthy patriotism. This patriotism, which must hold liberal democratic principles of respect for all persons equally, does not belong to citizens alone but to all who appreciate and defend these principles. Patriotism should be a rational affection conditioned by preserving liberal democratic principles. Patriotism produced under emotionally charged conditions, such as terrorism, is immoral and, hence, cannot be used to justify homeland security policies. Professor Ikuenobe writes, “It is practically impossible to balance the obligations imposed by patriotism, which require preferential support for a country and its policies, and the impartial respect for all persons.”22 Ikuenobe concludes that this patriotism is “tied to nationalism and xenophobia.”23

Professor Judith A. Youngman finds that the root of the tension between homeland security and democracy is American sensitivity to compromising its cultural identity under human rights treaties. She argues that post–September 11, 2001, the issues of human rights and homeland security have been portrayed as either/or choices in the United States. This rejection of human rights in America, Youngman argues, derives from the nature of its views of sovereignty and identity. She notes that the Constitution allows the possibility of rights. However, the war waged by the evangelists in the twenty-first century is not a war against culture but a war “against universal human rights, and especially human rights that challenge the American civic myth of exceptionalism as a Protestant—indeed, evangelical—nation.”24 This American civic myth exceptionally makes the United States a covenant nation where war against non-Christians is justified. This twenty-first-century view of America is irreconcilable with the ethos of human rights. Are we then “willing to sacrifice human rights to protect our ‘homeland’?” asks Youngman. In answering her question she says, “[It] depend[s] upon which America we wish to be…. [And] ultimately [that] decision … belongs to ‘we, the people.’”25

Professor Mary Stansbury, a professor of library science, locates the source of the strain between homeland security and democratic principles in her profession’s ethical approach to service delivery. She notes, “The defense of free speech is a fundamental tenet of modern American librarianship.”26 Using survey data conducted in Illinois, Ohio, and nationally, Stansbury shows that most librarians have been concerned about and opposed to the USA PATRIOT Act.27 Libraries that serve smaller communities have had to resort to restrictive measures, including monitoring computer usage. Despite this change in behavior of some public librarians, Stansbury emphasizes that the American Library Association (ALA), the strong representative voice of librarians in the United States, is opposed to the USA PATRIOT Act’s threat to privacy of library patrons.28 Stansbury concludes that the organizational factors and day-to-day work routine of librarians leave their oppositional power too scattered and too weak to be effective. Stansbury’s words in April 2004 seemed prophetic in July of the same year when Congress passed a bill making surveillance of library records a reality of the modern American legal system without heeding public librarians’ opposition to such action.

Haridakis’s essay reflects his role as the discussant of this panel in the Symposium on Democracy.29 He integrates the arguments of Ikuenobe, Youngman, and Stansbury within a historic perspective, a cultural context, and an ethical concern. He shows the record of our nation in times of war threats and how, in the name of defending the nation, freedoms and liberties have been subverted. He emphasizes that the authors of this section put forward arguments opposing the justifications for homeland security that are similar to the ones advanced by other thinkers, historically at times of political violence, as early as the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798.30 He also observes that all three scholars view the cultural perceptions of our post–September 11 policies of homeland security as an underlying force behind the tension between homeland security and civil liberties. The Eurocentric/ethnocentric attitude inherent within the security policy formulations have led the authors to warn against xenophobia, American cultural supremacy, and a fascist police state.

Finally, Haridakis highlights the authors’ concerns about the ethical and moral implications of our safety policies, where emotionally charged patriotism, American evangelical exceptionalism, or the pressure on the value of free speech will surrender liberty and will not purchase safety.31 Haridakis concludes by forewarning that we need to learn from the experience of May 4, 1970, at Kent State University when public safety led to the death of four students and the injury of nine others. He writes regarding answers to the government’s initiatives of homeland security, “I do not know the answers.… But it is in the spirit of Kent State University’s Symposium on Democracy that we debate such questions today—rather than waiting until tomorrow, when it may be too late.”32

The second part of this section of the book, “Homeland Security and Public Policy: Formulation, Implementation, and Evaluation,” brings the preceding discussion on the impact of homeland security to the pragmatic arena of policymaking and its consequences. Alice Ristroph and Jameel Jaffer discuss the many changes that have taken place in information gathering and surveillance law since September 11, 2001. They divide the new developments into two categories of changes: “generalized surveillance” and “investigative surveillance.”33

The former type of surveillance aims to collect early intelligence and provide quick detection, and it is not based on the suspicion of any individual threat.34 The latter kind of surveillance, according to Ristroph and Jaffer, represents “more intrusive inquiries relating to individual suspects.” The authors offer numerous examples of post–September 11 policies formulating and implementing these two kinds of surveillance. They note, however, that the principal source of change in investigative surveillance, the more intrusive type of information gathering, has been the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act.35

Although extensive surveillance silences free speech, Ristroph and Jaffer state that investigative surveillance was rendered much more threatening by the government’s unprecedented refusal to release information on its own activities. Accepting that there is no controversy about the negative effects of government secrecy and surveillance on democracy in general, they stop at the argument that many regard times of national emergencies to be instances that necessitate extrademocratic principles. Ristroph and Jaffer note that the arguments of solidarity and patriotism over democracy during past national emergencies had temporal limits.36 Terrorism, nevertheless, represents a different form of conflict—one that has no temporal limits. In view of this national emergency, the “war on terror,” Ristroph and Jaffer suggest a “principle of specificity” to limit the danger of intrusive surveillance and extreme government secrecy.37 This principle provides a strategy, a justification, clarity, and expertise in formulating national security that does not sacrifice individual and civil liberties.

Bassel El-Kasaby and Scott E. Tarry show us how post–September 11 aviation policies have had an impact on civil rights. They specifically examine four areas: (1) issues relating to private rights arising from the protections in the Fourth Amendment, (2) issues relating to equal protection under the law arising from the protections in the Fourteenth Amendment, (3) issues concerning employment discrimination arising from the protections under Title VII, and (4) bars to judicial relief in civil rights cases.38 The authors’ legal and academic aviation expertise show clearly the grave infringements of civil rights and the dilemmas the aviation industry is faced with in view of such practices. El-Kasaby and Tarry conclude their essay by saying,

There is no question that terrorist events of this magnitude are not an acceptable security risk. However, enhanced security at airports comes at a cost that includes delay, inconvenience, and overall quality of service. More importantly, such policies undermine long-cherished constitutional rights that cannot be valued or quantified.39

Professor James F. Harris brings a more theoretical perspective to the theme of homeland security and policy.40 His essay is a reflection on the basis for a peaceful public policy. He explains that conflicts arise from the tension between private beliefs and public policy. In the tradition of a Western philosopher, he argues that in a constitutional, liberal, pluralistic democracy, such as the United States, successful public speech and public reason (policy and formulation of policy) must be based on certain exclusionary principles in public debate. These principles of exclusion, argues Harris, should restrict the spillover of private beliefs into public arenas.41

A primary area of clear demarcation between private and public arenas is the separation of religion and the state. He concludes his essay by noting, “A democratic state must be protected from religious zealots of all stripes. This is one of the most crucial and theoretically fundamental principles for preserving and protecting a stable, well-ordered liberal democracy.”42 

In her role as a discussant, Professor Mervat Hatem extends the argument regarding public policy to the global ramifications of U.S. national policies of homeland security.43 She argues that homeland security policies have been formulated with the global perspective of the “other.” She defines the “other” by using Edward Said’s theory of Orientalism, which demonizes other non-Western societies as backward and brutal (Said 1978).44 This “other” or “terrorist” in the recent process of globalization has been rendered to the “Islamic civilization and/or groups representing the rise of political Islam.”45

Hatem notes that this “other” is clearly represented in the national public policy of the United States since September 11, 2001. The PATRIOT Act failed to recognize the multiethnic, multinational groups affected by it.46 The PATRIOT Act followed the simple demonization of the “other” as a monolithic entity with no particularities or differences. This national public policy accompanied by the surge in religiosity in the American public arena has had severe negative repercussions on peaceful dialogue among cultures of the world living in this global village.

All the essays in this section of the book have misgivings about post–September 11 public policies. While aware of the dangers terrorism poses for the American quality of life, the authors in this section are collectively concerned about the unchecked way the policies of dealing with terrorism are infringing on a long tradition of a successful liberal, pluralist democracy.

The essays in the third section, “September 11, 2001, and Public Opinion,” focus on the opinions of segments of the public from whom we have heard the least in the period following the attacks on the United States in 2001. These include marginalized groups, either because they do not have the electoral power (e.g., deportees and children) or because of the anti-intellectual, anticritical atmosphere that has prevailed since September 11, 2001 (e.g., as reflected by media messages).

Professor Melissa M. Spirek documents the magnitude and significance of the relationship between the media consumption of the September 11 tragedy and the attitudes of people in and outside the United States.47 To gauge such a relationship, she conducts quantitative analyses using academic studies published between 2001 and 2003, which are listed in four social science citation indices.48 This investigation, identified by the author as interdisciplinary meta-analysis, particularly addresses the influence of media coverage of the jetliners’ crashes on the public opinion of “us” the good versus “them” the evil.49

Spirek frames her analysis theoretically on the foundation that media influence on public opinion is a complex phenomenon and that its effects are mediated by quantity of consumption and type and content of media. Spirek’s study showed that many of the articles written during the period under investigation used qualitative research and not quantitative data.50 Such an outcome interfered with the assumption of meta-analysis. As such, Spirek concludes that in the years 2001 to 2003, quantitative social science research has been relatively silent about the media influence on the public’s opinion of the first terrorist attack on American soil. This discovery, though not what the author anticipated when proposing to conduct the research, is, in itself, a significant reflection on the use of social scientific research methods and understanding terrorism. Many researchers argue that exploring areas that involve victims, marginalized people, and sensitive issues often lend themselves to qualitative research.51 Terrorism falls within this category of research topics where open dialogue that establishes trust and rapport is often the more successful venue in which to conduct systematic inquiries, rather than self-reporting surveys or such other methods.

The following two essays in this section of the book, by Irum Shiekh and Kathleen Walker, confirm the discovery of Spirek’s work.52 Shiekh’s essay, based on qualitative research methodology, examines the effects of U.S. detention and deportation policies since the September 11 tragedy on anti-American global sentiments. She interviewed more than fifty deportees and their family members and friends, who now live in Egypt, Pakistan, India, and Trinidad.53

Shiekh provides the reader with rich narratives about the conflicting sentiments among those interviewed. On the one hand, the voices condemn harshly the double standards of American democracy, the human rights violations of the detained Muslims in U.S. prisons, and the practice of racial profiling directed against Muslims and Arabs. On the other hand, the deportees express their desire to return to the United States due to the available economic opportunities compared with those in their countries of origin. Shiekh describes this conflict as a combination of “desire and fear, which leads to a sense of hesitation” among the deportees to assess their experiences.54 Despite the hesitation of many deportees to speak about their jailing and mistreatment, a few have shared their stories publicly and openly. Shiekh notes, “The voices of these individuals are heard and their message goes far.”55

The message of those speaking portrays the United States as a bad place for Muslims to live. This negative image comes to counter a time when the entire world was empathetic with the tragic loss of the United States right after the September 11 attacks. Shiekh concludes the essay by explaining the consequences of the deportees’ messages on the U.S. global image, economic base, and standing as the largest exporter of higher education.56

Professor Walker’s essay is another research study using qualitative methods to measure Ohio children’s understanding of the events of September 11, 2001. She interviewed sixty children between the ages of 3 and 18. Her analysis of the narratives of these children in response to a series of questions shows that age contributed to the understanding of the attacks.57 The older children understood the events a little better than the younger ones. Few children understood the events of September 11 clearly (only 7 out of 60), and even fewer understood who was involved, says Walker. Nevertheless, Walker notes that some of the older children provided “broader sociopolitical explanations” of the events.58 According to Walker, the sources of learning about the event also varied by age. Generally, however, both parents and television shaped this group of children’s understanding of the attacks of September 11.59 The way the children felt about the September 11 attacks also varied by age.60 However, fear, confusion, and shock were some of the common responses reported.

Walker contrasts the children’s feelings with those reported by studies about the feelings of adults. She finds that children in her study did not express feelings reported by adults, such as increased spirituality or patriotism.61 But Walker does note that children reported their understanding of the events in terms of “us” versus “them.” However, no hatred against any group of fixed images or assumption of how a terrorist would look was expressed by any of the children.

Walker concludes the chapter by discussing the consequences of the children’s understanding of the September 11 events and who was involved in these events. She also speaks of the difficulty the children have in distinguishing the difference between the attacks on America and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This confusion renders Walker apprehensive about these children’s eventual conceptualization of “good” and “evil.”62

Professor Erin O’Brien, in her role as the discussant, provides a synthesis and critique of the three essays in this section addressing “September 11, 2001, and Public Opinion.”63 She proceeds to present her synthesis of the three essays first as individual papers and second as a collective body of work. Each of these papers pushes the scholarship forward to help us understand “how public opinion [inside and outside the United States] was formulated and voiced after September 11, 2001,” she notes.64 As a collective, O’Brien observes that the essays offer common themes regarding public opinion after September 11.65 These included community boundaries, centralizing the marginalized communities, media misrepresentations of facts, the emergence of ethnocentrism in the post–September 11 era, and the local and international implications of forfeiting democratic principles in U.S. policy.66

O’Brien concludes her synthesis of the three papers by saying, “The three chapters that form this section thus refine mainstream accounts of public opinion following 9/11. They build and expand on existing empirical literature. Most importantly, they matter socially and politically, and they illuminate the variety of ways in which 9/11 influenced national and international public opinion.”

The fourth and concluding section, “Comparative Perspectives on Homeland Security and Democracy,” focuses on a cross-cultural, global understanding of security and emerging policies in the post–September 11 era. Not all the essays presented at the symposium are included in this volume. Dilip Das’s presentation is summarized here and is further analyzed in the panel discussant’s chapter, by Timothy J. Berard.

Das’s presentation showed the inherent contradiction between democracy and agents of security.67 He examined case studies from a number of democracies described as established democracies, emerging democracies, and mixed democracies. The established democracies are those where societies have a stable, democratic tradition, like the United Kingdom. The emerging democracies are those that have recently emerged from a totalitarian past, like the Russian Federation. The last category of democracies is the mixed democracies where a democratic form of governance has taken root, but the violent and intractable past has kept the society in the grip of the past, like South Africa’s apartheid and ethnic strife.68

The contradictions Das discussed included professional, organizational, and operational challenges. Professional challenges stem from the very nature of policing. Wherever they are, the police find themselves exercising restraints and practicing coercion. The methods and the degree may differ in the different democracies. Organizational culture changes slowly. The culture in the police organizations, notwithstanding the political culture of the society, tends to be universally militaristic, hierarchy oriented, and noninnovative. Such an organizational culture is not amenable to the democratic values of openness, freedom of expression, and service of the people. Ironically, this is true in all stages of democratic political development of a society. Operational challenges are the rise of international crimes like organized crime and terrorism from which no democracy is free. Organized crime and other forms of violent crimes have been terribly challenging for the emerging and the mixed democracies. The more crime, the more undemocratic the operational answers tend to be.

In May 1995 scholars and practitioners from several countries presented original studies of the different categories at the annual meeting of the International Police Executive Symposium. The presentation at the Symposium on Democracy summarized these studies. It further examined democracy with a view of security and safety and democracy beyond the constraints of the present events and the geographic boundaries of a single nation.

Professor Randall Curren’s essay explores the war metaphor as in “war on terrorism” in securing national/collective security and finds it inadequate.69 He uses theoretical episteme and historic periods from Western cultures to offer a comparative perspective on today’s dilemma of national security and war. Curren says the war on terrorism is not a war in the classic sense. He argues that terrorism poses a risk to the national interest but does not constitute threats to national security. The misconception of terrorism as war has led to national mobilization that demands a national unity that “silences all dissent and honest debate.”70 To Curren, self-defense in the face of war or the threat of war is a necessary condition for order, and peace is a flawed model.71 The war on terror must be replaced by an understanding that “justice … is a necessary condition for sustainable peace and security.”72

Calling this strategy the convergence thesis, Curren proceeds to show how, for the past three decades, “violence” and “force” have dominated the U.S. penal system without any serious dialogue of cause and prevention of crime. As such, the policies have eliminated neither violence nor crime in the United States. Extending this argument to terrorism, he says that “the war on terror” against evildoers has been imposed without any “serious national dialogue about the causes and prevention of terrorism, and what kind of world order would be most consistent with democratic values and a sustainable peace.”73 Curren proposes the convergence thesis or a model of justice as the pragmatic alternative that has worked historically.

This model includes international adjudication of international conflict. Such adjudication, according to Curren, is conditioned by respect for all human beings as equal, separation of private values from the public arena (public reason), neutral adjudication, impartial reasoned judgment, and secular forms of adjudication. International adjudication eliminates the superiority of any nation over another and enforces equal, reasonable, and just rule of law. Curren concludes his essay by speaking about the future of dealing with terrorism if the model of justice for that war is forsaken. He says, “History suggests that a world order that does justice to the material and cultural interests of these diverse citizens is foundational to our long-term security interests, but it also suggests we will ignore this lesson until our hand is forced by crises much greater than we have yet endured.”74

Samuel Gerald Collins discusses the issue of homeland security from the stance of anthropological theory.75 He first frames the issue of homeland security within a context of cultural wars. He notes that the war on terrorism is also a war to maintain our “cultural us” as delineated by certain “traditions, histories and texts” and to protect the nation from dissolution.76 Within this context, Collins reviews the long-critiqued anthropological perspective of “national character studies” in the 1940s and 1950s and its decline in the 1960s. In this review, Collins hopes to avoid the pitfalls of the dichotomous cultural view of “us” versus “them.” He notes that this perspective, which views entire nations as having one set of unitary cultures, has been reborn under new dimensions in the post–September 11 world.77 Today, argues Collins, this move back in time has resulted in orientalist ethnocentrism where the enemy nations are characterized by violence and irrationality, and the United States diametrically possesses opposed qualities of freedom loving and rationality.78

Even its founding mother, Margaret Mead, abandoned this view of the “national character” in anthropology. She replaced this narrow, static view of culture with a more dynamic one that sees differences in the continual elaboration of national character. Anthropologists have since advanced alternative visions of culture as “progressive humanism,” which transcends national boundaries.79 However, since September 11 the clash of the civilization model advanced by Samuel Huntington, or Benjamin Barber’s framework of West versus “rest,” or “they will win or we will win,” has awakened a long-abandoned anthropological framework. Anthropologists are responsible for such formulations of national character and need to be involved more in producing alternatives to them. Collins, in turn, suggests an alternative model of culture that curtails conflict. This is culture as “anticipatory humanism.”80 Collins concludes by describing his cultural model as “not only a mutual respect based on the multitudinous connections that make a mockery of attempting to divide ‘us’ from ‘them,’ but a humanism based on the generative differences that promise, if nothing else, to transform cultures into form unimaginable by younger generations.”81

Professor Berard’s chapter summarizes the three essays by Das, Curren, and Collins and further explores the consequences of the practice of homeland security in a representative democracy.82 Giving homeland security the label of national security, Berard warns of the consequences for democracy when formulating security policies too narrowly or too broadly. He notes that policies devised from a narrow basis of prejudiced stereotyping result in unprofessional behavior on the part of law enforcement and conceptual contradiction both philosophically and at the theoretical level (in the anthropological view of national character).83 According to Berard’s analysis of Das’s work, “A key element of professionalism in security and police forces must include the appreciation of the fact that the mandate of providing security includes a mandate for securing civil liberties and democratic freedoms, as well as physical safety.”84

At the theoretical/conceptual level, Berard argues, national safety policies based on narrow discrimination including racial, ethnic, or religious origins (more particularly as we see it today directed toward Arabs and Muslims) are not practical in our contemporary world. In direct response to Huntington’s “clash of civilizations,” Berard argues, “the increasingly multicultural nature of democratic societies is undermining” the mapping of cultures and ethnicities onto national boundaries.85 Corroborating Paul Berman’s idea that “in the modern world, we are all hyphenated personalities,” Berard says, “National boundaries cut across cultural boundaries and vice versa.”86

Berard also cautions against formulating security policy from a broad perspective, which is then co-opted by partisan political interests of governments.87 Using the recent example of U.S. intervention in Somalia, he suggests that Mogadishu was not the only capital city with an oppressive government, and that the U.S. intervention, though based on the broad category of human rights, served other political ends.88 Such partisan security policies, according to Berard, lead to the collapse and not the growth of democracies.

Berard presents the reader with multiple ways to develop national security policies that can hold up under the practices of democracies, based on the chapters presented by the scholars on his panel. He notes that in law enforcement, equal support for all public agencies and maximum communication among them is an essential element in providing professional policing and security. Developing historically informed policies are successful national security strategies that protect and produce international peace. Berard ends his chapter by noting:

As a nation, we do have to be vigilant of both internal and external threats, but internal threats need to be understood more broadly. They include more than terrorist cells, organized crime, and drug traffickers—and note here that even our national understanding of internal threats borrows heavily from our national skepticism toward foreigners and immigrants. Internal threats to democracy can also appear as the excesses of mass politics and the excesses of national security policies.89

The collection of essays in this book continues the discussions that emerged from the May 4, 1970, shootings on the campus of Kent State University. The discussion maps the meaning, process, and outcome of national policies linked to terrorism and domestic safety. The authors in this volume continue the many questions of the parents, professors, friends, and passersby who were touched by May 4 and Vietnam. The voices clearly emphasize the idea that the citizens in this country will never compromise their liberties. The ideas, voices, concepts, and visuals in this book continue what Florence Schroeder, the mother of Bill Schroeder, one of the four students who was shot and died in 1970, says:

That is … the significance of “Kent” to America. I think that the powers-that-be have realized that all segments of the citizenry are entitled to an opinion and that this opinion must be “reckoned with.” We must “reckon” with this when we vote, when we gather at a house of worship, and in our social and service organizations. Political action must be humanized.90

End notes

1.Susanne Sande, “Blood Ties” (n.d.),

2. The Kent State Memorial,

3. Ibid.

4. The Symposium is supported and funded by the Offices of the President and Provost of Kent State University.

5. These wars include, but are not limited to, Beirut, Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq, the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil in 2001, and Afghanistan.

6. The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (New York: Norton, 2004), 328.

7. U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 107th Congress - 1st Session as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate,

8. K. Cusick, “Thwarting Ideological Terrorism: Are We Brave Enough to Maintain Civil Liberties in the Face of Terrorist Induced Trauma?” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 35 (2003): 1; and C. O’Leary, “Patriot Acts,” Social Justice (2002): 3,, retrieved June 10, 2004.

9. Office of Homeland Security, National Strategy for Homeland Security (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 2002), 67.

10. M. Brezezinski, “Red Alert,” Mother Jones 29, no. 5 (2004): 39.

11. Department of Homeland Security Web Site:, retrieved June 10, 2004.

12. Ibid.

13. P. Haridakis, “Homeland Security and Democracy in the United States during the War on Terrorism,” in Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact, ed. N. Ammar (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2005).

14. P. Jenkins, Image of Terror: What We Can and Can’t Know about Terrorism (New York: Aldine De Gruyter, 2003), 25.

15. See Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and Adair T. Lummis, Islamic Values in the United States: A Comparative Study (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987).

16. P. Berman, Terror and Liberalism (New York: Norton, 2004), 26.

17. Laws and regulations include: INS regulation of Nov. 14, 2001 (INS rule 66, Federal Register 56967, 56979 80), implying the ability to detain noncitizens indefinitely, Deputy Attorney General Thompson’s issuance of “voluntary” interview guidelines of up to five thousand noncitizen men in the United States on nonimmigrant visas from countries suspected of harboring terrorists (all Arab or Muslim), the Bureau of Prison’s interim rule for monitoring attorney-client communications of inmates in federal custody, and President Bush’s issuance of a “Military Order” authorizing the detention and trial of aliens believed to have terrorist connections. Harboring such individuals by military commission, racial profiling, the Alien Absconder Initiative (AAI) List, and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (BICE) Operation Liberty Shield targeting Iraqi immigrants and asylum seekers have all broadened the scope of this targeting. See S. Akram, “Race and Civil Rights Pre-September 11, 2001: The Targeting of Arabs and Muslims,” in Civil Rights in Peril: The Targeting of Arabs and Muslims, ed. E. Hagopian (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004), 9–26; I. Glasser, “More Safe, Less Free: A Short History of Wartime Civil Liberties,” in It’s a Free Country: Personal Freedom in America After September 11, ed. V. D. Goldberg and R. Greenwald (New York: RDV Books, 2003), 11–24; and D. Cole, Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism (New York: The New Press, 2003).

18. S. Natsu, “Symbolism under Siege: Japanese American Redress and ‘Racing’ of Arab Americans as ‘Terrorists,’” Asian Law 8, no.1 (2001): 11–26.

19. Aminah Beverly McCloud, African American Islam (New York: Routledge, 1995); Sulayman S. Nyang, “Islam in the United States of America: A Review of the Sources,” in Islam in North America: A Sourcebook, ed. Michael A. Koszegi and J. Gordon Melton (New York: Garland, 1992).

20. See D. Cole, “Enemy Aliens and American Freedoms: Double Standards and Civil Liberties in the War on Terrorism,” in Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact, ed. N. Ammar (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2005).

21. Richard John Neuhan, “Understanding the Evangelicals,” First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion & Public Life 147 (2004): 65–67; Henry A. Giroux, “Beyond Belief: Religious Fundamentalism and Cultural Politics in the Age of George W. Bush,” Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies 4, no. 4 (2004): 415–26.

22. P. Ikuenobe, “Patriotism and the Conflict between Homeland Security and Liberal Democracy,” in Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact, ed. N. Ammar (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2005).

23. Ibid.

24. J. A. Youngman, “An Either-Or Choice?” in Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact, ed. N. Ammar (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2005).

25. Ibid.

26. M. Stansbury, “A Basis for Baseless Hysteria? Philosophy and Practice of Protection of Privacy by Public Librarianship in the United States,” in Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact, ed. N. Ammar (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2005).

27. A new surveillance provision authorized by the USA PATRIOT Act (Title II - Enhanced Surveillance Procedures) allows FBI agents to obtain a warrant from a secret court for library or bookstore records of anyone connected to an investigation of terrorism or spying. These search warrants are not subject to the same checks and balances of other search warrants. The officer need not show evidence of wrongdoing or involvement in crime to obtain the warrant. Librarians served with the warrant must surrender records of the patron’s book borrowing or Internet use and are prohibited from revealing the search to anyone—including the patron (Homeland Security Statutes [Rockville, Md.: ABS Consulting, 2003], 506–21).

28. Ibid.

29. Haridakis, “Homeland Security and Democracy.” 30. Ibid.

31. Ibid.

32. Ibid.

33. A. Ristroph and J. Jaffer, “Security’s Province in a Democratic Society,” in Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact, ed. N. Ammar (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2005).

34. Ibid.

35. Ibid.

36. Ibid.

37. Ibid.

38. B. El-Kasaby and S. E. Terry, “The State of Aviation Security Policy: Balancing Safety and Liberty,” in Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact, ed. N. Ammar (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2005).

39. Ibid.

40. J. Harris, “Public Speech, Public Reason, and Public Policy in a Pluralistic Society,” in Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact, ed. N. Ammar (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2005).

41. Ibid.

42. Ibid.

43. M. Hatem, “Homeland Security in a Global World,” in Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact, ed. N. Ammar (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2005).

44. E. Said, Orientalism (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978).

45. M. Hatem, “Homeland Security in a Global World,” in Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact, ed. N. Ammar (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2005).

46. Ibid.

47. M. Spirek, “A Meta-Analysis of the Correlation between Media Consumption of the 9/11 Jetliner Crashes and Public Opinions about Those Who Live Within and Outside the U.S.,” in Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact, ed. N. Ammar (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2005).

48. Social science indices are a system that reference published articles and books covering certain subject matters. These computerized systems are accessed through libraries.

49. Spirek, “Meta-Analysis.” 50. Ibid.

51. P. J. Pelto and G. H. Pelto, Anthropological Research: The Structure of Inquiry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983); April L. Few, Dionne P. Stephens, and Marlo Rouse-Arnett, “Sister-to-Sister Talk: Transcending Boundaries and Challenges in Qualitative Research with Black Women, Family Relations 52, no. 3, (2003): 205–16; Z. N. Hurston and C. Kaplan, Every Tongue Got to Confess: Negro Folktales from the Gulf States (New York: HarperCollins, 2001); and Michael D. Kaplowitz, “Statistical Analysis of Sensitive Topics in Group and Individual Interviews,” Quality & Quantity 34, no. 4 (2000): 419–22.

52. I. Sheikh, “9/11 Detainees and Deportees: Are They Transforming Images of the United States?” and K. Walker, “Two Years Later: Children’s Understanding of the September 11th Terrorist Attacks,” In Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact, ed. N. Ammar (Kent, Ohio: Kent State Press, 2005).

53. Sheikh, “9/11 Detainees and Deportees.” 54. Ibid.

55. Ibid.

56. Ibid.

57. Walker, “Two Years Later.” 58. Ibid.

59. Ibid.

60. Ibid.

61. Ibid.

62. Ibid.

63. E. O’Brien, “September 11, 2001, and Public Opinion: A Commentary,” in Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact, ed. N. Ammar (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2005).

64. Ibid.

65. Ibid.

66. Ibid.

67. Parts of this summary were provided by Dr. Das in the form of a 100-word abstract and were posted on the Symposium Web site,, retrieved November 9, 2004.

68. Ibid.

69. R. Curren, “Public Reason and the Foundations of Security,” in Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact, ed. N. Ammar (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2005).

70. Ibid.

71. Ibid.

72. Ibid.

73. Ibid.

74. Ibid.

75. S. Collins, “Culture on the Front Lines: National Character, Evolution and Emergence,” in Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact, ed. N. Ammar (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2005).

76. Ibid.

77. Ibid.

78. Ibid.

79. Ibid.

80. Ibid.

81. Ibid.

82. T. Berard, “Comparative Perspectives on Democracy and Homeland Security: Commentary,” in Homeland Security: Strategies, Controversies, and Impact, ed. N. Ammar (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2005).

83. Ibid.

84. Ibid.

85. Berman, Terror and Liberalism, 4.

86. Ibid.; Berard, “Commentary.” 87. Berard, “Commentary.” 88. Ibid.

89. Ibid.

90. Bill Schroeder Shot and Killed on May 4, 1970.–l–_ schroeder.html, retrieved November 9, 2004.