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September 27, 2002 - Image 82

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-09-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Arts & Entertainment

On The Bookshelf

DERSHOWITZ

from page 81

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JN: Do you have specific familiari-
ty with terrorism issues confronting
Michigan?
AD:I'm familiar with the fact that
Michigan has a very large Muslim and
Arab American population and there-
fore there has been a particular focus,
in my view somewhat unfairly, on the
Muslim and Arab communities, which
have been in general very loyal to the
United States.
How the United States government
deals with the Muslim and Arab popu-
lations of Michigan will probably be a
bellwether for how it deals with civil
liberties in general.

JN: Have you been following the case
of the Michigan man who overstayed
his visa and wants open hearings
regarding his alleged links to terror-
ism?
AD:I think, in general, hearings should
be open or the government should
have to justify openly — without
revealing confidential material — the
need for secrecy. @Regular
Copy:Secrecy is anathema to democra-
cy. It's also good for America to be able
to justify to the world why we're doing
what we're doing.
There are going to be some extraordi-
nary cases where there's going to be
national security information, but that
should be very limited.

JN: What about illegal immigrants in
general?
AD:That has to end. We cannot toler-
ate a situation where people are in this
country illegally. If we want them in
this country, we have to legitimate and
legalize their status.
If we're not willing to legalize and
legitimate their status, we can't have
them in the country. We can't have
hundreds of thousands, perhaps more,
people in this country who are out of
status, not accountable and owe no
loyalty to the United States.

JN: How do your recommendations

for a national ID card apply?
AD:I advocate a very minimal national
ID card, one that just has the name,
address, social security number, photo-
graph and a telemetric chip that can be
matched to a fingerprint, palm print or
retinal print. I think that would do a lot
toward requiring people to show that
they are in status in the United States.
I don't believe that in the year 2002
any person has the right to walk
around with a bag over his head. The

right to anonymity is not in the
Constitution and went out with
Thoreau at Walden Pond. There may
be a right to publish anonymous pam-
phlets, but there's no right to be
anonymous.
If the government is entitled to ask you
about your status, then you're obliged to
respond. One always has to worry about
the implications of any ID system, but
remember that France, Germany, Israel,
Spain, Italy and many democracies have
long had national ID systems.

JN: What are your takes on the
Florida professor (Sami Al-Arian) who
was dismissed from his post because
of alleged links to terrorism?
AD:It's a very hard case. Tenure is
not absolute, and professors have been
fired for political activities. @Regular
Copy:Stanford University fired Prof.
Bruce Franklin because he was alleged
to be associated with violence. If this
man in Florida is in fact involved with
terrorism, supporting terrorism in an
overt and direct way and engaging in
criminal conduct, then he's violated his
contract and would be subject to firing.
At the moment, I keep an open
mind. I haven't heard all the evidence,
and I think generally the presumption
ought to be in favor of keeping a pro-
fessor who has controversial views. But
if his views have moved to action, and
action includes contributions and
other material support for terrorism,
that's a very different matter.

JN: Have you brought up any assign-
ments for your students with regard
to terrorism issues?
AD:I try to keep my classes very topi-
cal, so I've used examples and cases
growing out of post-Sept. 11 events.
My criminal law exam last year was all
based on the attacks of Sept. 11 and
conspiracy.
Even before Sept. 11, I used some of
the cases from Israel to try to make the
students aware of the complexities in
striking an appropriate balance
between security and [civil liberties].
I think Israel has been the model
because no country in the history of
the world has been more sensitive to
protecting civilian rights.
Israel is the only country that has
never bombed a city in retaliation for
civilian attacks. The United States
bombed Hiroshima. The British
bombed Dresden. The Russians
bombed Chechnya. Israel, although it
has the capacity to drop bombs, has
never done so.
It has sent its troops into camps like
Jenin, where 23 Israeli soldiers were

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