Union League Club’s Public Affairs Committee Presents, “Safety, Security and Privacy after Boston”

At a Breakfast @ 65 forum held May 15, 2013, panelists David Hoffman, former Inspector General, Kathleen Petrowsky, Federal Security Director at O’Hare International Airport for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Thomas Durkin, Chicago civil rights attorney and widely known for his commitment to the rule of law, took the podium to discuss safety, security and privacy in light of the April 15, 2013 terrorist attack in Boston.

Panelists discussed protection of the public’s safety and security while still providing for civil liberties under the U.S. Constitution. 

Mr. Hoffman addressed the issue of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution relating to unreasonable search and seizures and the right to remain silent. Mr. Hoffman discussed the advances made in technology that deal with security in all areas, from surveillance by drones to eavesdropping and e-mail monitoring. 

On the other hand, Mr. Durkin pointed out the failures of the “War on Drugs” and “War on Terror.”  He said both are big mistakes because neither drugs nor terrorist attacks presents an existential risk to Americans. Mr. Durkin referred the audience to a book that he applauded, Terror, Security and Money by John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart. Mr. Durkin also talked about the $1 trillion spent and perhaps wasted on national security in the U.S. since 2001. 

Ms. Petrowsky spoke to the audience about the various active security procedures screening air passengers around the nation. 

The argument among the panelists was whether civil liberties taken could ever be given back. Ms. Petrowsky conceded that the current procedures at airports will unlikely be changed. Likewise, Mr. Hoffman agreed that the surveillance and monitoring procedures now in use against U.S. citizens are not likely to be curtailed.

The discussion was thoughtful and enlightening.  Each took questions from the audience which they adroitly answered.  The program raised many provocative questions of Constitutional rights and privileges challenged by the balance of security.

Robert Kreisman, a member of the Union League Club’s Board of Directors and the current chairman of the Public Affairs Committee, attended this program.  The Union League Club is located at 65 W. Jackson Blvd. in Chicago.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling litigation matters for individuals, families and businesses for more than 37 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Lemont, Oak Park, Oak Forest, River Grove, Elk Grove Village, Chicago (Hegewisch), Mount Prospect and Niles, Ill.

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