Capitol Insurrection

From 9-11 to January 6: The Limits of Surveillance Authority and the Democratic State

By Marc Rotenberg

A Constitutional democracy that seeks to monitor the private lives of its citizens must do so in the most minimally intrusive manner, ensure that its conduct is lawful and permissible, subject to public oversight and transparent, and also that it is effective. Implicit in the willingness of citizens to permit some degree of intrusion by the state is the assurance that the government will act appropriately on the information it obtains. If the government fails to act, it calls into the question the legitimacy of all surveillance authorities.

Others will comment on the extraordinary breakdown in agency coordination and intelligence assessment that made it possible for a mob to seize the Capitol of the United States on January 6, 2021. But a meaningful analysis of January 6 should also take account of the failure of the extraordinary surveillance authorities established after September 11 …

Share these ideas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *