Editorial about privacy unrealistic

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 2, 2003

Editor, the News-Herald:

I never had any idea how annoyed I could be by someone crying about privacy. You recently whined about how John Ashcroft and the Patriot Act were just going to ruin us all.

Well, Chicken Little, I don’t agree.


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The world of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison didn’t include Osama bin Laden, Sami Al Arian, Mulla Omar, Al Quaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, remote-controlled explosives, satellite telephones, designer chemical weapons, etc. etc. Trying to hold our government and society to the same standards as an 18th-century, semi-literate, agriculturally based culture is absurd.

These terrorist organizations and their supporting agencies have utilized our free and open society, our mass transit systems, super electronic communication systems, electronic financial transfers, bureaucratic red tape, complex legal system, political correctness, and personal freedoms against us for years now. Why else are there so many books being published documenting the subversive nature and terrorist funding of many organizations operating within the United States. The number is incredible and now becoming well documented.

This is no snow job and the measures needed to address our problems are not trivial. This issue isn’t just about whether or not somebody’s privacy isn’t quarantined or more accurately &uot;idolized.&uot; This is about survival of the greatest, strongest and most righteous nation in history being under attack and its own resources and people being used against itself. How pitiful it is that we are only concerned about whether or not someone might read our e-mail, or someone might be searched without absolutely every single individual protection being safeguarded.

I too am concerned about &uot;big brother&uot; and the government overstepping its bounds. We have lots of examples of tyrants using these same excuses to usurp power. But we have a real threat that our (U.S.) media seems to think of only in terms of the next big story not the next big attack.

These days liberals everywhere are crying wolf about every measure the government takes to address our security. I can’t fathom anyone equating this situation with the conditions of the Nazi’s or Fascists of the past century. Unfortunately, today in the U.S., it is unacceptable for the media to supportive of our government.

Put another way, if we continue to operate as we have in the past we will get what we have gotten before. Remember 9/11 and stay in touch with reality.

Dave Forsythe

Naples, Italy