I, for one, am glad that my government is listening

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 29, 2006

Why is it that so many Americans want a government in place to protect them, and then when that same government takes action, many of those citizens are outraged?

We have agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration to insure that we don’t ingest medicine that may harm or kill us, the Federal Aviation Administration works to maintain a safe fleet of commercial aircraft, the FBI rids our streets of crime and so on.

We depend on these agencies to do their jobs to keep us safe.

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So what’s all the hoopla about President Bush authorizing the National Security Agency to listen in on communications between and among suspected or known terrorists?

Think about it. Had we known about the September 11, 2001 attacks on America as they were being planned, there is a good chance we could have thwarted them and saved thousands of lives.

So why not try now to find out what these people are plotting before we see another attack on the same or larger level?

It shouldn’t matter whether you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent voter, this is a matter of national security.

And I for one don’t mind at all that the “men in black” are listening in.

But there are those out there who so for some reason.

Howard Dean, the head of the Democratic National Committee, is one of them.

On the Today Show Thursday he told Katie Couric that this eavesdropping was wrong because the president hadn’t followed established protocol and obtained a court order first.

Well, that may be, but how would that work? The president tells his staff go ahead and get those court orders, which is eventually leaked, or discovered by the press, and published in every major newspaper and broadcast on every TV station across the country. Then, the terrorists see what is happening and they change the way they are communicating, thus leaving us in the dark once again.

Why would we want to announce what we were going to do? This is covert activity and must remain so to be successful.

So get over it. This isn’t a Bush thing anymore than it was a Clinton thing. Don’t you think that the NSA was listening in on terrorist cells during the Clinton Administration? Of course they were. And they were doing it long before that too.

And they are not tapping your phone so they can hear you chat with your friends or close a big business deal.

If we are going to head off another attack against this country, we need to collect all the data we possibly can. And if that means listening in on conversations where people are talking about killing Americans, then that’s what we need to be doing.

I personally think what the NSA is doing is a good thing and I hope they are allowed to continue it. Of course, with them, we may never know if they are or not n assuming they do their job well. And that doesn’t bother me one bit. I sleep a little better these days knowing that my government is keeping my medications safe, the planes flying and the terrorists out of my country. And you should be too.

On my earlier column

Dean was asked by Couric what the Democrats had up their sleeves in the future and he offered about a half dozen things.

One of those was if the Democrats regain power (take back the White House), they will make sure that every soldier has the necessary body armor to protect them.

Hey Howard n why wait? Why don’t the Democrats move on that right now? Not only would it mean that our soldiers have a better chance of survival in the war zone, it would also endear your party to the voters and probably give you a better chance of winning in ’08.

Maybe they should think about it.

Contact Grant at doug.grant@suffolknewsherald.com