Why do some Americans get upset when their government undertakes the intelligence gathering and surveillance needed to insure the nation remains safe from its enemies?
We live in a society in which virtually anything can be known about your buying preferences, your credit rating, where you live, where you went to school, your employment history, et cetera. As often as not, you provide this information whenever you apply for a credit card, open a bank account, secure a loan, or fill out a job application. In short, you give up some of your private information in exchange for something you deem beneficial.
Why, then, do some - maybe a lot - of Americans get upset when their government undertakes the intelligence gathering and surveillance needed to insure the nation remains safe from its enemies?
Why did The New York Times break the story of this essential counter-intelligence activity and why did the rest of the nation’s mainstream news media deliberately stir fears that the government is tapping their phone? The Times’ own public editor called the newspaper’s explanation of its decision to break the NSA story “woefully inadequate.”
The government, rightly, has initiated an investigation regarding the disclosure of classified information and, so far as I am concerned, someone should be going to jail!
The National Security Agency was monitoring telephone and other electronic traffic from known or suspected Islamic terrorists outside the nation who might have been communicating with those inside.
Given the uproar over the NSA’s legitimate, authorized activities, one would think that Americans have forgotten that Identify theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation, so you can be sure that criminals have learned how to secure “private” information about you; many of them “phish” for it via the Internet quite successfully.
Anyone with the tiniest amount of intelligence flitting back and forth making synaptic connections in your brain, has got to know that the government simply does not have enough people in either its espionage or law enforcement agencies to spy on everybody.
There is simply no reason to spy on everybody!
Surveillance exists to protect Americans. It is not merely useful to know what our so-called allies, trading partners, and our well-known enemies are planning to do, it is essential to our national survival.
Being at war requires that we accept some limitations on our lives and our rights for the greater, common good. When it was first enacted, I had some reservations about The U.S. Patriot Act and, frankly, I was wrong. Those in Congress who fought against its reenactment were wrong, but at least our legislators have not left us shorn of the protection it affords, extending it for a single month at the end of last year.
Today the finest military force our nation has ever put into the field of battle is engaged, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in nations all over the world that have invited us to train their armies in the defense of freedom. We must match their courage with our own.
The hectoring of every effort the government takes to protect us, demanding that foreign terrorists be given the same Constitutional rights as the rest of us, defaming our armed forces, and depicting those in our justice and national security agencies as enemies to be feared is the road to perdition.
Alan Caruba passed on June 15, 2015. His keen wit, intellect, and desire to see that "right" be done will be missed by all who his life touched. His archives will remain available online at this site.
Alan Caruba was the founder of The National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about media-driven scare campaigns designed to influence public opinion and policy. A veteran public relations counselor and professional writer, Caruba emerged as a conservative voice through his weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on the Center's Internet site (www.anxietycenter.com) and widely excerpted on leading sites including this one.
A member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and a charter member of the National Book Critics Circle, Caruba applied a wide-ranging knowledge of business, science, history and other topics to his examination of issues that included protecting our national sovereignty, environment and immigration, education and international affairs.
Caruba resided in New Jersey and had served in the US Army, had been an advisor to corporations, trade associations, universities, and others who used his public relations skills for many years. He maintained a business site at www.caruba.com.
Caruba performed many reviews of both fiction and non-fiction at Bookviews.Com, a popular site for news about books of merit that do not necessarily make it to the mainstream bestseller lists.