Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Are we guaranteed the right to privacy, since the bill of rights forbids unwarranted searches or seizure? Nevertheless, according to a three-part recent series released without prejudice by the Washington Post (and not, therefore, public knowledge) two billion telephone calls and e-mails are monitored and stored by the National Security Agency daily. Long live big brother?

This surveillance is justified by those who do it as a response to 9/11 and terrorism in general. I wonder if it does not erode the very foundations of the country we are trying to protect.

But I have friends on both sides. There are some - like Jesse Jackson I believe - who go along because they think it is "useful" and a "purification". I voted for Jesse Jackson years ago in the Democratic primary when he ran for President, and still have regard for him. But on the issue of extensive spying on our own citizens, I beg to differ.

At times the surveillance is benign. The government is in fact trying by it to produce moderates and patriots. Moderation and patriotism go hand in hand. It is not so much the display of the flag and the clich├ęs of jingoism that make us a sound nation - but "that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights...".

I have been the subject of some attention, on and off, during my long career as a citizen - and just maybe I actually volunteered for it. But by now I know I am not a world savior, and try to salvage what little I can. You may be in the same would-be Christian boat. We are taking in water and the Vatican is where reforms must start. Each of us in his on little way - and we are members of a elite - must do what we can to work out reforms in our own lives, in our organization, and in society in general.

It will be hard to do this in privacy. We are in public before men and angels.

Richard Kovac



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