Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 23, 2006

Let terrorists worry about surveillance

I would compare the collection of telephone records to the tracking of a contagious disease ("Hayden defends legality of NSA spying," May 19).

No one I know would have a problem with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracking a contagious disease-carrier, especially if it meant stopping the spread of disease or learning whom to vaccinate. And I do not think that anyone would have a problem with tracking a serial killer to his or her lair to prevent the next killing of an innocent person.

Yet, here we are, questioning the analysis of phone numbers to track down those terrorists who might take human lives and disrupt our way of life.

The analysis of phone calls is one of the true foundations for solving the puzzle of learning who are the terrorists who are planning to do us harm and cause devastation.

As a former military officer and former member of the National Security Agency community, I can state that the NSA is not out to truncate the liberties of our country but to prevent individuals of a dubious nature from taking away our life and liberty.

I agree that oversight needs to be continued. But it must not put in jeopardy our ability to obtain information we need to keep the bad guys at bay.

Let the terrorists sit and sweat about being picked up at any moment.

They know who they are, and so will we.

Chris Greco

Baltimore

NSA abuse of power must be challenged

The National Security Agency's spying and massive phone record database represent a serious abuse of power.

Contrary to the suggestion by the writer of "NSA phone logs omit private information" (letters, May 18), Americans have the right to privacy about whom and when they call as much as about what they say.

In addition, this nefarious spying enterprise is not limited to international phone calls.

Rather, information about the domestic calls of ordinary Americans is being compiled into perhaps the largest database ever created in the United States.

Congress should issue subpoenas to force government officials and phone company executives to truthfully answer questions about President Bush's warrantless surveillance of Americans.

Without a system of checks and balances, the government can monitor any phone call or e-mail it wants to, and can collect and disseminate any data it finds in any way it likes.

The president cannot be allowed to break the law, spy on Americans without warrants and systematically undermine our constitutional rights and freedoms. This abuse of power must not stand.

Preetmohan Singh

Chevy Chase

The writer is a member of the board of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Stilling the voice of nation's tongue?

On Thursday night, the Senate voted to "preserve and enhance the role of English as the national language of the United States," and President Bush said Friday that he agrees with that bill ("Official-English measure passes," May 19).

Yet Mr. Bush's fiscal 2007 budget calls for the end of worldwide English broadcasting on the Voice of America.

If English is as basic to our identity as Americans as the Senate and the president have suggested, wouldn't you think that the international radio service identified as America's voice should speak English?

Neil Currie

Potomac

The writer is a news anchor for the Voice of America.

`Get in on' the need to improve the city

I find it amusing that The Sun would ask locals what they think of the city's new slogan: "Get In On It" ("Baltimore's new bait," May 20).

The branding, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with locals, as we are, in fact, already "in on it"; rather, it is designed to lure others here for tourism and generate revenue.

And I hope it does, because that would help the city fulfill the new slogan that it really needs: "Maintenance: Get On With It."

Carl Hyman

Baltimore

The writer is president of the Tuscany-Canterbury Neighborhood Association.

A slogan for the city that doesn't read?

The new slogan for Baltimore -"Get In On It" - is all two- and three-letter words ("Baltimore's new bait," May 20).

I hope that this slogan is not also subtly advertising a new reading level for the city that used to read.

Ruth Cullison

Towson

U.S. does owe aid to the Palestinians

After reading the letter "West doesn't owe aid to Palestinians" (May 9), I was only left with feelings of disgust.

It is U.S. aid to Israel that facilitates Israel's destruction (and theft) of Palestinian infrastructure such as economically important agricultural land.

The Israelis are not withholding aid to the Palestinians. It would be more accurate to say that they are depriving Palestinians of tax revenue that rightfully belongs to them.

And we in the United States do owe aid to the Palestinians.

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