Editor, Daily Press:

As a loyal American citizen, I am appalled by this administration’s contempt for the rule of law. This use of the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans without the use of court-approved warrants is a violation of the Constitution’s search and seizure doctrine. It reminds me of Richard Nixon’s comment: “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” Remember Watergate?

The rationale given is that the post - 9-11 congressional resolution authorized the president to ignore the Constitution and federal statutes. If one reviews the discussion of Congress before that resolution, no such intent is there. It was crafted as a very limited statement that reiterates the constitutional power of the president, but did not grant new powers to him.

Further, the idea that speed is of the essence and courts would slow the government down is not true. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act created secret courts that could provide legal warrants to the government retroactively. One judge of this court has resigned over the administration’s unwillingness to use the court. In the 25 years this court has existed, only four warrants out of 15,000 have been denied, according to the government’s own records. That’s not even a speed bump.

Finally, the administration is playing on the fear factor. The government keeps reminding us of 9-11. Now, we haven’t had an attack since then. But when did we have one before then? Dec. 7, 1941, comes to mind, but nothing since then. Frankly, I don’t feel my civil rights are protected now as well as they were a decade ago. If we are going to tell the rest of the world that we are a model of democracy, we have a moral obligation to act in that mode.

Let your senators and representative know if you have concerns about the current direction of this country.

Jeannette Wilson



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