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Letters: National security and privacy at odds

A sign stands outside the National Security Administration

A sign stands outside the National Security Administration campus in Fort Meade, Md. (June 6, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

I always considered myself a staunch constitutionalist, but I must accept the fact that our forefathers never could have foreseen the threats and dangers in the 21st-century world in which we live.

If some privacy is the price I must pay for the safety and protection of myself and my family, I will willingly pay it.

After 9/11, my question was, “Where was our intelligence?” After the smaller attack in 1993, and other terrorist attacks on U.S. forces overseas, how could our government not have seen this coming?

For the sake of prevention, the government is welcome to listen in to my boring phone conversations and see my emails. Those of us who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear.

I am also a staunch supporter of transparency. However, had I been privy to the Navy Seals’ plan to capture Osama bin Laden, so would have bin Laden been privy — and it never would have happened!

Irene Majcher, East Meadow

 

Newsday columnist Ellis Henican can’t understand the anger expressed by Rep. Peter King regarding reporters who leak classified material.

“Keeping the people informed,” as Henican puts it, used to involve reporters exposing politicians or companies that are corrupt or abusive. This is proper use of the media, and Americans see the value in that.

However, most Americans do not approve of reporters who, in their eagerness to be seen as the next Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein, will spill any classified material just because it is classified, regardless of the national security consequences.

If terror plots have to be broken up too early, before all suspects can be traced and arrested, because a reporter goes public with classified information, the plotters may attempt to strike again. How does this help “the people”?

It’s too bad Henican chose to dismiss King’s concern with a flip remark. King is entirely correct that reporters compromising national security should be dealt with accordingly. 

Leslie Dimmling, Garden City

Editor’s note: The writer’s husband was killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11. 

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