Surveillance state: Why it’s wrong

Here is a letter to the NYTimes from someone I have probably never agreed with before about anything. But it points up some of our universal interests as citizens of a free country.

The National Security Agency’s indiscriminate surveillance of American citizens contradicts the Constitution’s moral cornerstones: It is better to be the victim of injustice than to be complicit in it; we knowingly take risks under the Fourth Amendment to avoid injuring the innocent; the right to be left alone is the most cherished right among civilized peoples; and every citizen is crowned with a strong presumption of loyalty and love of country. When these cornerstones are chronically flouted, liberty withers and dies.

Washington, Nov. 26, 2013

The writer, a former associate deputy attorney general in the Reagan administration, is the author of “American Empire Before the Fall.”


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