Even though it’s a little trite to compare President Bush’s intelligence to one of a fifth grader, Fran Quigley boldly sticks with the 2002 playcard (First Person, “Illegal Bush spying,” Feb. 15-22) and dishes out some powerfully clever quips in his last article, like: “President Bush must have been absent that day in class” {the day they learned about separation of powers in the 5th grade}.

Fran you’re a journalistic genius, that’s obvious to anyone. However, let me humbly offer some rebuttal to your masterpiece. The NSA does not spy on “innocent Americans” or “any phone call or email it desires”; it intercepts international communication between Americans and foreigners who are on a very specific CIA terrorist-watch list. I noticed you didn’t back up the statement “news reports suggest federal agents {are}... potentially invading the privacy of virtually every American.” Which news reports were those, Franny?

What else … oh yeah, “the cold war was used as an excuse by the Kennedy and Johnson administration for FBI surveillance on peaceful activists.” I take it you haven’t read the Venona report (1995). It’s been declassified for 10 years now, it’s available to anyone. Read it. And it goes on and on: blah, blah, illegal, blah, unconstitutional, blah, Nixon, blah, blah. But what strikes me most is the ACLU’s double standard on how to interpret the constitution. Interpreting the 2nd amendment to allow wire tapping is a gross misuse of executive power. Interpreting the 9th Amendment to allow abortion-on-demand is no misuse of judicial power, but an appreciation of a living, breathing constitution; one which reflects the current social and political climate. Anyway, stop dumbing-down the spying issue, it’s a little more complex than fifth grade history.

Mike Margeson

Indianapolis

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