MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Editorials

December 27, 2013

Reining in NSA protects our freedom

Curtailing the National Security Agency’s expanded powers to spy on United States citizens is a critical step in our recovery from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

As a nation, we have given up too many of our freedoms after 9/11.

The attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., provided government a key to easily pick the lock on your home.

Government felt it needed to be able to spy on its citizens to protect its citizens from countries and people who spy on their citizens.

The NSA has been monitoring citizens’ phone calls and email without providing citizens with the protection of a court order.

The NSA is conducting searches — without the consent of a judge.

Allowing the NSA to have easy access to the private conversations of U.S. citizens erodes our freedom.

It makes us succumb to the very definition of terrorism. We change the way we live because of fear.

And that’s part of how terrorists succeed.

We must remember what makes this nation great. We were founded with the idea of basic freedoms.

One of the most important is our right to privacy — the protection against government intrusion into our daily lives.

When we are scared, we lose sight of what’s sacred.

A presidential advisory panel has concluded the NSA’s intrusions have not stopped a terror attack.

There is no reason to continue the erosion of our freedoms, especially when you consider the NSA’s attempts have not accomplished its goals.

We must go back to the way our founders envisioned our country.

They fled from a nation that curtailed freedom at the whim of a monarch.

The Constitution was written to prevent the very thing the NSA has accomplished.

A federal judge ruled Friday that the NSA’s bulk collection of telephone records was constitutional. And some say government’s most basic role is to protect its citizens. They say extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.

We agree that role can’t be questioned. We also believe we can’t change who we are in order to achieve that responsibility.

If we abandon our centuries-old beliefs in the face of terror, we lose everything that is great about this country.

We must push to bring the NSA and government back into line with the Constitution.

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