Two articles in the September 3 issue focused on protecting America. In "Getting Real About Threats," Randall Larsen encourages putting a firm lock on nuclear material around the world and instituting a national ID program.
Mortimer B. Zuckerman's "The Case for Surveillance" makes the point that electronic surveillance is essential in the war on terrorism despite liberal views to the contrary. It goes on to suggest that getting a long-term commitment for such things is difficult because the current administration has lost its moral authority. I agree with both and appreciate their candid assessments of the very real problem of protecting America.
Gary H. Boyd
Zuckerman makes the same mistake that the government made in 2001. It was not the lack of raw intelligence that allowed 9/11 to happen but the failure to properly understand and correlate the information we had. Analysis failed, not intelligence-gathering. By the same token, if the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court was jammed with too much work, then the solution is not to discontinue the court but to expand the number of judges so the warrants could be addressed in a timely manner. Under the old law, the government was able to listen without a warrant as long as the warrant was applied for within three days. Consequently, the old act adequately protected America's ability to gather intelligence. The old law may have required some work and effort on the part of the executive branch, but is not that what the government is for in the first place? While national security is important, we must remember that if we allow ourselves to become like the enemy, then indeed we will have already lost.
J. Michael Hill
Allen Park, Mich.
"The Case for Surveillance" was another right-on editorial. All Americans should be willing to undergo surveillance in reasonable and effective ways by our elected government to help prevent another massive terrorist attack. It is not politics. Modern terrorism is an attack on human civilization, which must be defended.
John A. McVickar