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Government monitoring may be a necessary evil

After speaking at a Veterans Day ceremony in 2001, a reporter asked me what my thoughts were about the 9/11 attacks. As a veteran, I said that we now find ourselves in a world war without end; a war unlike any other our nation has fought. The enemy wears no uniform, represents no nation and could be anywhere. The existing technology of our world – high-speed aircraft, cellphones, computers and nuclear weapons – has been turned against us. Must we ourselves be content forever hereafter with living under enemy threat 24/7 like the citizens of Israel?

Granted, I, too, feel uncomfortable knowing that our government has the ability to monitor telephone and computer transmissions. Privacy issues and possible violations of our constitutional freedoms can be argued as abuse of government power. But if available protections like these are not used to foil the plans of our enemies to destroy America, the groups rallying against our counterterrorism efforts will be the first ones to cry that the United States didn’t employ this technology to protect our citizens and thwart our enemies.

Warren Baltes

West Amherst