Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Opinion

June 18, 2013

Stop the NSA grandstanding

In the June 18 edition of The Wall Street Journal, Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), discussed the mischaracterizations of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) counterterrorism programs and the consequences of damaging intelligence leaks:

Last week, Edward Snowden, a National Security Agency contractor, attempted to make a political point by leaking several documents that have seriously harmed America's ability to identify and respond to terrorist threats. As damaging as Mr. Snowden's disclosures are to public safety, I am also troubled by the decision of several members of Congress to mischaracterize this leak to advance their personal and political agendas.

I don't blame citizens for their concern about these secretive NSA programs. Personal privacy and civil liberties are important to all Americans and are protected by the Constitution. Unfortunately, the Obama administration—especially of late—has fueled people's distrust of government, which has made the reaction to Mr. Snowden's leak far worse.

The recent IRS scandal, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's contradictory statements regarding his role in the Justice Department's investigations into journalists, and the administration's inadequate and inconsistent responses to the attacks on our diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, are just a few examples of how the Obama administration has widened the trust deficit plaguing the country.

Though it is more difficult to quantify than the fiscal deficit, the trust deficit is just as profound, providing plenty of reason for many Americans to believe reports about the NSA's intrusiveness in their private lives. Fortunately, the reports are almost uniformly distorted or false.

Following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the American people demanded that the intelligence community be able to "connect the dots" to prevent terrorist attacks. Had the recently revealed programs been available to the NSA before 9/11, we likely could have identified some or all of the hijackers before they murdered thousands.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Reader disagrees with senator Reader disagrees with senator Dear Editor, Senator Coats, a recent editorial titled, "Freeing Hoosier job creators," described your Sound Regulation Act. You said, "The bill would require every federal agency to engage in an extensive analysis to d

    April 15, 2014

  • Remembering those who defend our freedom When we send out our presession surveys each year, they generally show that Hoosiers are concerned with issues such as jobs and education, and rightfully so. While veterans' issues may not immediately come to mind as a pressing concern, many people w

    April 15, 2014

  • Moving up economic ladder begins in childhood New national research reveals that America is still a land of opportunity, but many Indiana communities rank poorly in fostering upward economic mobility for children and youth. According to Harvard University's Equality of Opportunity Project, despi

    April 8, 2014

  • Modest achievements for Gov. Pence INDIANAPOLIS - We aren't quite to the halfway point of Gov. Mike Pence's term, but he's now through his second Indiana General Assembly session and this week signed into law the state's first Pre-Kindergarten program, cut the corporate tax, and provi

    April 8, 2014

  • From the mayor Libraries are vital to communities WHEREAS, libraries help lives change in their communities, campuses and schools; WHEREAS, librarians work to meet the changing needs of their communities, including providing resources for everyone and bringing ser

    April 8, 2014

  • Hunters harvest less deer in 2013 It looks as if the 2013 season is coming in as the eighth best season for Indiana deer hunters. Statistics show hunters harvested fewer deer in the 2013 season than in each of the previous five seasons. Hearing the annual tally might be sobering new

    April 1, 2014

  • Salute military youth, too WHEREAS, thousands of brave Americans have demonstrated their courage and commitment to freedom by serving the armed forces of the United States of America in active duty posts in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world; and WHEREAS, more than 19,000

    March 28, 2014

  • Retired baker grateful to customers Retired baker grateful to customers Dear Editor, Forty-one years ago I had a dream to open a cake shop. My three boys were young so I was only able to do cakes as a hobby. I baked and decorated cakes for 20 years after working a full-time job outsid

    March 25, 2014

  • Many OA high points this year Many OA high points this year Dear Editor, On behalf of the entire Oldenburg Academy family, I wish to say thank you to the Batesville/Oldenburg community, businesses, families, alums and various well-wishers whose support and encouragement meant so

    March 25, 2014

  • Letter to the editor Ziemke out of tune with constituents Dear Editor, In The Herald-Tribune article "Legislators reveal their thoughts on HJR-3" Feb. 21, our legislators revealed the reasoning for their votes on HJR-3, which would have amended the state Constitution to

    March 18, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Facebook