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Government secrets

July 10, 2007

Re "Court supports Bush on wiretaps," July 7

Like George Orwell's Newspeak, we need a new language for the legal environment that President Bush's conservative judges have created. "Not guilty by reason of secrecy" -- is there anything the government can't do, as long as it keeps it secret? But calling this support for Bush is going too far -- he got off on a technicality. Defenders of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby say no underlying crime was ever proved -- here, we will never know if there even was one.

The only good thing about all this is that nothing stays secret forever, so someday we will find someone with legal standing in this case. But meanwhile, we are all a little less free than we were BB: "Before Bush."


Shadow Hills


So attorneys complain that the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision will cause them consternation about maintaining telephonic and e-mail relationships with people who are suspected of belonging to Al Qaeda, a group of terrorists who are committed to killing us. This is supposed to be a constitutional crisis? Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson got it exactly right in 1949 when he wrote that the Constitution is not a "suicide pact."

Perhaps concerned journalists and attorneys should move overseas to be at one with their suspected terrorist sources and their clients. Then they will have nothing to fear from the Terrorist Surveillance Program.


Los Angeles


Why headline your story on the domestic spying program, "Court supports Bush on wiretaps," when this isn't true? The court did not find that the Bush wiretaps were legal. What it did say was that those challenging the program did not have the legal standing to do so. Here is a headline that is the same length as yours and has the added advantage of being true: "Court denies wiretap challenge."


Santa Monica


Re "Hush-hush, sweet liberty," editorial, July 7

President Bush is so secretive about his administration that if the American people only knew the full extent of his secrecy and cover-ups, I think he would not only be run out of office, he would be serving time in jail.




It almost ruined my day hearing about that journalist who had to drop a story rather than risk betraying a source through a wiretap, and that poor lawyer, fearful of being wiretapped, who elected not to communicate with an overseas client. I could barely sleep! And all because our government is trying to save thousands of American lives by protecting us against another 9/11 tragedy. What silly priorities!



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