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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Something Reasonable

Thursday
August 17, 2006

A federal judge in Detroit ruled today that the federal government's secret wiretapping program is unconstitutional. Finally, some intelligence is being applied to this egregious situation.

Working within the system of checks and balances, government investigators previously had to go to a judge to receive permission for a wiretap. They could do go even 48 hours *after* the fact, which I don't particularly like, but it's at least reasonable.

President Bush has gone on record threatening the New York Times and other media outlets for reporting on stories that did not sit well with the administration. Fascism anyone? That, combined with the absurd unwillingness by Congress to create any sort of national shield law for journalists and their sources, has lead to a dangerous situation where reporters could easily be harmed by those in the federal government looking to quash the free spread of information.

There are many, many examples of abuse of power by those in the government. The axiom "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" is accurate. An unchecked arm of the federal government stands to do more harm that good to the country.

Some will wave the terrorism flag in attempting to give the federal government increased freedom. That is a red herring designed to create an emotional response while more of your freedom is stripped from you. You *do* have the right to privacy, including privacy from the federal government. It's up to you to vote for lawmakers who recognize that.

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