Does the American public have a "right to know" the secrets of the CIA? by Tony Garcia
Answer by Tony Garcia:
I have to disagree somewhat with Shaul Kabakchy. What he feels may be doable with regard to safeguarding information collected on American citizens is not the same as protecting an individual’s right to privacy.
This age of terrorisism notwithstanding, simply because one does not engage in illegal activities does not mean exemption from the protections of the Fourth Amendment. One has the right of dissent. The expression of one’s opinion, however, may likely include one or more of the key words or phrases on the list of NSA’s Prism program. This may in turn subject that person to at least a cursory review by an analyst who, by orders of a capricious superior or Commander-in-Chief, may prompt further investigative action by a government authority.
I have been privy to actions such as these. I have witnessed judgment passed on individuals by their neighbors and associates who had been questioned about the individual by federal and/or military authorities, despite the fact that this person had violated no laws. Once that genie of suspicion is out of the bottle, it cannot be replaced; and the lives ruined by innuendo and fear cannot be made whole again.
The government has a right to protect its citizens, but not at the expense of abrogating one’s rights.