June 13, 2013

Another View: Columnist overstates concerns about anti-terror intelligence

Obama’s drone warfare and data mining operation are neither novel nor unwise.

If David Rohde has won two Pulitzer Prizes for reporting, it sure was not evident in his Sunday column regarding federal government surveillance of email and phone calls (“NSA monitoring reveals excess government power,” June 8).


Jerry Blodgett is a resident of Topsham.

In the first place, this surveillance is not any recent news.

It was widely reported and debated after the 9/11 attacks – so it is not an “unprecedented level” of surveillance by President Obama, but dates back to the prior Republican administration.

Second, while describing drone attacks that killed American citizens, Mr. Rohde conveniently fails to mention where these citizens were and what activities they were engaged in when attacked.

If someone chooses to function as an enemy combatant, they should not expect the same treatment as if the were lying on Old Orchard Beach. Lastly, regarding drone strikes, they certainly carry risks – but so does the alternative.   

Just ask any of the families of the casualties of our most recent two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   

Given the fact there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and we invaded a sovereign country to eventually see its leader hanged – a drone strike would have saved tens of thousands of American casualties and many hundreds of billions of dollars in cost and reached the same end.

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