The Fourth Amendment states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
These absolutely clear requirements were enacted in direct response to the British crown’s abuse of “general warrants” to control dissidents and collect taxes.
The NSA tracking of communications is essentially being conducted under a general warrant. Ken Clark (Letters, June 18) feels that if one terrorist operation is stopped then the NSA snooping is justified.
I respectfully disagree that the Constitution should be discarded at will to provide a false sense of security, in a futile attempt to make the world feel perfectly safe. It isn’t.
The 1.3 million American soldiers who have died in battle since the Revolutionary War took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. We should not lightly betray them out of some generalized fear.
— Ken Higgins