Regarding “Anti-leak program casts a wide net” (June 21). When ordinary citizens are encouraged by their own government to “turn in” others, the door is flung wide for abuse. Such policy assumes no one bears a grudge, all citizens are intelligent, honest, not given to blackmail or revenge, and not bribable by government officials looking for promotions. Those accused, even if later exonerated, suffer reputations impugned forever, and their ability to work and live normal lives afterward is severely compromised.
Does no one remember the anti-Nazi movies of the 1940s — how they denounced the evil spying of one citizen upon another and celebrated “the American way” of freedom and justice? How ironic the U.S. has inspired many nations to throw off tyranny and is actually defending its own secret policy encouraging citizens to spy on one another.
We are reduced to our adversaries’ level by allowing ourselves to be terrorized by the terrorists and responding with actions that will subject us to yet more terror — this time from our own government. Our enemies are laughing.
— Barbara Mishler