Do Right-Wingers Really Want to Encourage Big Brother to Spy on Us?

RECEIVED Tue., Feb. 7, 2006

Dear Editor,
    Right-wingers on the radio and elsewhere are saying, "If you've got nothing to hide, you shouldn't be afraid of Bush's domestic spying program." A real conservative (or liberal) would never say such a thing, knowing the importance of checks and balances in a democracy.
    My question to the right-wingers is this: If Bush has nothing to hide, why is he afraid of judicial oversight? The answer is obvious to someone like me, who lived through Nixon's paranoid regime.
    Bush's spying is not limited to terrorist conversations. It goes far beyond what even the compliant FISA court would approve. As evidenced by other surveillance programs, such as the Pentagon's TALON, what gathers information on American protest groups, Bush is doing just what Nixon did. He's preparing an enemies list. He will then use the resources of the federal government to persecute those personal enemies, just as Nixon used the FBI and IRS in his day.
Ben Hogue
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