Who Do You Trust?

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President Obama

The early response to today's security vs. privacy column has been from people who don't trust government. At all.

In general terms, I don't "trust" government either, and I have written enough columns to substantiate my view. But I do not think all politicians are corrupt or untrustworthy.  

If you think the government should not surveil citizens ever, under any circumstances, you are inviting attacks on the homeland. There is a legitimate need for intelligence agencies abroad and at home. If you can't see the need for that, I can't explain it.

The issue is where do you draw the line, who draws it and who checks to make sure the government doesn't violate the rules? That's where the discussion should take place.

If you are really serious about not accepting government intrusion into your privacy, you should never submit to screening before boarding an airline. That's more coercive than anything else the government has done to me (as far as I know).

I can't tell you how depressed I felt when I used the Freedom of Information act to get my dossier from the government. There was hardly anything there. I felt like I had wasted much of my career.

The last line, of course, is a joke.

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