To the editor: The 1953 U.S. vs. Reynolds "state secrets" case is rightly condemned for being premised upon self-serving falsities foisted upon the courts by government officials. So too have your opinion pages joined condemnation of the factually challenged Korematsu case, which upheld "Japanese internment" during World War II. ("Are state secrets really at stake in Irvine mosque surveillance case?," editorial, Dec. 27)
The alarms raised by members of the targeted mosques about the violence-espousing FBI infiltrator in their midst starkly puts the lie to any assertion that the FBI possessed any suspicious facts relating to terrorism, led alone facts sufficient to justify this clay-footed and despicable encroachment on religious freedom.
Replace racial bigotry in Korematsu with religious bigotry in this FBI operation that targeted Southern California mosques, and fear-mongering, secrecy and "the ends justify the means" reasoning are the common denominators.
Hopefully, the courts will recognize in the lawsuits against the FBI by the Muslims it targeted for surveillance that Reynolds can no more be used to justify closing the courthouse doors to victims of government abuse than can the historical blot of Korematsu.
David L. Clark, Culver City
To the editor: Perhaps if the FBI had more confidential informants in mosques both locally and nationally — getting phone numbers and names and keeping track of what the congregants were up to — and perhaps had our federal immigration officials not been so asleep at the switch, the San Bernardino shooters' murderous intentions could have been detected and the lives of 14 people spared.
Eternal vigilance must be the sine qua non these days, and if that means more intrusion into our daily lives by our government, I and surely millions of my fellow Americans am fine with it if it will keep us safe.
Bill Bell, Mar Vista