Government should hang up on listening in


Re “The wiretaps shouldn’t bug us,” Opinion, Jan. 18

Max Boot is smart enough to know that the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping did not intercept “communications between terrorists and their contacts in the U.S.” Rather, vast numbers of telephone calls and other electronic communications -- raw information about which little or nothing was known in advance -- were intercepted just to see whether something of interest was being discussed. The NSA didn’t seek warrants because it knew no judge would issue them.

This is like the argument for torture, in which the subject knows where the bomb is located that will blow up New York in an hour, but he won’t give up its location unless he is tortured. The problem is that in practically every case you don’t know what the subject knows, so you torture him to see what he will say.


Marina del Rey



I can only characterize Boot’s right-wing reasoning as normal for him -- that Bush can do no wrong. The jury is still out and yet Boot already knows the verdict. There have been intrusions on American citizens, not just alleged terrorists. Boot would have us believe that there are terrorists lurking on every street corner.

I urge The Times to identify Boot as an apologist for the right wing.


Santa Monica