Perils of the national security state

I fear that what Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger praises as bipartisan support for the Intelligence Authorization Act is actually blind support for an increasingly powerful national security agenda characterized by excessive secrecy, lack of oversight and a surveillance paradigm based on the premise that all Americans are suspects, regardless of reasonable suspicion ("Bipartisan cooperation on intelligence bill," Dec. 23).

It's curious that on matters concerning the national security state or war, a Congress deeply divided over domestic issues marches in lock step. Can you imagine any significant congressional opposition if, say tomorrow the president unleashed the dogs of war on Iran?

Despite the enormity of the issue and its consequences, our elected officials in both houses would be scrambling to outdo each other in patriotic fervor and vehement denunciations of our new "enemy."

John G. Bailey, Edgemere

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