To counter 'Big Brother,' whistle-blowers are vital

I'm a bit late, but I would like to lend my support to Melvin A. Goodman for his commentary regarding whistle-blowers ("We need more whistle-blowers," June 23).

Whistle-blowers can make contributions toward better government. But now our government is making it too dangerous for most people to even think of doing this; we have become fearful of the consequences of criticizing our own government. "Dissent is patriotic" is to some degree no longer tolerated.

I have recently heard that sales of George Orwell's "1984," in which "Big Brother" is constantly watching, have soared. There appears to be an interest in whether the U.S. is headed in this direction. How far are we willing to go in giving up our privacy in order to feel "safe?" And is all this surveillance really making us any safer?

Doris Rausch, Columbia

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