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Tuesday, January 10th 2006

Customs Opening Letters

It’s hard to remember those feelings of horror and outrage on September 11th. I never thought I’d say that but I am. Even so, what exactly did we trade in on 9/11 for security?

The news just seems to be getting more bizarre. After the NSA admits snooping on telephone calls to US citizens we get Customs opening up personal letters from overseas.

I don’t want to draw too many conclusions from this dinky little news story but it doesn’t look like these are packages that bomb sniffing dogs are picking out or suspected terrorist funds or weapons. And certainly I understand that before terrorism became a fear of every American, the Customs Bureau was charged with inspecting packages from overseas. Still, it looks like they’re just opening plain personal letters and for what? To make sure it wasn’t communication to a terrorist cell?

“Check it and make sure it’s not in code, Johnson!”

This is a far cry from 1984, but I truly believe in the slippery slope argument. The line continues to be pushed back until, potentially, twenty years from now we’re back at internment camps.