Thursday, December 29, 2005

“…And I Did Not Speak Out”

My friend Bob does not limit his comments to this blog; when he sees someone saying something he disagrees with, he lets them know it. Today he responds to a letter in the Miami Herald.

First is a letter from someone who obviously doesn’t care if the government taps his phones:

Robert Steinback’s Dec. 16 column, Fear destroys what bin Laden could not, reveals his detachment from reality. One of government’s essential roles is to protect its citizens from harm.

Let’s not forget that the terrorists’ goal is to kill Americans. No doubt they are planning more attacks. The Israelis are stopping 90 percent of all homicide bombers because their security services have advance information about attacks.

Our domestic wiretaps may have provided us with vital information to prevent attacks in the United States. I do not understand why we should be concerned about the civil liberties of individuals who intend to kill innocent civilians. Have we forgotten the 3,000 victims of 9/11 already?

This is a great country. I fully support President Bush’s action and commend him for his commitment and efforts to protect us.

BERND WOLLSCHLAEGER, North Miami Beach

Here’s Bob’s reply:

Re the Dec. 26 letter Wiretaps justified: After reading the writer’s comment that, “Anybody can feel free to wiretap my phones. I have nothing to hide,” I thought of this poem by Martin Niemoller:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out —

because I was not a communist;

Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out —

because I was not a socialist;

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out —

because I was not a trade unionist;

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —

because I was not a Jew;

Then they came for me —

and there was no one left to speak out for me.

One could add: “Then they came for the terrorists, and I did not speak out — because I am not a terrorist.”

Good going, Bob.