Tonawanda News

Opinion

July 31, 2013

DUVALL: A second look at national security debate

Tonawanda News — Among the big news in what’s been an uncharacteristically newsie week for the dog days of summer was the conviction of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the source of the WikiLeaks ordeal.

It’s one of two stories in the news that should have Americans questioning just how much they trust their government — the other being the increasingly bizarre saga of Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor who went public with the agency’s massive wire tapping and eavesdropping program.

To be sure privacy has always been a point of friction in the federal government’s attempts to keep Americans safe. How much intelligence-gathering is enough to do the job and how much is too invasive to justify the point of keeping us free and safe?

I generally find myself outside the mainstream on the issue, though probably not in the way most people might guess. 

If there’s one thing I have in common with Tea Party conservatives it’s a general distrust of what the government does in the name of preserving my freedom. 

Does the NSA need to peek in on my personal email? I promise my Gmail account doesn’t have much more than some Groupon offers and a few Facebook and Twitter notifications. My work email? Well I’m not reporting on anything reaching the level of state secrets but it’s a disturbing thought nonetheless that a government agency is hacking into reporters’ email accounts.

There’s a reason they made freedom of speech, expression, religion and the press the First Amendment — because it’s the most important in establishing a truly free and democratic society.

Our government prosecuted Manning, a troubled soldier who was disillusioned with American military affairs on several levels. He had a front row seat and access to classified information that belied the public’s understanding of our conduct in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world. He was also an outcast who struggled for acceptance as a closeted gay soldier back in the days of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which bears some consideration on a personal psychological level if not a larger policy one.

Text Only
Opinion
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Employers don't need 24/7 access to workers

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Taste of Buffalo sneaks up again This time next week you can find me tromping somewhere up and down Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. I'll be there with tens of thousands of my closest friends.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo