Sorting calls is useless exercise


Is there anyone in this country who can see the absurdity of secrets?

Suppose we were able to sort through all the phone calls ever made to al-Qaida by Americans. What would you do if you were al-Qaida? Probably make 10,000 random calls to Americans each week.

Listening in on people’s calls and reading people’s mail does not enhance intelligence. At best, it creates a lot of data that cannot be converted to reliable information. It’s like taking a picture of every chicken in the world to see if you can find the one missing from your barnyard.

We are about to put the guy who supports this kind of behavior in charge of the CIA, and no one is saying it doesn’t work in spite of the fact that no one, as far as I know, has ever prevented bad things for our country by knowing someone else’s secrets.

We already know far more than we can manage effectively. For example, 90 percent of our port activity is vulnerable as a gateway for a Trojan horse.

Is everyone in Washington a moron? Keeping track of who is calling whom is not so much a privacy issue as it is useless.

Suppose Rep. Michael Michaud had a chance to talk with Osama bin Laden. Should he not answer the phone? Should he report the contents of the call to the CIA, or to the folks he represents here in Maine?

Jim Tierney, Auburn