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Your e-mails: Secret wiretaps


George W. Bush
Acts of terror

(CNN) -- President Bush recently defended a secret program that eavesdrops on some international phone calls involving U.S. citizens, saying the United States must be "quick to detect and prevent" possible near-term terrorist attacks. asked readers under what conditions would secret eavesdropping on U.S. citizens be acceptable, if ever? Here are a sampling of the many responses, some of which have been edited:

This is not acceptable and an abuse of power. Just as many suspected, the Patriot Act just weakened our country. In the past, our government worked well because of "checks and balances" but the Patriot Act gives far too much power to the leading party. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Robert Maxwell, Richland, Washington

While we argue about who is right and wrong; who broke the law and who is the better political party; the terrorists will be undetected and waiting for their next strike.
Nick Belfiore, Fort Myers, Florida

Under any and all conditions is and should eavesdropping be allowed. Let President Bush do his job to capture or stop terrorists. The people in the USA need to stop the back-biting and rally together.
Dave, Valdez, Alaska

The FISA courts provide an appropriate mechanism for the administration to seek the authority to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens. Each circumstance that might require secret eavesdropping can/should be reviewed by this court. If time is of the essence, the court can review the surveillance after the fact. This safeguard, however, should be in place.
Lynn Beck, Stockton, California

Under no circumstances is this executive order acceptable or legal. There are already provisions under the law to expedite such a warrant and allow a wiretap, as long as a court order is gained after the fact. This executive order serves one purpose, to allow the president and the executive branch unchecked access. This order allows the president to wiretap without a paper trail. The president contends that this violation of our rights is mandatory, but this presidency's policies and policymakers have all too often wrapped themselves in the flag for their own personal interests.
Lee Ciccarelli, West Chester, Pennsylvania

If people are in contact with a terrorist organization, or in contact with someone who is part of a terrorist organization, I am behind President Bush 100 percent on this. Too bad the Democrats aren't interested in protecting the American people.
Ken Brown, Altus, Oklahoma

Any time a member of government thinks they can bypass the basic rights of its citizens, supposedly to protect them by playing a "big brother," it should cause concern. There need to be checks and balances in effect throughout the court system. To me the president's actions justify impeachment. He has violated the basic rights of the citizens of the USA.
J. Pawel Najman, British Columbia, Canada

Eavesdropping is acceptable if it will help prevent another 9/11. People forget that we were attacked and we are at war with those who attacked us. How many 9/11s will it take for people to understand that in war, you do what is necessary. It's not a game.
Billy Bevard, Bixby, Oklahoma

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