The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Bush has right to spy for sake of national security

Just like any American, I want to know whether my country is pursuing illegal activities, especially those conducted on its own citizens. For me to learn that my government is spying on me and listening in on my phone conversations and tracking me would have me irate.

There are a few things, however, that people leave out in the NSA wiretap story. The first is that the Bush/NSA wiretaps aren’t conducted on just any or all U.S. citizens. The program being conducted is directed toward people on the terrorist watch list, with known ties to terrorist groups. The phone conversations focus particularly on individuals found on the terrorist watch list, calling countries with known terrorist ties, such as Syria and Iran.

Secondly, if Bush authorizing these wiretaps is constitutionally illegal and wrong, then why haven’t charges been brought against him? Why hasn’t he been impeached? Why aren’t all the Democrats and Republicans screaming for his resignation and providing evidence to take him to court over these taps? Apparently, there hasn’t been for different reasons.

The main point though is that Bush has every right to be mad at the media. The media’s main reason for existence is to present factual and truthful information to the public to be informed. Many agree that many media outlets don’t do that.

By disclosing and bringing to light secret wiretaps that again, mind you, taps the phones of people who are known terrorists or those with ties to them, allows our enemies to gain knowledge of our tactics in tracking them down and preventing future attacks.

When writing about the wiretaps, it is not the media’s job to disclose top secret information. The more and more actions of our government are disclosed to the general public, the less of a fighting chance we have to succeed against terrorists because now they are open to receiving this information as well.

It is not the media’s role to write on the front page of their paper their political opinions but instead to specifically to state facts. As I mentioned earlier, there still hasn’t been any proof presented that these wiretaps are illegal; therefore, it is not the place of the media to start a smear tactic in regard to the president’s plan.

Disclosing top secret information is damaging to our country. Just as our president has a moral obligation to do what is right, so does the media. They need to re-assess what they put out. Before a story is broken it needs to be examined whether or not it makes sense to release it for the benefit of the people, not to grab more readers.

True, the Bush administration has made some bad choices in how they approached certain things.

Nevertheless, Republicans and Democrats alike have supported many of his plans. Democrats signed off to go to war in Iraq. Many Democrats voted to approve the controversial Patriot Act.

So there is much blame to go around. Bush’s approval ratings are low, but our U.S. Congress’s ratings are even lower. To not evade from the matter at hand, it is as important for the media to watch what they publish just as it is for the president to make the right decisions.

The media is not a forum to bash the Bush administration, which much of it has done. The media’s job is to present facts and let people make their own opinions, not to try and form them for you. All our jobs should be held to high standards, including members of the media.

Not too long ago, the New York Times had a man by the name of Jason Blair on their payroll, who worked there for a significant period of time, all the while forging and plagiarizing articles.

We all make mistakes, but revealing our government’s anti-terrorism tactics to the public and the entire world, borders on treason.

Politics and life in general are not as clear-cut or simple as many try and make them out to be.

Phillip Blake can be reached at

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