Thursday letters: Police spying violates constitution

SHARE Thursday letters: Police spying violates constitution

NATO Summit protesters in Chicago in 2012. | Sun-Times file photo

In your editorial “Police snooping raises civil liberty worries” (Sept. 29) you state that the police engaged in spying on a 2009 rally sponsored by the Service Employees International Union and on other citizens. You say that “police officials justified their dubious snooping by saying “anarchists” might attend …” (emphasis added).

It is true that anarchists might have attended the rally. It is also true that there might have been some other troublemakers there. But it is also true that the moon might have been made of green cheese, or the Earth might have been flat. There are an infinite number of “mights” that one can talk about, but in the real world the police need to act on more than that. They need to have just cause before spying on citizens exercising their constitutional rights. There was a reason why the U.S. Constitution had the Bill of Rights added and there is a reason for the Illinois Constitution to have its Bill of Rights, and this is a prime example. Thomas Jefferson said that people should not fear their government; but government should fear its people.

It’s sad that we are ignoring Jefferson’s dictum and are too willing to accept this reversal. We need to be aware of the dangers involved in police spying and demand an end to it.

George Milkowski, West Ridge

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I have been following the circus surrounding the renewal of one of the few federal government agencies that actually works at creating US jobs: the Ex-Im Bank. Factor in that it shows a profit for the taxpayer and it is absolutely disgraceful that partisan politics are preventing its charter from being authorized again. Your editorial “Save Export-Import Bank — and U.S. jobs” — Sept. 28) was spot on. Ex-Im helps the U.S. (and Illinois companies) sell their products around the world. Contrary to Mr. Pete Hegseth’s rebuttal (“Outdated Export-Import Bank is New Deal relic — Sept. 28), small businesses are definitely the beneficiary of Ex-Im’s efforts. I urge all taxpayers to write their House and Senate representatives, urging them to support the Ex-Im and not let politics hurt our country once again.

Mitchell Dulin, Winnetka

Jesse White’s announcement that his office will stop sending out reminders to renew vehicle registrations (“White: It’s up to you to remember to renew your plates — Sept. 29) struck a chord with me. Rather than offer a solution to a problem about mailing expenses, he used his office (and the news media) as an opportunity to take a swipe at the governor. Why not simply do what some banks have done for years: add a fee for those that insist on receiving a paper statement rather than a free email. To threaten long waits at the Secretary of State’s office to renew registrations or the spectacle of not receiving important documents from his office due to an empty postage account once again puts the citizen in the middle of our state government’s dysfunctional budgetary mess.

Gary L . Forcier, Sauganash

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