Dear F.B.I.,

Since you enjoy spying on American citizens, I figure I’ll just go ahead and address this post to you.

In today’s New York Times Magazine, the section “The Way We Live Now” focuses on the Bush administration’s latest “post-9/11 civil-liberties abuse(s),” in the article “Who’s Watching the F.B.I.?” by Jefferey Rosen. According to last month’s report from the inspector general of the Justice Department, the F.B.I’s power to issue national-security letters after the Patriot Act was enacted, has increased exponentially. The number is up to over 140,000, “many involving people with no obvious connections to terrorism.”

These letters allow the F.B.I. to collect personal data about anyone whom they deem suspicious, and/or linked to terrorism. Which, in a nutshell, means whoever they feel like. Domestic surveillance is swell and all, if those who are watching us can provide reasonable suspicion and evidence to justify doing so. However, post-Patriot Act national-security letters are immune to independent review.

Evidence, shmevidence. Who needs it? The F.B.I. and the Bush administration clearly just need to do their job, and we should just step aside and allow them to do so. They should be able to read our emails, listen to our phone calls, and watch us shower.

After all, terrorism can only be stopped if our administration knows what underwear we’re wearing.

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