Controversial secret wiretapping activities launched by former President George Bush following 9/11 stirred understandable privacy concerns. But they also provided vital evidence for the arrest and recent conviction of three British Muslims in a plot to destroy at least seven and as many as 18 trans-Atlantic airliners in the summer of 2006. This case demonstrates a continuing challenge of our modern age — how to strike the right balance between protecting free people from terrorism while protecting them from excessive government monitoring.
President Bush was accused of recklessly exceeding his constitutional authority in his efforts to quell the threat of further terrorism after 9/11. But the surveillance that was undertaken saved lives — possibly thousands of them.
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