To the editor:
The increased snooping abilities granted the Justice Department by the federal appeals court are not, as Cal Thomas states in his Nov. 22 column, "necessary and welcome." As I understand it, the tragedy of 9-11 occurred not because the government was unable to gather intelligence, but that they had too few people employed to process the glut of information that they were able to gather. There were plenty of clues that simply went unprocessed or unnoticed that may have led to and stopped the perpetrators of the 9-11 attacks.
Immediately after the tragedy, there was a scramble to hire individuals who could speak Arabic. The Justice Department is able to gather vast amounts of information; it just needs to spend the extra money being thrown at the "war on terrorism" to hire people to analyze this intelligence, instead of encroaching even further on Americans' right to privacy. I realize the difficulty of balancing civil liberties against the need to gather information, but the claim by the Justice Department that it needs more power to tap our phones and read our e-mail is disingenuous, misleading and frightening.