To the editor:
The Manchester Republican Town Committee recently sent this letter to the U.S. Senate majority and minority leaders, as well as the Speaker of the House and the House minority leader.
We did this not expecting immediate policy change, but as a duty of citizenship. We encourage others to do likewise. To paraphrase Edmund Burke, all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men and women say nothing.
Dear Gentlemen and Madam,
At the June 11 meeting of the Manchester by the Sea Republican Town Committee, the committee voted unanimously to voice our concerns regarding the NSA surveillance program on U.S. citizens.
We recognize the challenges in keeping our fellow citizens and our nation safe during these dangerous days of terrorism. As residents of a community north of Boston we know first-hand the horrors that can be inflicted without warning by those bent on harming us and our way of life.
But we also recognize the protections afforded us by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and we strongly oppose programs or policies that strip us of these protections. We respectfully ask that, as elected leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, you take every step necessary to ensure the rights of American citizens are not jeopardized by the overzealous and (what appears to be) cavalier behavior of the National Security Agency.
Let’s not forget the words of Benjamin Franklin, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for your service to our nation.
BYRON L. WINN
(On behalf of the Manchester Republican Town Committee)