We often think of collateral damage in terms of the sacrifice of civilians to kill enemy combatants. The war on terror has created another form of collateral damage.
The NY Times reported Sunday that the Pentagon and CIA have increased the use of national security letters to obtain the financial records of U. S. citizens. The article went on to report that the Pentagon has already abused the process by collecting financial information on war protesters.
This is collateral damage pure and simple. Anyone who innocently falls victim to a process whose legality and accountability is suspect is just out of luck. Cheney, the Pentagon, and the CIA are not accountable for the damages as long as they claim to be trying to catch the bad guys.
The FBI, CIA, and military now have the authority to intrude into every corner of the citizen’s life and they have no accountability for their actions. While supposedly fighting for freedom overseas, the loss of our own freedoms and protections have become merely more collateral damage.