As many people have heard, another man has leaked some secret government information. This time it’s about a huge database that the NSA is collecting of every phone call and email we send. (Everyone, all of us.) There are plenty of reasons to be upset by the fact that our government is keeping a record of every single phone call and every single email that we send or receive. I guess we’re supposed to be glad that they won’t listen to or read them unless we pose a threat. Of course we’re sure that they know just who does pose a threat.

Anyway, there’s one aspect to this mess that keeps bothering me. The guy who leaked the secrets wasn’t even hired by the government. He was an employee of Booz Allen Hamilton. Who the heck are they? What gives them the right to record all of our information? Is our national security really safe in the hands of a for profit corporation? Also, since everybody is so upset about government spending, is it really cheaper to hire contractors to do all of our government’s dirty business.

Our government used many contractors to carry out the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, often with disastrous results. We have privatized many prisons. Often these contractors aren’t bound by the same laws as government employees are. There is also the question of the corporations’ need to make a profit for their shareholders.

Is assuring their profit really in the best interests of our country?

Abby Shahn


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