, Newburyport, MA


August 2, 2013

How much does government need to know?


Accepting all of that demands trust of, by and for the people that raises a question.

How much about each of us is the government entitled to know?

Certainly more than a credit card company, but how much, and why?

That is the question.

Just what does “a government of the people, by the people, for the people” mean, and what limits on freedom can we accept without losing what we have so long endured to achieve?

I can live without a credit card because it is a convenience. Government is a necessity.

I have no question that young Bradley Manning believes he has done the right thing. There’s a case to be made for that, the short of it being our dependency upon our government to safeguard us at a time when the possibility of catastrophe is important, but just how far should it go?

Justice will be done according to the law, but it’s what will follow the precedence of his action and its consequences to freedom that remains askew.

As for my credit card, it would be easy to simply destroy it, but it’s reassuring that its management is doing what it believes to be in my interest.


Bill Plante is a Newbury resident and staff columnist. His e-mail address is

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