My letter is in response to the Feb. 22 letter by Greg Barnhisel ("Gen. Hayden Doesn't Deserve Such an Honor"). I was born and raised on Pittsburgh's North Side and have been a resident my entire life. To bash Gen. Michael Hayden for serving our country for 40 years is a disgrace. To erect a street sign in his honor is the least that our city should do.
The ideas presented by Mr. Barnhisel that the National Security Agency was spying on innocent Americans is ludicrous. The terrorist surveillance program operated by the agency intercepted the calls of known members of al-Qaida and their affiliates, and these intercepts were specifically targeted. The program has been proved to be lawful, effective and necessary to the security of America.
I strongly believe in freedom of speech, but one should know what he or she is talking about before exercising that right.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gen. Hayden for keeping our great country as safe as it can be while operating within the parameters of the law. A simple street sign is an honor that he deserves more than any sports figure.
It makes me proud to know that I grew up in the same neighborhood as such a great American as Gen. Michael Hayden.