While the protection of individual civil liberties from an intrusive government is at the core of the Constitution, it should not be a shield for those who are plotting the murder of innocent civilians.  As Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson once said, "The Constitution is not a suicide pact."

We need more tools, not fewer, to defeat the terrorists.  The secret surveillance program, instituted in the wake of the 9-11 attacks, is an effective tool in tracking suspected terrorists.  It only monitors international phone calls to or from the United States where one of the parties is suspected to have links to al Qaeda or other terrorist networks.  Those not part of these terror networks have nothing to worry about.  The concept behind this program is easy to understand:  Find out where the terrorists live, who pays them, and who they are meeting with.  Next, use this information to get them before they get you.  That's what the American people expect.