"If you ask Americans whether they want an FBI wire tax in their phone bill, they'll say, “No.” If I ask them whether they want a feature on their telephone which allows me to find their child, if they're taken, they'll say, “Yes.” I think it's a question of perception."
by:
Louis Freeh
(1950- ) FBI Director (1993-2001)
Source:
Testimony on Wiretapping Access, Digital Telephony bill, 13 September 1994
The hearing focused on proposals that require telecommunications providers to include wiretapping capabilities in their networks.
https://www.c-span.org/video/?60140-1/wiretapping-access
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Reader comments about this quote:
This is so true! The current war on terrorism that is at our front door will very soon be used to take away more of our personal freedoms. That's what the plan is in the first place NWO = OWN. Problem, reaction , solution!
 -- David, Sodom     
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    Oldest trick in the book.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    What would my lost child be talking on my phone? Willy, Janet, Louis, and all the crypto-totalitarians were very skilled at verbal judo.
     -- Bob, Eugene, OR     
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    I'm not sure how to rate this crypto-totalitarian verbal judo.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
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    Joe, I'm with you
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Other than to say, how stupid are American's really becoming? WOW! Its almost to scaaarrrry to think about.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The point is that it is all about taking control of the language... framing the very dialog such that the desired result is achieved... sigh...
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    We're doomed. There's no way to educate our entire population against this sort of manipulation.
     -- Anonymous     
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    The implications of this quote are totalitarian and evil. Ron Paul for President!! http://mikesworldblog.blogspot.com/
     -- Mike, Mount Holly, NC     
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    This is one of my favorite quotes, it makes a very important point in a few short words that should set any quasi-intelligent person to connecting the dots. By the way, Mike in Norwalk...there's no apostrophe on the plural form of American. Americans have been dumbed down to the point of earning the title "stupid," but we don't hold all the rights to it. ;-)
     -- Jael, West Virginia     
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    I found this "quote" in a peer-reviewed journal I was studying for an academic paper I am writing. However, after further research and watching the actual hearing it takes place in I thought I might report: This is a misquote. Since it uses many of his actual words it cannot be considered a paraphrase.  From an academic standpoint, and for those writing journals that will be peer-reviewed the difference between the two matters.

    What Freeh actually said was:

    “I think -- you know, it depends how you put the question. If you ask Americans whether they want an FBI wire tax in their phone bill, they'll say, "No." If I ask them whether they want a feature on their telephone which allows me to find their child, if they're taken, they'll say, "Yes." I think it's a question of perception.”

    You can review the video of this hearing for yourself here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?60140-1/wiretapping-access

    For many, this is a nuance that won't matter but for the academic world, I thought I would share.  
     -- Justin, Rockton     
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    Thank you for updating!
     -- Justin, Rockton     
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    Thank you, Justin.  The source has been verified, and the quote has been corrected.  Much appreciated!
     -- Editor, Liberty Quotes     
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