Grant Goodman: Complains Homeland Security opened his mail





retired Kansas University professor says the federal government has been poking into the mail he receives from abroad.

Grant Goodman on Monday showed the Journal-World a recent letter he had received from a friend in the Philippines; it apparently had been opened, then re-closed with green tape bearing the seal of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a message that it had been opened “by Border Protection.”

“Very uneasy. And very surprised,” Goodman, 81, a KU professor emeritus of history, said of his reaction to the federal snooping. “I never expected to see that.”

Goodman’s revelation came the same day that President Bush defended his decision to authorize — without permission from Congress or the courts — a secret program to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism.

Goodman said the news about warrantless wiretaps prompted him to go public about his opened mail. He said he had last seen such intrusions during World War II, when as an Army lieutenant he was required to censor the mail of men under his command.

“I don’t know why they would censor this kind of mail,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

The U.S. government has been concerned about the Muslim insurgency in the Philippines, but Goodman said his correspondent — a devoutly Catholic Filipino history professor in her 80s — was an unlikely suspect to be connected to such causes. Goodman declined to reveal her name, saying he feared stirring up trouble for her.



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max west - 1/10/2006

Please let Grant Goodman know that others have noticed that their private mail has been opened too. I have had common mail from Canada opened and then sloppily resealed with no notation as to who did it or why it was done - the post office claimed they had no idea how it happened.

I am a 53 year old white male american citizen. I volunteered at 17 for the marine corp, my father heroically fought in WW2 and my uncles in WW1 - we may have relatives on my mom's side clear back to the revolutionary war. What is up with this administration and it's "spy on it's citizens" policys. If they keep it up we will become their worst nightmare at the next voting polls!


max west - 1/10/2006

Please let Grant Goodman know that others have noticed that their private mail has been opened too. I have had common mail from Canada opened and then sloppily resealed with no notation as to who did it or why it was done - the post office claimed they had no idea how it happened.

I am a 53 year old white male american citizen. I volunteered at 17 for the marine corp, my father heroically fought in WW2 and my uncles in WW1 - we may have relatives on my mom's side clear back to the revolutionary war. What is up with this administration and it's "spy on it's citizens" policys. If they keep it up we will become their worst nightmare at the next voting polls!


Steve Broce - 12/21/2005

Jeez Louise, So the Customs Service, now part of DHS, is opening mail that comes from overseas.

Is that shocking?

They have been opening packages and letters that come from overseas for centuries. That is what they do.

If this is a surprise to Goodman, imagine how shocked he is going to be when he finds out that DHS is going to search his bags when he comes back from a trip to the Phillippines