In the controversy over surveillance, we should never forget J. Edgar Hoover’s false claims of communists controlling the March on Washington 50 years ago, along with unauthorized telephone taps, lies to the president and serious damage to several people’s careers.

So long as we allow those in power to be the self-serving judge of what is and what is not secret, and as long as we threaten and punish whistleblowers, there will never be the transparency essential for preserving our democracy.

Where is the outrage at the admitted lies of the head of NSA? Abuse will continue until we demand better.

FRED EVERETT, Le Sueur, Minn.