Helen Thomas Surprised By Freedom Curbs


(AP) Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas admitted there is no road map to deal with terrorism, but said she has been struck with how easily Americans have given up some civil liberties.

Thomas told the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce on Thursday she understands the need for more airport security after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But she said racial profiling, wire tapping, and government intrusions on private property are too much.

“We cannot be ruled by fear,” she said. “That’s not us.”

Thomas’ journalism career has spanned 60 years and nine presidents. She resigned as the United Press International White House correspondent in May 2000, and was hired as a columnist by the Hearst Corp.

“I’ve always felt privileged to cover the White House and to have that ringside seat to history,” she said.

“We have all watched Helen on TV,” said Gov. Mike Johanns as he introduced her to a chamber audience of about 700 people. “I told her, ‘I feel like we know you so well, I should have you over for dinner.'”

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