The NSA Should Be Spanked

The NSA has been accused by the governments of Brazil and Mexico of intercepting the emails of prominent political figures in each country. It seems that President Dilma Rouseff of Brazil and President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico have had their communications hacked. Both countries are rightfully upset about this infraction of the Good Neighbor Policy.

“Both the Brazilian and Mexican governments summoned their respective US Ambassadors for discussions of this breach of national sovereignty. Mexico requested an ‘exhaustive investigation’ to determine who may be responsible for the alleged spying on Mr. Pena Nieto’s emails before his election last year…” So wrote the BBC. We can only hope that as this “exhaustive investigation” proceeds, the guilty party will be revealed and perhaps punished for stealing the emails (See Exodus 20:15). More than likely the punishment will amount to a promotion, perhaps in a different department, say the IRS. My mother and father would have handled it a different way.

Mom and Dad knew how to take care of wayward children. On my way home from school one afternoon when I was about six years old, I just couldn’t resist helping myself to Mrs. Snyder’s mulberries on a branch hanging over the alleyway where I was walking. Unable to forbear from filching the tempting purple berries, I helped myself without first checking with Mrs. Snyder. (See Exodus 20:15) The mulberries were so tender and juicy and sweet. I shoveled them into my mouth by the hands full. (The down side to mulberries is that they stain your hands, so much so that it takes several days of washing to wear off the rich purple color.)

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In attempting to eradicate the evidence, I wiped my hands on the asphalt alleyway, on the dirt in my yard, and on the grass. No luck. My hands remained purple, a reminder of my sin. When I came into the house, my mother immediately spotted the tell tale signs of my peccadillo. “What do you have on your hands?” she asked.

“Coal dust,” I answered trying to keep a straight face.

“You know you’re not to be in the coal bin,” she said and spanked me for being in the coal bin.

Then she sent me into the bathroom to wash my hands. I scrubbed and scrubbed and only slightly removed some of the evidence. When I came back to the kitchen, she checked my hands. “Okay,” she said, “now tell me how you really got your hands dirty.”

spankedI told her the whole sordid story, and she spanked me again, this time for stealing Mrs. Snyder’s mulberries. When my father came home from calling on some parishioners (He was a preacher.), she told him what I had done and showed him my stained hands. He walloped me good for lying to my mother.

Now, I’m certainly not suggesting that grown adults who work for the NSA should be spanked, but isn’t it a tantalizing thought? And if they were to be spanked for stealing emails (See Exodus 20:15), wouldn’t it be appropriate if the punishment were meted out publicly. And don’t you suppose the public spanking of NSA officials would make an unforgettable segment on the VIEW?


The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Harry Livermore

Harry Livermore spent a lifetime teaching English in high schools and junior colleges in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Georgia. He now writes for and is editor of the Valdosta Magazine. Harry and his wife Janice live in Valdosta, GA. They are members of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Valdosta. Harry has two sons, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren who live in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Texas.

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