Thursday, February 09, 2006

On Freedom of Speech In Time of Conflict

There are many on the right wing who accuse others of 'emboldening the enemy' or 'giving the enemy aid and comfort.'


The enemy doesn't need emboldening. They've already proven they don't need aid or comfort from us.

What we do need to do is have free and vigorous public discourse about what works and what doesn't. After we determine what does work we DO it. That will bring us victory. Sometimes that means keeping secrets. Most of the time, however, it means engaging in free, honest, vigorous and public debate.

If the government makes mistakes, we should call them on it. We should propose better ways of doing things. We should debate what we're doing, and why. If the government continues to make mistakes, we should throw them the hell out.

However: If the government lies, obfuscates, spins and covers up it's doings and it's track record, manipulates data, changes the subject, bombards us with 'no comment,' impugns the patriotism of critics, moves to classify/hide reams and reams of formerly public data and engages in paid propaganda domestically, then you have what we used to call in the Navy a clue. This is what undermines the very foundations of our government, this is the modus operandi that is the meta-offense here; this is standard operating procedure for this administration.

This is the crime that dwarfs all other crimes.

It is our patriotic duty to speak out, not just against the mistakes and injustices we see, but against the secretiveness that pervades this government. This is the information age. We need that information to flow freely for our society and its citizens to be safe, prosperous, vital and free.

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