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May 25, 2006

Press informs public

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has stated that this administration will prosecute journalists who publish “secret” information it deems important to national security (5/22, A-3).

Thomas Jefferson said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” One function of the press in a democracy is to inform the public of its government’s actions: It is the press that makes that vigilance possible. If this government can escape accountability simply by enforcing the secrecy of policies that it doesn’t think would pass public scrutiny, America will pay the cost.

Our president and our attorney general need to realize that they don’t govern a banana republic, and that they cannot preserve our democracy by shredding our Constitution.

John Van Horn
Kansas City

Comments

JUNGLEJACK

The press has the right to print anything it sees fit... they do not have the right to protect sources within the administration who may have their own agenda detrimental to U.S. interests without facing charges themselves.

Sammy

"If this government can escape accountability simply by enforcing the secrecy of policies that it doesn’t think would pass public scrutiny..."

I don't think the purpose of keeping the policies secret is to avoid public scrutiny. I think it's so that the policies will be more effective at catching the bad guys and protecting us.

A year or two ago it seems I remember a bunch of caterwauling about Bush not doing enough to prevent 9/11 and now the same people seem to be accusing him of doing too much.

Lost_In_Ambivalence

My comment speaks to the heart of the issue. If the person is putting to press information that they believe legitimately needs to be known by the public, I have no problem with them sharing it (However, I think Engineer is right that they should face the consequences for their actions). The problem as I see it, is that many of these people publish this information for the sake of embarrassing the administration or to make a name for themselves. If this is the intent, to hell with freedom of press.

Engineer

If the "Media" does reveal secrets thought to be impotant to National Security they should be prosecuted. The courts can determine if the acts were actually detrimental to our security.

jack

I think they realize it, they just don't like it.

 
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