Saturday, July 01, 2006

Hang 'em high!

Does your First Amendment right to free speech have limitations? Freedom of the press? If so, what are they? If there is a line, it's very blurry to say the least. I'm usually quite conservative in my interpretation of any limitations on my Constitutional Rights, and tend to favor looser constraints on said rights as a matter of principle but in light of recent events I'm forced to ponder just how far those rights should extend.

If an ordinary citizen is confronted, albeit by accident, with classified material and the Federal Government warns that citizen that the information to which they were exposed is privliged, classified and sensitive to national security and that the disclosure of that information could hurt this country irrepairably then that citizen is bound by law, at the expense of his or her freedom, to guard that secret. Why then is it any different for a newspaper editor? Who made these guys "God" to be able to review the information that they've received by surrepticious and illegal transferrance, to see if they agree that it would or would not be detrimental and then weigh the pros and cons before they decide whether or not it should be printed? Just who the hell do they think they are? They are not privvey to all of the information that our intelligence community is. They have no idea how crucial this one piece of the puzzle may or may not be to our overall intelligence situation. They are experts and English and grammar....not national policy. Why then should they be exempt?

The New York Times' recent divulgance of a classified program involving the US Governement tracking financial records of terrorist suspects is deplorable and treasonous. Not only should the leaky faucet at the Government level be sought out and prosecuted, but the willful and malicious rape of our nation's security by the printing of this material should find someone if not several people swinging at the end of a rope. Let me state my position clearly by highlighting the next line...THE SEVERITY OF DAMAGED INCURRED TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY BY THE RELEASE OF THIS CLASSIFIED INFORMATION SHOULD HAVE NO BEARING ON THE SEVERITY OF PUNISHMENT LEVIED BY THE COURTS OF THIS NATION. The very fact that they willingly published classified material, against the advice of everyone in Washington, Democrats and Republicans alike, is the issue....and a black and white one. They either did or they didn't.

Certain experts have asserted the argument that the press is free to print whatever they want whenever they want and the Government can, at no time, influence the content of the free press. I understand this freedom and its importance. I understand the precedent that could be set if the Government were allowed to dabble in the censoring of information our citizens recieve by way of the free press. But in matters of national security, our government does, has always and will continue to censor the information we, as a free society, are allowed to see. It is as it should be. There has to be secrets for us to remain either militarily superior to or at least on even ground with our enemies and there has to be a secure method of protecting those secrets from those who would use the information to hurt or kill our citizens. I don't think this is too damned difficult to understand.

The New York Times/Fish Wrapper Daily has long sense departed the straight and narrow path of the righteous and impartial reporter of yesteryear. Their leftist political agenda is disgustingly displayed in damn near every publication they roll off their political press, but alas, New York is full of just the kind of people who would read that biased, opinionated crap and suck it in like the days nourishment. Of that, we can do nothing but sit back and shake our heads in amazement at the ignorance of ones who would choose to tap the tit of tainted cow every single day of their miserable lives. But we are a nation of laws and though I'm no expert, I truly believe that if a few of those laws were strongly asserted we might have far less of these 'loose lips that sink ships.'