Monday, June 26, 2006

Freedom, The NYT, and Terrorism

I am taking a deep breath right now.
Not going to lose it.
Wouldn't be prudent at this juncture.
Not going to let the veins pop out of my forehead.
Not going to use my laptop as a frisbee.

I have decided I am taking crazy pills. I have decided that I went in for my surgery and woke up in bizzaro world. Over the last few days I have kept it buttoned. Not said much. Thought the gospel should come first. Stay out of politics.

One of the things that suprised me when I started blogging was that none of my writings were political. I am a relapsing news junkie and a student of history. Only two of my posts could be considered in that vein and they were emotional responses to other blogs. This however, makes me fear for the whole country, and our way of life. Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal, independent, libertarian, greeny or communist. It should scare all of you too.

Let me give you a history lesson.

In World War II The United States had broken many of the Japanese Naval codes. They called this program "Magic", in many cases we knew what the Japanese were planning. In fact some of the intercepted messages when analyzed with hind-sight, told of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. The British had broken many of the codes the Germans used and had in fact, captured several of their coding machines called enigma.

Knowing the codes of the enemy allowed us to know what they were doing. The battle of midway was the "tipping point" of the Pacific war. We were able to defeat the Japanese in part because we knew of their plans to capture the Island of Midway. That battle was the beginning of the end for the Japanese. Had we lost Midway, thousands more lives might have been lost and the war could have dragged on for several more years.

The ability to know what the Japanese and Germans were up to by reading their communications was considered so important it was to be kept secret at all costs. I will give you two examples.

Winston Churchill found out from the British code breakers the Germans were planning a massive bombing raid on the English city of Coventry. He faced this dilemma. If I command the RAF (Royal Air Force) to protect Coventry the Germans could find out we are reading their codes. If they find out they will change them. We will no longer know what they are planning. If you read your history you will find that Coventry was completely destroyed with great loss of life. Can you imagine the agony of Winston Churchill? But, how many lives were saved because the Germans didn't find out their codes were compromised?

Another example, in 1944 Thomas Dewey was defeated in his run for presidency by Franklin Roosevelt. His biographer reported that Dewey was asked not to speak of two things that would have possibly given him the key to beating President Roosevelt. One was the fact that we had broken the Japanese code. Two, that information regarding the Pearl Harbor attack was available before the attack. Dewey kept his mouth shut. You can read more about this here in a great article by Jeffrey Lord. And hey don't just take mine or his word for it. Look it up. Crack a book. Educate yourself on the issue.

How many civilian lives were saved? How many soldiers? These were men who understood what was at stake in the world they lived in. It didn't matter how they felt about tax cuts or the envrionment. The knew what would happen if the enemy won. What price did these men pay for doing the right thing? The patriotic thing? One had to live the rest of his life with Coventry on his conscience. The other could have been President of the United States.

Look at how pathetic we are today. Governmental employees leaking classified information. Information on how the United States is fighting a war. That in itself is despicable. People who don't agree with the current political party's policies, leaking information in a time of war. They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We have thousands of military men and women fighting terrorists all over the world. Even if some diseased brains feel the military deserve it, what about the civilians? We have contractors helping to rebuild Afganistan and Iraq. Millions of Civilians living in Iraq, Afganistan, The United States, Spain, Great Britain, Canada, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. The list of attacked and potential attacked countries goes on and on.

Worse than the leakers. We have newspapers, alleged American Institutions no less who are now deciding what should and should not be classified. These people believe they know what's best for you, me and the world. They know better than the President, Congress, CIA, Pentagon and the whole government put together. A group of people un-elected and un-accountable to anyone, even their own customers. (circulation has been dropping substantially over the last few years.) They are deciding what is right, and wrong in this country. Cable TV, and the alphabets aren't much better. Their level of arrogance is astonishing.

Lets look at what could happen

Al Queda changes tactics in the way they ship money around. This is because details of how the US is currently tracking them was printed in the New York Times. The financiers that would have been caught aren't. Money that would have been intercepted, now gets through to purchase explosives, IEDs, morter rounds, and machine guns. These weapons are then used to kill US and Allied troops, and Iraqi, and American civilians.
Then let's say the weapons make it over here. I don't care if you are liberal, or conservative. If a suicide bomber blows up in Times Square with explosives that could have been stopped before they were bought, you are just as dead! And the New York/La Times, or any of their ilk would be responsible.

Think! Do you not see it? My God, how many liberals, conservatives, libertarians or others were killed in the World Trade Center? Do you think Al Queda or any of these genius home grown groups are going to differentiate?

You know that awesome freedom of the press we have in this country? How would you like to lose it? With great power comes great responsibilty. If the press continues to divulge classified information to the public, they are going to destroy the very freedom that allows them to operate. The Government is eventually going to do something to reign in an out of control industry. It will happen because it has to, to protect the American people.
No more freedom of the press. Then, when we need someone to help protect our freedoms who's going to do it?

I know this is not a usual tack for me. I just could not let this one go by. I pray for people from all over. Please use your heads. Think about what is going on. Are we really that polarized? Is there no more common sense anywhere? I did a previous post about people only seeing the differences and not the similarities in each other. It is time to start, for the good of our country and for the good of the world.

Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies. I never thought I would be praying for the press.



Larry




9 comments:

Mandylea said...

I love the post and I am also a history/poli-sci major. If I follow your train of thought and I think I do then I just would like to add that the US government may tap my phone line any darn time they want to. I have nothing to hide just like the vast majority of Americans don't have anything to hide, at least not from the US government. If tapping phone lines will keep me, my family, and this great nation safe and free then tap away President Bush, tap away. I say that if anyone has a problem with how this government is run then here are your options:
1. VOTE
2. run for office
3. campaign for someone running for office
4. GET OUT

Ok, off the soapbox!!

mandylea

Larry said...

LOL, Some good points Mandy.I don't think the Gov is going to start tapping phone lines. It doesn't need to. What scares me most is the press abusing their freedom by not using discretion. It's self will run riot. Because they won't control themselves they will screw up the first ammendment. Then the whole country suffers. Talk about Irony. You say this will never happen? Lets say another 911 type attack occurs, and it gets out that the terrorists took advantage of a secret published by the New York Times. Can you imaging the outcry? Congress would demand action. There would possibly be an ammendement to the constitution limiting freedom of the press. Who really suffers? the public. You and me.

Larry

Helen Losse said...

True, most of us have nothing to hide. But we do (or ought to) have a right to privacy. I think it comes under the "pursuit of happiness." Not only can we vote, run for office, campaign for someone who is, and leave, we can also call our represtentatives, sign petitions, demonstrate, and practice civil disobedience. We can write letters to the editor, blogs, and poems. We can send e-mail messages, write letters and comment on friend's blogs. We can shout at the top of our lungs: "Get your illegal wiretaps out of American life." It is our own government that is putting us at risk. I don't do anything wrong in my bathroom, but I don't want to watched!!!

Mandylea said...

Ok, MAYBE, just MAYBE I was not all-in-all clear in my post. I know that the government is not going to start tapping Joe Bloe's, or even Helen Losse's, phone line for that sake. BUT, I do believe that it (the government) has or should have (how ever one looks at it) the right to if there is reasonable cause to think Bob Smith is in kahoots with someone or a group of someones planning on harming this country and the citizens who live here. The thing about freedom of speech is that it does not mean TOTAL freedom, it means reasonable freedom, responsible --- the way I see it anyway. I, key word being I, feel that on Sept. 11, 2001, our freedoms and right to freely do anything was changed and chaged forever. Larry, you and I have each have a daughter about the same age(I think...6 1/2) and those little girls will grow up in a much different world than the one we grew up in. In some ways, a much better world and yet in too many ways a much colder, crueler world than the one we grew up in. I hate that for "S", but it is life and I have to learn how to parent a child in a world I did not grow up in, a world very different than the one I grew up in.

mandylea

Mandylea said...

Oh yeah..one more thing. If the press had not leaked the the government was tapping phone lines then we would have been none the wiser and in reality...does it REALLY matter? The only people who need to be concerned or fighting this are the ones who have something to hide from the government. Come on, they (US government) know who/what to look for, thus knowing who to/not to "spy" on. Helen, I understand you not wanting your every move watched, but I have a sneaking suspicioun you have nothing to fear. I, too, have read Big Brother but I just do not see that we are living that, YET.

mandylea

Helen Losse said...

But if we don't fight it now, your daughter will.

Mandylea said...

How true you are. Like I said, I/we are all trying to parent the next generation in a world we didn't grow up in. One we hoped our children would not grow up in.


mandylea

Larry said...

The Gov wasn't tapping our phone lines, they were tapping phone lines in and out of the country to potential who may be Al Queda related. It is another abuse of The press's freedoms. The sad thing is, is that they aren't really doing it because of the "public interest" They are doing it to harass Bush. That's what isn't cool. The country comes first not your agenda.


Larry

Mandylea said...

Well put.

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