Monday, May 22, 2006

Attorney General Gonzales Denounces Freedom of the Press

I saw the transcript from “ABC This Week” where Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said that journalists can be prosecuted for publishing classified information.  Evidently, a year plus into his job, Gonzales now feels comfortable throwing out the Bill of Rights and everything that makes this country special.

"There are some statutes on the book which, if you read the language carefully, would seem to indicate that that is a possibility," Gonzales said, referring to prosecutions. "We have an obligation to enforce those laws. We have an obligation to ensure that our national security is protected."

Gonzales argues specifically that the First Amendment, which includes Freedom of the Press, should not be absolute regarding issues of national security. "It can't be the case that that right trumps over the right that Americans would like to see, the ability of the federal government to go after criminal activity," Gonzales told ABC's "This Week.”

You have to be kidding me! The attorney general’s position is to protect the bill of rights and the rights of our citizens, so it’s astounding to watch the AG blatantly willing to denounce on of our most basic rights in favor of the needs of our government.

Freedom of the press is a core value for our society. It ensures that our citizens receive all the information that affects them, and is able to make an educated opinion from these facts.  It differentiates our society from the ex-Soviet society and many fundamentalist cultures which only allow news that is flattering to the government.

Freedom of the press defines our society; in a government established on checks and balances, it creates the final check on the government, that being the American people. And without the freedom of the press, we loose the foundation that differentiates the United States, and makes it a beacon of light onto the other nations.

I know the temptation to abandon the bill of rights in exchange for heightened security. We all fear the dangers that surround us today. But the promise of heightened security is a façade, and a dangerous one that will tear at the very fabric of all we have built here in the New World.  If you want to protect this country, protect the bill of rights. Those rights will protect us through today’s issues and the issues of tomorrow.

technorati tags: , , , , , , ,

Posted by Scottage at 12:11 PM / | |