Truth As Duty
Which dirty hippie blogger wrote this?
Everyone in Washington claims to support transparency and government openness during campaign season and when it’s popular to do so. They castigate the other side when it does things in secret and suggest that its intentions must be nefarious if it is unwilling to make its deliberations public. But when an organization discloses how our foreign policy is conducted, some of these same people claim that the release will endanger lives or threaten national security, or that the founder of WikiLeaks is a criminal.
When did we decide that we trust the government more than its citizens? And that revealing the truth about the government is wrong? And why is the media complicit in this? Did we not learn anything from the run-up to the Iraq war when no one asked hard questions about the justifications for the war and when we accepted statements from government officials without proper pushback?
My own sense is that we should err on the side of telling the truth, even when it’s inconvenient or when it makes our lives—or the business of government—more complicated. And that people who tell the truth should at the very least not be denigrated. That’s something I learned when I was young, and that I tried to impart to my three boys when they were growing up. As Albert Einstein is reported to have said long ago, “The search for truth implies a duty. One must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.”
And shouldn’t news organizations be defending WikiLeaks and doing some soul-searching of their own about why they aren’t devoting more resources to the search for the truth? Why is it that the National Enquirer and Internet blogs sometimes seem better than they are at finding out what’s really going on?
It's by former Bush advisor Matthew Dowd. No lie. Be sure to read the whole thing because its main theme (without irony) is the fact that the one bipartisan, establishment agreement in DC seems to the idea that the government has a right to unlimited power to spy on its citizens, but considers it treasonous for the government's communications to be made public. That's called authoritarianism. And it doesn't surprise me in the least that political establishment and the elite institutions (including the torpid press)are behaving this way.
And speaking of authoritarianism, this little tid-bit might be of some interest for those who are wondering about the "crime" for which Interpol has put out the international Red Warning on Julian Assange. I guess we've all seen enough movies that the international "community" using this to silence a whistleblower doesn't shock. Indeed, most of us seem to think it's a perfectly natural thing to happen. But think about for a minute. This isn't a movie.