Thursday, June 16, 2011

WikiLeaks and Democracy vs. the U.S. Government

Excellent, instructive segment on Dylan Ratigan's show on MSNBC last hour, with computer scientist David House describing his experience when summoned before the WikiLeaks grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia yesterday.

Just to be clear:  What's not at stake is the life of any American military personnel - VP Biden, Secretary of Defense Gates and others in the administration have repeatedly made that clear.   What is at stake is to what extent our government can conduct our foreign affairs in secret - that is, in a way that makes its action not accountable to our citizenry.

And this, in turn, puts our very democracy itself at risk.  For how we can elect our Representatives, Senators, and Presidents with any intelligence, if we are kept from knowing crucial things that they are doing in our name?

House made clear the way he was badgered during his testimony.   The Obama administration would do well to end this persecution as soon as possible - do well, that is, if it wants to live up to its 2008 campaign promise to bring a different kind of government to Washington.

In a world in which the new new media of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and blogging are bringing new life into democratic movements from North Africa to Spain, it is unacceptable that our democratic government continue the tradition of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the Nixon administration, China, Syria, and Iran of opposing the free flow of information.
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