Worldview Item of the Day
The United States is preparing to withdraw its forces from Iraq in as little as 16 months from January 20, 2009. Please make sure that al Qaeda in Iraq and the Sunni and Shia militias know so that they can effectively prepare for said departure. While we’re at blabbing our military plans to our enemies, let’s leak and publish units, locations, and time-frames for that withdrawal.
In World War Two, the United States and its allies successfully compromised the code systems for both the Germans and the Japanese. The allies managed to keep the fact of that compromise a secret for the duration of the war, a strategic advantage that contributed to the Allied victory.
Since the beginning of the Global War on Terror, various media outlets have felt it necessary to disclose an never-ending list of military and intelligence secrets, giving our enemies (yes, they are our enemies whatever the left and the media might think) needed intelligence without investment on their part.
The reasons for this disclosure are obscured inside the idea that people “have the right to know” without any regard for the idea that the people have the right to effectively defend themselves from external threats. Compromising the ability of military and intelligence capabilities to do the job they have been asked to do by revealing sensitive and classified information about their operations denies the people their right to defense. Without effective defense, there is no right to anything else.
Yet, as long as the Americans who even bother to pay attention continue to consume their news from the very media guilty of that compromise, they are complicit in their own threat. Until the people realize that they are the arbiters of their own liberty and security under the system of government created by the Constitution, thereby inheriting the responsibility to act responsibly, the compromise will continue. What will the people do when the last compromise has been made and liberty and security are no more?
There is a necessary balance between the government’s ability to act without interference and the people’s right to know, and that balance should be maintained by rational journalists who put the consideration of the consequences of what they are about to report foremost among their ethics. When the media fails to exercise that consideration, then it should be bent to the will of the people as surely as the government can be. Media is independent, but not from the people. When will the people learn that their will does not include their own destruction?