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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Freedom is not Irresponsibility - The New York Times, Classified Information and Immigration

The latest battle between two sides revolves around the New York Times. One sees conservatives on one side and liberals on the other, but I see that there is far more than that.

NYT Publisher Bill Keller seems to be part of a group of people who dislike the present administration and is willing to endanger national security in order to embarrass or hinder the present administration's policies concerning the War On Terror. I would say from observation that there are many people who line up with him in being willing to endanger our nation for political purposes - John Murtha, certainly, comes to mind right away. Carl Levin. Cindy Sheehan. The ACLU. Insert favorite moonbat here.


By making it harder to wage war against terrorists, the New York Times and others of the same mind, which includes a large part of the Democratic Party, are playing a dangerous game. There have been no successful attacks on our soil since 9/11. Attempts have been thwarted and no doubt other efforts are in planning stages right now. The question is, politically, who is hurt by the next attack. Obviously we as a nation and any directly targeted individuals and concerns will suffer. But who is hurt worst by the next attack?

The Republicans can now say that efforts to expose wiretaps of calls with terrorists and the observation of the flow of money via SWIFT have hamstrung our ability to stop terrorist attacks before they happen. Therefore blame for a successful attack now must be laid at the feet of the liberals who, both in politics and in the media, have worked to expose secret anti-terrorist systems and caused them to be far less effective.

The Democrats can say, "Look who was in charge at the time" when and if such an attack should occur. Now, however, that would lose a lot of steam, since the Republicans can repeat the first argument and turn the blame back around. So, politically, it makes no sense for the Democrats to be working to expose secret operations against terrorists. It not only endangers the country, it could work agains them politically.


I believe a lot of the secret to all of this lies within what both sides of the coin believe that "freedom" really is.

My premise is this: Conservatives believe that freedom comes with responsibilities. Liberals believe that freedom is irresponsibility.

The New York Times and publication of classified information:

Irresponsible - Bill Keller decides that his freedom of speech trumps any responsibility he has to the safety of his country or the fact that he has been leaked information that is classified information as determined by the government. He ignored pleas from the administration, congress and security agencies in releasing the SWIFT information. This comes on the heels of a previous decision to release the classified wiretapping of terrorist phone conversations that caused so much hue and cry initially before wiser heads realized that the program was legal, it had merit and it was political suicide to oppose it. Nevertheless, much damage had been done in alerting terrorists that certain phone conversations were not safe.

Several news organizations, during WWII, learned that the US and British forces were using a captured Enigma decoding machine with which they could intercept and decode German military transmissions. The military authorities had to make some painful decisions, specifically, not reacting to every piece of evidence to thwart German attacks, which would have tipped them off that the transmissions were being intercepted and decoded. The information was saved in order to promote operations like D-Day and while the invasion of Normandy was bloody it was a surprise to the Germans because we knew what they were thinking and led them to believe the brunt of the invasion would take place elsewhere. Not one word of this was ever leaked until after the War.

Illegal Immigration

Irresponsible Liberal politicians who work to ensure that illegal aliens have access to services like medical care, schooling, social security benefits, drivers licenses, bank accounts, even the right to vote!!!
It is mind-blowing what some on the liberal side of things believe should be handed to people who enter this country illegally!

Responsible - Conservatives who believe that immigration should be limited to those who enter the country legally. They believe that schooling, medical care, driving licenses, and so on come with being a citizen or at the very least having a visa or other legal document giving you access to life in this country legally.

Liberals versus Conservatives

There is a subgroup of the group liberal that I often refer to as the liberal moonbats. They would seemingly be happy if we opened our borders, shut down the military and gave everybody a weekly check from the government. Life would be glorious until we were all living in abject poverty and/or the military of another nation moved in, took over and subjugated us to them. Why are so many of us trying to convert America into something else?

I am a tax-paying citizen. I am expected to have my drivers license and my registration and my proof-of-insurance with me when driving. I am pleased that in my state I must show my picture ID before voting (which I recently did in the primary elections, thank you very much). I have a document that details the purchase of our house. I have a document filed for the purchase of our vehicles. I carry my social security card with me, but no matter, I have it memorized anyway. In our township, as I understand, if you get in trouble and need help with gas bills or so on you must have two different documents (like utility bills) with your name and address printed on them to obtain aid.

This is not like Jews being forced to wear Yellow Stars and being herded into the Ghetto. This is not like a leper being forced to wear a sign and to shout, "unclean, unclean" wherever he goes. This is no attempt to embarrass anyone or deny rights. Not at all.

Every responsible citizen should be treated alike in terms of opportunities and access. If you are not a citizen, you do not have citizenship rights because you have not taken the responsibility to become a citizen. Why should anyone be granted special treatment because they have broken the law????? This is inherently irresponsible.

Conservatives believe in individual responsibility. Liberals wish to promote irresponsibility. This is a key difference, and it is reflected in the dispute over so many issues that come down the line. Liberals applaud the irresponsible New York Times. Liberals in San Francisco wish to push the military out of the city entirely. But will they take responsibility for their own safety? Of course not, because they are irresponsible!

Why have borders? Why have laws? Why have rules? Why have fences and boundaries and licenses and property deeds? Because freedom requires it. Freedom without responsibility is nothing more than anarchy. Those who seek to eliminate responsibility are anarchists.

The Broken Trail Analogy

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, "Broken Trail" shown in two parts on AMC last week. The picture starred Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church and it was very well done! The visuals were gorgeous and the characters rich, the storyline worked very well and everyone in my family truly enjoyed it.

The movie is set in the West, in 1897, and in that time and in that territory, anarchy reigned. Sure, there were borders and it was the United States, but the area was sparsely settled, there was no real law enforcement yet and so the rule of law was secondary to the rule of fist and gun.

Within that context ride Duvall and Church, Uncle and Nephew, not close but riding together to cement a future for them both. These are men who have accepted that life comes with responsiblity and rules.

There are other men for whom the only rule is, whoever is still standing gets all the stuff. Men like these interact with men like Duvall and Church in the movie.

It is interesting that when Duvall and Church encounter some shanghaied women and a "broken-nosed whore" in a dangerous situation, they take responsibility for them, treat them with respect, even the one they know has made a living as a prostitute. They have accepted a value system and in that system all people are worthy of respect until proven otherwise.

With no law around to protect them, Duvall and Church must also be willing to decide that some men are worthy of death and act accordingly. In this story, with these men, good largely triumphs over evil. But many innocent lives are lost in the process.

Yes, if anarchy were to reign in this country, there may be a majority of us who believe in right over wrong, who would help keep some semblance of order by taking the responsibility to be well-armed and to watch each other's backs and also to be judge and jury when necessary. If we go back to 1897 somewhere out Wyoming way, we will surely need want to be right, but we will also need to have the might to back it up. Because there are always bullies out there willing and able to prey upon the weak and cowardly and if they are not stopped, innocent lives will pay the price.

So what? Well, those who wish to have freedom without responsibility are working to bring about conditions in which safeguards are removed and you are on your own. Strip us of our borders and we will lose our nation. Take away our weapons and we cannot defend ourselves. Weaken our military and police and the bad guys get stronger. So many liberal moonbats are afraid of the government and fear "Big Brother" and yet this government was crafted by good men so that we could have freedom! Good men who knew that there is never any lasting freedom in anarchy. The government is us! We vote for it, we pay for it, we citizens are those who serve in was not foisted upon us by a dictator-in-waiting (Mao, Lenin, Hitler) who rides into power upon a wave of anarchy, only to replace it with repression. We have a system of checks and balances and it works pretty darned well.

But we need responsibility. When the New York Times releases classified information that helps terrorists, it is much like yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. I do hope that, since we have a large group of liberal moonbats that believe that irresponsibility is inherent to freedom, prosecutions will take place as a result of this treasonous decision. Anarchists understand nothing better than the power of the fist and the gun. The New York Times will not understand this concept until the fist strikes.


Anonymous said...

" The New York Times will not understand this concept until the fist strikes."

See also:

""When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty.We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too. Otherwise they will turn out to be outright traitors."

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."

(Ann Coulter)

Or, on the other hand:

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself."
-James Madison



Well, all of us, of course, but specifically - besides the point you make about politics, I want you to think about where the New York Times building (the one that Coulter 'jokingly' wishes McVeigh had blown up) is.

. . . My premise is this: Conservatives believe that freedom comes with responsibilities. Liberals believe that freedom is irresponsibility."

Certainly the threatening idea of messy, irresponsible freedom - the one being projected onto liberals - is a major thread in historical conservatism. In relatively small doses it aids social and political stability. For better or worse, the structure of our government represents such concerns - elected representatives making decisions, the electoral college, the original practice, until 1913, of having members of the Senate elected by state legislatures, rather than the people in general. Too much, however, and one starts looking unfavorably at democracy entirely.

Anyway, while I think looking at underlying values is the way to go here, you're mistaken about the actual values, what with projecting and all . . .

". So many liberal moonbats are afraid of the government and fear "Big Brother" and yet this government was crafted by good men so that we could have freedom!"

In fact, the founders were very concerned (having first hand experience) about the risk of tyranny. Granted, some more than others, which is how ,in large part, we got political parties, you Federalist!

"The accumulation of all powers legislative, executive and judiciary in the same hands, whether of one, a few or many, and whether hereditary, self appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny"
-James Madison

Just because a government wasn't imposed by a tyrant doesn't mean it can't descend into tyranny - indeed, a distant observer could easily conclude that this, with a few odd exceptions, is the natural progression for democratic governments.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-Benjamin Franklin (probably)

(Allegedly) upon being asked whether what sort of government Americans were to have:

"A republic . . . if you can keep it."
-Benjamin Franklin (well, maybe)

-Dan S.

radar said...

Nice post, Dan, although for the most part I don't detect a great deal of disagreement on your part with me.

Ann Coulter is a loose cannon and of course I don't want to see the NYT building fall victim to attack.

Actually, I am primarily in favor of holding the leakers responsible and prosecuting them. I would not go after a news organization for leaking classified information that might aid the enemy. I would go after them for leaking information they KNEW would aid the enemy, and that is a large distinction in my eyes.

It is apparent to me that free speech is necessary to freedom. It is also apparent to me that responsibility is necessary. Is this too much to expect?

highboy said...

Free speech does not extend to treason.