Wednesday, May 13, 2009

'Impolite' Questions for Gen. Myers

By Ray McGovern
May 13, 2009

Tuesday evening offered an unusual opportunity to question the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2001-2005), Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, at an alumni club dinner.

Read on.


Anonymous said...

In an often very phony world, Ray McGovern is a real man, and a real American hero. I shook his hand once, and that meant more to me than any of these so-called Presidents we've had in my lifetime.

Anonymous said...

Considering the fact that Bush Jr. had no military training other than a very expensive and exclusive pilot training, why should his opinion on any subject concerning military activities carry any authority? The guy didn't get an officers Training education. He was simply named a Texas National Guard officer by his Father, whose military career was manipulated by political influences.

Anonymous said...

Another general with no morals and no balls; should we be surprised?

ThomAllen said...

In my view, for us as a nation to benefit from the circumstances and behaviors highlighted in Mr. McGovern's article, we must first see these issues through the lens of systemic failure without tainting our perception with political or ideological bias. As your last point regarding journalism touches upon, it is imperative that all concerned citizens have access to unvarnished factual information regarding all of the actions of their government, which by Constitutional mandate are all done on behalf of and in the name of the people of the United States; this is the core meaning of what we regard as a "Free Press." There is a basic distinction between this professional "Free Press" and every citizen's unabridged Constitutional right to "the freedom of speech, or of the press", which are both "express rights" granted by the 1st Amendment. To my mind, this distinction is codified by the fact that the amendment clearly draws the distinction by delineating these rights clearly and separately in the text.
In pertinent part, the amendment says:
"Congress shall make no law...........; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
The amendment clearly assigns this right to the people as an individual right of citizenship. The distinction that I suggest must be made is that while every citizen does retain the right to say or print/publish whatever they choose, the freedom of the press in the amendment does not refer to or confer these rights upon any other entity or abstract construct, rather it is made up of citizens or not. The idea that the business commonly referred to as "The Press", "The Media", and so forth is granted these Constitutional "express rights" of citizenship is as ill concieved as the blind and unfounded assertion that corporations are granted all of the same Constitutional rights of citizenship as individual citizens. As corporations are prevented, by law, from intentionally deceitful and false advertising, so should "The Press" be prevented from intentionally disseminating deceitful and false information. Here lies the Constitutional distinction between the individuals rights of citizenship, and the behavior of an abstract entity regulated by the government on behalf of those basic rights. Said differently, as citizens we derive these rights directly from our Constitution, all said "abstract entities", "The Press", corporations, ET AL, derive their rights to expression from contracts and licenses mandating the legal parameters of the proper use of speech and of the press. Their freedom is a privilege that can be rescinded or denied if it is legally determined to be destructive to the common good; as citizens, ours is a Constitutional right that can not.
Following this logic, as citizens we are familiar with the various literary forms used by journalists and writers in our print and broadcast media. We know that 'Editorials' and 'Op-eds' are expressions of opinion, and should be regarded differently from works that purport to rely exclusively on facts. This is much the same as the distinction between the factual material used to perfect professional expertise, and oral and written poetry, fiction, and theater employed as recreation and entertainment.
Our present national dilemma has been exacerbated, over several decades, by the use of the spoken and written word to intentionally miss inform and disenfranchise our people. Most recently, people in the employ of the citizens - officials of our government - actually embarked upon a project callously titled "Information Management." In other words, we were paying these miscreants to intentionally deceive us about what our government was doing in our name, both at home and abroad. That is not all folks! This official propaganda program was wrapped in the cloak of protecting our national security and safety. In other words, the American (U.S.) people would be more safe and secure, if they did not know the truth about what their government was doing in their name. The word spread quickly that our government would regard anyone who questioned this plan, or any action of the government, as unpatriotic; and therefore subject to being considered in violation of the now infamous "Patriot Act", the historical lessons of the ill-concieved "Alien & Sedition Act" be damned. So much for that testy little phrase at the end of the 1st Amendment about making no law or abridging our right " petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
We all know that most of our "4th estate" has morphed into a collection of propagandists and publicists using any form of deception imaginable to promote the interests of their masters in the private and public sectors of our society. What we seem to have forgotten is that what they are all involved in, is an intentional offense against the founding principles of our nation and its people. It is intentional because they are doing it willfully and with forethought, it is an offense because the direct result is the innocent loss of life and limb and the theft of our treasure, rather intended or not. Are we going to remain so entrenched in our indifference and complacency that we continue to be content to be mere "collateral damage" in the cynical eyes of those amongst us who regard us with such disdain and contempt? Or, are we going to reclaim our revolutionary heritage, assert the sanctity of our Constitution, and proclaim for all to hear and see, "DO NOT TREAD ON ME!"

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