Tuesday, June 27, 2006
My Letter to the DOJ
To: Attorney General Gonzalez

Dear Sir,

I write to you today as a mother of a member of the next generation about an issue that can not be allowed to stand as-is if our children are to inherit peace and freedom.

I speak, of course, of the systemic “leaking” of critical national security information. It seems that I wake each morning to find some new bit of treason on the news.

As American citizens, you and I have the right to expect that our government will enforce the law. Whether that is immigration law or constitutional rules of treason, the onus is the same: we must enforce the laws or else the country will disintegrate.

I am a reasonable person. I have a working brain and a good education backing me up. I find the so-called “leaks” of information regarding the SWIFT program and the NSA wiretapping of foreign-sourced calls to be nothing short of treason. In fact, even the term “leak” is offensive to me. A leak, by definition, is an accident. These “leaks” are little more than intentional disclosures of highly classified information by people who I suspect have a political axe to grind.

Personally, I don’t give a good damn about their politics. I am concerned with security. I am concerned with an on-going war against an enemy who doesn’t wear a clearly identifiable uniform or recognize the Geneva Conventions. I am concerned, sir, that a few journalists are more concerned with chasing Pulitzers than preserving the nation for my children. I will accept no apologies from people who knowingly put my child’s future at risk. I will not. I WILL NOT. I do not abide treason. Frankly, I expect a great deal more from every American than putting personal ambition and vendettas before national security.

And it is high time something was done about it. It is past time that some of these people learned about personal responsibility and were held accountable for their actions.

Let us consider, just for a moment, what would happen if I “leaked” information in my job, shall we?

In my past job, I was privy to information on several major companies. Had I leaked any of this information, none of which endangered national security but all of which was highly confidential, at minimum I would have been fired. The company I worked for may have lost business or even have been run out of business. But I understood the concept of confidentiality and personal responsibility. I’m no leaker.

In my current job, I am privy to all kinds of highly confidential information on individuals and corporations. If I leak information now, I run afoul of the CFTC. I seriously doubt they’ll let it slide. They would prosecute me to the fullest, as I would expect them to do.

So then, why are journalists and public servants held to a lesser standard? Sandy Berger can stuff secret material in his pants and socks and sneak it out of the National Archives; journalists and public servants can publish to the world our national secrets, and nothing happens? Excuse me sir, but this is fundamentally wrong. These people, by the very nature of the importance of their jobs, should be held to a higher standard than mine, not a lesser one.

The constitutionally protected freedoms of speech and press are not absolute. You know that as well as I. In fact, anybody who has had a Civics course knows that you can’t hide behind freedom of speech when you shout “Fire” in a crowded theater. In my mind, what these public servant “leakers” and their journalist/editor/publisher accomplices have done is far, far worse: they’ve put all of us in danger, whether you live in rural Kansas, suburban Wisconsin, Manhattan, or stand a post in Baghdad.

By all accounts, these two programs were perfectly legal and highly effective. By my measure, that makes the disclosures all the more egregious. We have too few tools to fight this enemy in the way that the UN and the West expects us to, always holding ourselves to a higher standard in the fight than our enemy holds to, so it is more than unhelpful when we are hemorrhaging information at every turn. Al Qaeda doesn’t need spies if they have the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and others. We might as well heft the white flag now if we aren’t willing to do something about the problem.

I refuse to believe that outing these secrets has not done damage to the war effort. Any weapon that your enemy doesn’t know you have is a useful weapon. As these particular tools were all about “information gathering”, I fail to see how these “leaks” don’t come under the very explicit heading of Espionage. Something needs to be done.

I entreat you, sir, to fulfill your pledge and “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”. If you don’t, who will? My children’s future demands that we all do our duty. You need to hold these “leakers” and their enablers accountable.

No maybes, no ifs, no half-measures.

Find them. Prosecute them. And then let a jury of their peers hold them accountable.

That’s all I ask.

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posted by Phoenix | 10:27 AM


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