Thursday, August 22, 2013

Who should know?

Checks and balances can only occur when the public is aware of information about policies and choices our government is supporting. Only when a citizen with direct knowledge of abuses is brave enough to come forward and challenge inappropriate government choices can We the People make choices on what are true American values.

To punish excessively for the very act of disclosure of inappropriate actions belies America's values and diminishes the checks that enable the balance of power.
Don't Silence Whislteblowers
Silence is NOT an appropriate option: Imagine a government with nothing to hide....
To ensure valid checks and balances, the government must support whistleblowing rather than imprison defenders of the true values of the American public.

If an independent government review agency could serve the public directly and support such disclosures, "leaks" to the media would not be required to get the information out to the people for their decision-making at the ballot box. Without such a system, the only alternative is continuing international abuses; this diminishes the stature of the US in the world and makes a mockery of our posturing for democracy and human values.

Bradley Manning should serve not as a caution to others concerned about government excesses but as an indicator that we need to rethink government secrecy and open all our affairs to public scrutiny. Covert ops are the ones that cause unrest and disrespect in the world; World War and Cold War policing policies are outdated. It is not just the right but the duty of citizens to call for corrections to a system running roughshod and violating human rights.

America is not the arbiter of world policy nor acting in a requested role as the World Police; rather, our nation is one member of the global community. To remain a respected and effective part of that international body, the US must cease to militarily interfere unilaterally in the affairs of sovereign nations. To serve as a leader in the dialogue for peace, the US should contribute to the public dialogue and persuade improvements to human rights, not violate the rights of others.

Americans don't support torture and terrorism, and our military should learn to practice what it preaches. Lengthy punishment for Bradley Manning sends the wrong message to both the citizens of our nation and the world. You can join the petition to commute his sentence.
I wonder... what you think.
Original photo: www.accountancyage.com

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