Maintenance of Freedom 2
I got a comment on my last post defending the right to free speech, saying that people are allowed to say what they want, no matter how much it clashes with my point of view or with the policies and guidelines of the US Government. I agree with that. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and their ability to voice such opinions, WITHIN REASON and within the boundaries of the law. For example, it is illegal to verbally threaten the President of the US. You are free to say it, but not without consequences.
What we need is a clear definition. How does the law apply in the world today?? Where does free speech end and seditious action begin?
When someone crosses the line that divides free speech from treason, who decides what constitutes a violation?? I believe that if it aids our enemy by galvanizing opposition to our cause, by emboldening the enemy to attack us, then it is treason. All the rest of the world knows of the character and caliber of the American popluace comes from what they are told through the media. They have no firsthand knowledge. Here in Iraq, the only contact they may ever have with persons from the US is seeing our soldiers in their streets. Soldiers who are in harms way in order to secure their neighborhoods, cities, and their country. But when they turn on the TV, and see America belittled and maligned, on our own TV, they believe that we are wrong in our endeavour. It is easy for them to believe, for we indeed give a menacing presence, armored trucks with machine guns, and uniformed soldiers, bodies festooned with arms and equipment. It has been difficult for them to see past those things, and see the smile, the waving, the teddy bears, school supplies, medical supplies and equipment, but they are coming around. Couple the visual of foreign troops in their city with the constant disinformation they are fed through the media, you have a tough mix to deal with.
If someone makes known tactical or strategic information vital to military operations or national security, it is treason. If an American citizen deliberately communicates with or fights for the enemy, hang him/her. Treason is punishable by death.
As a member of the military, I have a different entitlement to free speech. I am allowed to speak my mind, as long as it is not detrimental to the good order and discipline of my unit, the US Army, and the US Government. The authority to make that decision lies within command authority. That is why you will see me do the best to refrain from commenting on politics, US governmental policy, and Army policy. I understand this, as I am an instrument of the US government.
In my interpretation, when someone decides to cross the line, and aid the enemy through their words, reporting, or actions, they no longer are protected by the First Amendment. Whatever information they put out should be censored, they should be charged and stand trial for their actions. I am not condoning blanket censorship of critics. I do advocate prosecution of seditious persons.
Do some of the writers and reporters mean to commit treason? No. Are they only attempting to speak out against something they feel is incorrect or wrong? Yes, as is their right. The disconnect is where they abuse their right and give aid to the enemy. We are embroiled in war, and offenders need to be dealt with according to the laws of our nation.