Ma Deuce Gunner

Ma Deuce Gunner


Sunday, June 12, 2005

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.

SCOUTS OUT!!!!!!!!!



At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow - i appreciate your very thoughtful and articulate response to my previous comments. And I want to make known - it is the simple association of "treason" with "speech" that was concerning to me the way you first wrote about it. I appreciate the thoughtful follow up commentary you made on the issue. And certainly, I do agree with your statement that if someone is deliberately aiding the enemy with publication of confidential information, this is troublesome.

But I guess the biggest problem I see (from an objective standpoint) is how you judge the substance of the words, and who is the judge of those words? and where do you draw a line? i think those are just very difficult questions to answer.

At 11:36 AM, Anonymous djb said...

Thank you for the voice of reason.

Along with freedoms, come responsibility.

I have heard all too often of people crying "foul" when they want to say whatever they want, but REFUSE to be held accountable for their actions.

I'm sure you have run across other milblogs who are no longer posting because they either do not know, or cannot discern what is appropriate for posting.

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Sgt. B. said...

Again, amen, brother...

I support the Freedom of the Press to report when anyone attempts of commit a criminal act. Heck, if a military leader screws up, by all means, report it! But make damned sure that you also report the rest of the story.
Criminal acts towards detainees at Abu Garib? Okay, report it, but also report, with equal fervor, that the miscreants were tried and sentenced by their own organization... Don't just sensationalize the event, and leave the read of the world to go up in flames.
Got a story about the desecration of a holy book? Then make sure that you confirm, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the facts, and then apply that to ALL holy books, and then make sure that you report EVERYTHING that the appropraite authorities are doing about it, instead of pulling a Newsweek...
Report about casualties, but also report about what they died for.
Balance it... That's not sedition, that's called "journalism"...

I don't have a problem with my dirty laundry being aired, but I do have a problem when it is implied that, just because I have dirty laundry, I don't ever bathe...


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