I'm quite dissapointed in the Bush administration, and the Republican party.
I'm not even sure they remember what they're "fighting" for.
I think it's about time to stop bullying the New York Times for doing their job.
The WashPost had a nice synopsis of what's going on in today's paper.
There are many things I disagree with the government about, and a lot of things I hold my tongue about. I don't think its smart, respectful, or appropriate to shoot my mouth of being overly critical of an executive that has a tough job, in tough times.
I even am starting to open my mind to other issues that I have trouble understanding the other side on: Gay Marriage, Flag Burning, etc. (Which by the way, are less important issues to be debating in the summer term than say...immigration, healthcare, or foreign policy). But I'm drawing my line in the sand right here--Don't tread on free speech.
Also, the LATimes and the WashPost both published similar stories about the bank records program. I didn't even find the pieces to be un-objective. They were well done, descriptive, and piercing. In my opinion, they were good pieces of journalism.
This seems to me to be a new age of McCarthyism, except McCarthy is now the Executive Branch of the government teamed with House Republicans, and the scare is not communism, but poor poll ratings.
The New York Times is shedding light, bringing the best disinfectant to government action. Free press is crucially necessary to the stability of a democratic populous (note the lower case 'd')...without one, we would be blind to any tyrannies of the government which may arise. Want to know what a society without a free press is like? Go to China. Which I suppose is okay, but from what I've read/heard about the country, it has some serious human rights issues.
But anyway, I don't think these gripes from govt. insiders is about protecting national security...there's no way terrorists are oblivious to the sensitivity of bank records...especially after it's been expressed publicly that were going after the money.
Basically, aside from the hot-air. Think of it this way...free speech is a value instilled by the First Amendment to the constitution. The amendment was created precisely to mitigate a govt. attempt to curb free speech.
Not that the program is illegal, (which I've read it is not), but I think the government should set an example of valuing rights and liberties, especially when trying to build a nation as such.
Our actions abroad should match our actions at home...for saving face, and for principles sake. Hopefully our next mission after Operation Iraqi Freedom doesn't have to be Operation Freedom of the Press.
I'm a proud reader of the NYTimes, WashPost and other news outlets. And, supporting them doesn't make me Un-American, it makes me an active, aware, informed citizen. I think historically, it's much more American to be concious of government and particpate in it then to incubate leaders from criticism, wave a flag, and call it a day. Flags are cool though, despite my views on patriotism, there's one on my desk right now.
For me that flag doesn't stand for a historic war, a party, or a dead president. That flag stands for my freedom to learn, to love, to listen, to speak, and to participate. The free press is an integral part of that process.