June 17, 2005

Hiding the Report Card

When you were a kid, did you get to bring home only the comments section of your report card? Of course not. Commentary on report cards is meant to be uplifting, to soften the blow of miserable grades. Parents, rightly, want to see the scores.

The Bush administration (the State Department, specifically), is about to bring home their 2004 report card for the War On Terror, and they have just announced they won't share the grades. Last year they got caught changing the grades, so this year they simply erased them.

The fact is that our Security President is losing the "war on terror," which he started. The report showed, before the statistics were erased, that significant global terrorism incidents (civilians attacked in acts of terror) increased from 172 incidents in 2003 to 655 in 2004. Nearly a four-fold increase in terrorism in one year. Most of the increase is reported to be in Iraq (no big surprise). Let's see... who started the war in Iraq? And what was the purpose of the war? To decrease terrorism. That's right!

Nice one, prez.

More disturbing than the utter failure of the war on terror so far is the fact that the government is hiding information from us. From you. From me. Do you feel safer when your government lies to you? When your government wants to know everything about you but hides statistics it knows to be true about its own performance?

The very essence of a free government consists in considering offices as public trusts, bestowed for the good of the country, and not for the benefit of an individual or a party. -- John Caldwell Calhoun

The Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have [to] bare the secrets of government and inform the people. -- Hugo L. Black

Paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell. -- Hugo L. Black

... government in order to protect itself from the political consequences of its errors and wrongs is driven irresistibly without peace to greater and greater control of the nation’s press and platform. -- Herbert Hoover

A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy. -- James Madison

No comments: