Freedoms must be protected, not attacked

Imagine a place in which whistleblowers are prosecuted, those who expose wrongdoing by government are jailed, and everything we say or do might just be monitored by Big Brother.
Jan 2, 2014

Welcome to America, in the year 2013.

We have a president who recently said, when discussing the government’s prosecution of information leakers, that we “need to strike the right balance between our security and an open society.” He also has talked about Americans having to compromise a little freedom in exchange for security.

The president was referring to people such as Edward Snowden, who revealed the National Security Administration’s sweeping surveillance of Americans’ cellphone activity. This revelation sparked a firestorm of criticism of the NSA and Obama’s administration.

Let there be no mistake — Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press are under attack.

They have been for quite some time, but the attack has become more apparent and vigorous this past year. There was Snowden, then there was the federal seizure of Associated Press phone records, and situations around the country where journalists were ordered to reveal sources or face “indefinite imprisonment.”

Recently, Jana Winter of Foxnews.com faced down this threat by refusing to reveal to a Colorado judge the sources who told her about how the Aurora theater shooter sent a notebook full of details of his murderous plans to a university psychiatrist prior to the attack. The judge demanded she reveal her anonymous sources or go to jail indefinitely. She refused.

An appellate court backed Winter and the First Amendment by ruling in mid-December that she will not be forced to name her sources.

That’s one win in a long line of recent government infringements on the First Amendment.

This erosion must stop.

Quoting from a prior Tribune editorial, Founding Father Benjamin Franklin hit the right note when he said, “People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both."

We stand for freedom and support those who hold the line.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

Comments

watchingyou

Written perfectly.

Wolverine49457

It seems that day is now...no imagining anything...it's here. Big brother has our phone conversations, our medical records and just like the eerily similar movie “Illicium” the government is gaining the power to grant or deny treatment…Remember a government that can give you nearly everything can take away everything, including your freedom and right to anything.

Former Grandhavenite

Amen to that. Snowden is one of the greatest heroes in American history who put it all on the line to do the right thing. He'll probably be hunted for the rest of his life if he's lucky, or possibly suffer an unfortunate "car accident" or other mishap if he's unlucky. Every federal employee takes an oath to protect and defend the US constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. It isn't an oath of secrecy or a loyalty oath to the intelligence establishment or whatever administration is in power at the moment. It takes real courage to uphold that oath knowing that you'll be demonized and hunted to the ends of the earth by your own government.

deuce liti

If Snowden believed what he was doing was the right thing then he would have stayed and fought. He is no hero. He merely exposed what we all knew was already happening. Even the Simpsons movie has a scene where they show the NSA listening to everyone's phone calls.

To think this wasn't happening only means you are a fool. This "great country" is a worthless democracy sold to the highest bidder bathed in lies.

Man will dominate man to his injury.

Former Grandhavenite

I don't think anyone was under the impression that the NSA didn't illegally spy on Americans before. The important thing here is that we now have PROOF. We also have proof that nothing's changed between Bush and Obama on this issue, despite Obama's promises. Both administrations have a complete and utter disdain for the constitution and the American way of life. The Director of National Intelligence committed perjury when he lied to the Senate claiming they didn't collect data on Americans, only to turn around and say he gave the "least untruthful" response possible when his lie was revealed by Snowden. That just goes to show how little regard these people have for the American people and the constitution. They will clearly lie and mount propaganda campaigns to deceive the public whenever they can get away with it.

This country certainly has its share of problems, but wallowing in defeatism and apathy isn't the answer. It's ultimately going to be every bit as great (or as bad) as we make it. Snowden is a rare example of someone who stood up and said, "You know what- we're not going to just sit here and take it anymore." He put his principles and his oath to serve the American people ahead of the money and a cushy life he could have had in Hawaii.

Man will only dominate man if he allows himself to be dominated.

Highlander

We've always had proof. It's just that now people dont have to read their news and think- they listen to their news and drink the "news" in.

It was common knowledge the this spying was going on before, accompanied by proof.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/0...

meisterblue

#%!*%$#!$$!!! I was hoping the Tribune would remove this "add comments" section from their online paper. I try very hard not to read the hypocritical writings of the group of 7 or 8 copy & pasters trying to win the "war of words". There is a big world out there, go check it out instead of hiding behind your screen and criticizing every word written in this newspaper!! MY FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bigdeal

and you are number 9 ??...

wwwdotyoutubedotcom/watch?v=LVf5Cr4M-F8

Barry Soetoro

Names please. We need to get to the bottom of this and weed out those copy and pasters. By the way your caps lock may be stuck.

LessThanAmused

Yet, here you are you nitwit, being Mr. negative, ranting and drooling, while the rest of us discuss and debate in a, wait for it.......a discussion forum! Oh, the horror of it all.

Unless somebody has got a gun pointed at your head there's no one making you read this forum, but you. That's the definition of Hypocritical. See your doctor about adjusting you medications too....

LessThanAmused

Yippee, my first hiccup for the new year!! Everyone have a round on me!

Former Grandhavenite

Obviously you're not trying hard enough if your goal is to avoid the comments section... Got to step up your game son.

Jimvh

Well written GHT.

dogbert1918

This the same thing that has been going on with the second amendment for years. The attacks on our Constitutional rights is being to accelerate while we sit back and let it happen.

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