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Taking one for the team

Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Let's talk about government leaks, whistle-blowers, and national security for a moment. In the news recently has been the firing of a CIA analyst who purportedly leaked information about the CIA's secret prisions to the press.

Listening to commentary by a reporter on NPR last night, I found myself agreeing with one theme. These people who leak information often feel that they're acting in the public interest. I personally believe that. I believe that leaks to the press (and the entire media itself) balance a government that would otherwise act without any sort of checks. In a government of, for, and by the people it is often necessary for the individuals to take a stand in exposing the wrongdoing of a public government.

Some noteworthy examples of whistle-blowing:
The government's domestic spying program
Nixon and the Watergate scandal
There are more, of course, but none that come quickly to mind.

What I find interesting, though, is the fact that with the same breath that some officials praise the firing of the CIA analyst, they also defend the admistrative branch of the government for doing the exact same thing with the Valerie Plame affair.

This is all to say that it is very often a case of one individual risking much to expose the actions (illegal or questionably so) of the government to the very people the government is supposed to serve. There are some that believe in a transparent government, there are some that believe that the government is meant to serve the poeple, and there are some that believe that the government is not always correct. Perhaps it is those people that can be heros for the rest of us to admire when it comes to defending our liberty from those domestic sources that might wish to otherwise limit it.


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