When I was a child and did something my father thought was stupid, he’d shake his head and say, “Must be something in the water.” He said it countless times before I was old enough to drink wine instead of water so his words never left me. I’m inclined to revive them again as I read about decisions people in high places make every day.
Writer Ryan Gallagher discovered some silliness recently which convinces me we need to do more about the quality of our water. The Intercept, an electronic news organization dedicated to defending freedom of the press, reported in its August 20th edition that the U. S. Military has banned its employees, even those with “top security” clearances, from reading its publication and threatened violators with “long term security issues.”
I need to ask, how silly is that? If The Intercept is promulgating stories injurious to the government, shouldn’t the government be watching? How does the military intend to protect the nation if it “redacts” information for its agents which the rest of the world knows? I’m thinking that’s a blind spot terrorists would find encouraging.
The Intercept is a small publication so maybe no harm is done if it’s ignored. But this silliness isn’t limited to one small news agency. When The Guardian, a major British publication, released the Edward Snowden documents, the military issued a similar ban and did so earlier, in 2010, when Wiki leaks published several State Department documents for the world to read.
The government has a duty to protect its classified documents. That’s a given. But to keep its top ranking officials from reading what’s already available to every street vendor in Pakistan strikes me as evidence that the water fountains at the Pentagon should be tested.