An Open Letter to the Obama Administration and the PTBSubmitted by dwalters on Sun, 06/23/2013 - 21:51
Mr. President and those concerned:
At one time or another we have all had egg on our faces. No human has the market cornered on doing the right thing all of the time. For some time now, the US government has been in violation of their oaths to uphold the Constitution. Mr. President, you even made that clear in your original run for the White House - whether you were being sincere or not. Many people have been too afraid of the government to speak out. However, we - those of us who are politically engaged - are spreading the word, and the tides are turning in our favor. With the proverbial cat out of the bag, this is your opportunity to once again begin rebuilding the trust that has been lost in the institution that we Americans grew up believing was the greatest government in the world.
No government can long last that doesn't have the consent - or complacency - of the governed. With government approval ratings at an all time low in conjunction with the lack of trust in the state-influenced media, it has become clear - to I hope you as well - that the consent/complacency of the American public is hanging by a delicate thread.
I am sure there are several strategies that you are considering. First of all, from the outside looking in, it appears that you have taken on the task of intimidating the media that may stand against you. Further, you seem to be intent on prosecuting/persecuting Edward Snowden much like you have other whistle-blowers such as the long tortured Bradley Manning. Both of these tactics seem to be ploys to bolster the fear of the people in order to mitigate the possibility of future "embarrassments."
I suggest that those strategies are miscalculated and will only result in further loss of trust. You need to gain more respect - not lose it. There are several groups of people in country that can be considered, but the group most telling - and most important to you - is the Democratic base. Democrats have prided themselves in political activism over the last several years. While in the past this has worked in your favor, under the current circumstances, it is working against you. The politically aware left are quickly realizing that - while your rhetoric has been in line with their political aspirations - your actions have been very reminiscent and possibly even more offensive than their arch nemesis, George W. Bush. Do you think prosecuting Edward Snowden - a person that many on the left carry the same sympathy for as Bradley Manning - will gain back any of the trust lost from the democratic base, especially given the Fourth Amendment revelations?
In my estimation and with sincere honesty, I only see one noble way to move in the right direction. In my experience, being wrong has always provided opportunities to gain respect. When people have firmly stated a position, pride often forbids them to admit they were in error. This pride serves nothing but the ego. Pride that stands in the way of progress can be defined as foolish pride. However, when a person can successfully jump that hurdle and admit to another that they were wrong, something almost magic happens. Some level of respect is gained, debate becomes more healthy, and critics become less critical.
At this moment, you stand with egg on your face. We can see it, but you're pretending like it isn't there. I hope that you will construct a visual of this scenario in your imagination. The perception of reality is no longer a perception when reality becomes blatant.
While I know your pride may stand in the way, I ask you as an American that is willing to stand up for the true principles this country was founded upon to admit the folly of the current state of government affairs. I ask of you to openly admit the constitutional issues that we know that you know exist within the current police state that America has become. Further, I ask of you to do something about it such as disbanding the FISA court in favor of traditional oversight, reduce data collection to warranted acquisition (in the common usage of the word rather than a twisted government redefinition), and publicly recognize Edward Snowden as a whistle-blower.
Following this advice will be advantageous to you. It will give the signal to the People that the ship is beginning to be righted. Accordingly and to your pleasure, the number of future whistle-blowers will be minimized, you will regain some of your base that you are currently losing, and you will gain respect from a great deal of Americans.
If you think the US is headed down a path that is leading to less stability, why would you take it further down that road? Wouldn't a better strategy be to make a u-turn and live up to the challenge of preserving liberty rather than diminishing it? After all, any tyrant can make excuses to violate liberties for the sake of preferred policy. Isn't the US suppose to take the higher of the two roads? This also holds on foreign policy issues. Wasn't 1953 a long time ago? Is the continuation of similar policies making us any safer?
While I am not foolish, I reserve hope that a small chance exists that you will do the right thing. It cannot be said that I did nothing. I will continue to stand up for the principles in which I believe.
The prosperity that true liberty manufactures would be beneficial to everyone - including you and the powers that be. History has provided you with a unique opportunity. Will you take advantage of it?
Derrel E. Walters, Jr.