Tuesday, June 27, 2006

What Would The Founders Do?

Glenn Greenwald reminds us that the Founders prized freedom of the press:
Bush supporters want nothing less than to re-visit the Founders' resolution and reverse it. They want to replace the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin with regard to press freedoms with the superior judgment of Dick Cheney, Congressman Peter King and Michelle Malkin, who want to imprison reporters for what they publish. They simply don't believe in the same principles that the Founders embraced and enshrined for our country. These observations from Jefferson simply leave no doubt about that:

Jefferson warned:

'Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues of truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is freedom of the press. It is therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.'

And in the debate over whether to favor excessive disclosure or excessive government secrecy, Jefferson left little doubt as to how that conflict was resolved by the Founders: in choosing 'government without newspapers or newspapers without government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter.'


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