May 1, 2014

Free the Press, Just Not Here.

By In Blogs, C.Jay Engel

Ron Paul speaks on the “Hypocrisy of the Free Press Campaign,” which is a “campaign” (that is, a propagandizing activity) at the State Department to put public pressure on foreign leaders to allow more press freedom in their jurisdictions.  This is hypocritical for the simple reason that the United States government has, especially under the administrations of Bush the Second and Barack Obama, clamped down on various journalistic efforts in this country.  In fact, the Obama Administration has used the Espionage Act more than any other previous President put together.

The hypocrisy was especially clear this time around because on the same day as the Free Press Campaign was announced, there was also a brief filed, insisting that (in the words of Daniel McAdams) “the Supreme Court… reject New York Times journalist James Risen’s plea that he not be forced to reveal his confidential sources.”  Risen is refusing to reveal his private sources to the government for obvious reasons (i.e, he doesn’t want the terrorizing US Government to go after them).  Risen should be protected under the first amendment, which was written to prevent the US Central power from doing this precise thing.

Why the hypocrisy? Why does the United States government seek to open journalistic freedoms overseas but breach the rights of its own people?

There are numerous answers.  Firstly, there is the Public Relations aspect.  “Campaigns” like the present one are intended to cloak the US Government in attractive fashion, to pretend like it stands for “freedom,” “rights,” and all the rest of the buzzwords that have been rendered meaningless by Orwellian and domineering atrocities.

Secondly, one must always revert back to theoretical foundations.  The State, at all levels, loves control and power.  Knowledge provides both of these.  Thus, foreign governments, just like the United States, want to put a damper on free press.  The more information that gets into the hands of the public, the less exclusivity exists in State control and power.  The State, which desires a monopoly on information, will both seek to know everything (hence the spying, eavesdropping, and data collection), and prevent others from knowing (hence the war on journalism and whistleblowers).

What happens then when foreign governments act just like the United States?  Well, the United States, being the biggest State in the world, does not want other countries to have a monopoly on any piece of information.  If the foreign state prevents information from reaching its own people, it follows that the United States also will not get this information.  The United States then has to ensure that foreign governments do not have exclusive control.  Thus, it must attack the foreign government for doing exactly what the United States does.  These events are wars between states.  Both are jealous for power.  And the United States is surely the bigger bully.  It is able to pursue a public image racket to make other nations look bad, and take the public eye off of itself.

Have you ever seen a tv show or read a book plot in which the criminal parades himself as the hero to cast of any unwanted attention and remove any doubt from the observers?

Something like that is going on.

Written by C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to reformedlibertarian@gmail.com