A few scant weeks after the fall of the Twin Towers in New York City, Australian Journos put together a special report to demonstrate the vulnerability of Australia to terrorist attacks. For fifteen minutes the public was deluged with ground and satellite pictures of Nuclear Energy Plants, Military Bases, active seaports, airports, cross-country train systems, wind farms and government buildings, emphasizing the Security Achilles Heel in each. I remember watching in horror as – on national television – Australia’s defenses were stripped and bared for public consumption – all in the name of free press and full disclosure.
I wondered then and I wonder now – just how much information does the general public deserve before this knowledge made public works against the very people it is meant to protect?
Police departments, in setting up sting operations, do not go on Sunday talk shows and lay out their plans for the viewer to review. Murder investigations routinely withhold certain information so as not to tip off their suspects. Interpol does not hold press conferences to inform the public on their progress in chasing down international felons.
So why is the White House Administration and their security teams and our military heads held to a different criteria? Why are we insisting to be let in on each exact detail as it unfolds in an investigation that holds both national and international consequences?
Why can’t we back off and let the people we elected – do their jobs – and wait for a report at the end of the day when all the results are in?
I’m pretty sure we get lied to because we keep insisting on getting answers to things (a) before anyone in a position of having the correct answers is prepared to divulge them and (b) because sometimes the information we demand is really none of our business in the first place.
Four Americans were killed in a brutal attack in Benghazi. It’s incredibly tragic but – nothing Ambassador Rice said in the days that followed contributed to their deaths and no information given now will serve to bring any of them back.
And if – in order to prevent this tragedy from happening again – we genuinely need to assign blame – let’s put it where it belongs and that is squarely on the heads of the Republicans in congress who voted down the funds requested by the White House to increase embassy security, just a few months before the Benghazi attack.
A lot of people died on 11 September 2012 including 26 people who’d been crushed in an earthquake in Myanmar and dozens of protestors from Egypt to Syria who vehemently objected to the anti-muslim video posted on youtube and literally hundreds of people across the globe caught in fatal car accidents.
IMHO as a public, as a whole, we have a very skewed perspective of what we’re entitled to know and the demand this places on our congress distracts everyone from being productive anywhere else.