Ithaca Blog

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Open Letter to Friends and Readers on Independence Day

We, and a few other people, got an e-mail message from our friend Nick on Independence Day, about the latest blatant malfeasance of the Bush administration, in the Scooter Libby case.

Like a lot of people we know, Nick would like to see impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney. In the realm of things we can control, Nick was calling for diligent citizenry on Independence Day - and beyond, of course - as our democratic prerogatives are beseiged by officials who find them inconvenient.

We wrote back to Nick with emphatic empathy, with similar thoughts on the subject. We thought we'd open that letter here to Ithaca Blog readers, as it explains a bit what we are trying to do on this site:


I agree completely, that our country is threatened by our own officials, subverting our laws.

In the Libby case, which stems from the war in Iraq, we see that the administration lied to the U.N., to intelligence officials, to the press, and to American law enforcement.

When found guilty in a court of law, they commute their own sentences, and close the case.

I'm glad you took the time to write. It's important for all of us to talk about what we see. Otherwise we get caught in the apathy and hopelessness of thinking no one else notices or cares.

Fifteen years ago I was in Washington preparing for a career in journalism. What I found there among the media were a lot of people of middling ability and ambition who were primarily interested in easy work, in corporate jobs, rather than careers dedicated to serving the public with intellect and nerve.

While I thought about leaving, I talked to an older reporter and teacher. He said, "Steve, if you want to know the truth, don't talk to the government. Talk to your neighbors." It was like a grade-B movie scene: get out, kid, while you can. There's still time for you.

So I got out. He was right. Look at our own senator today, Hillary Clinton. Obviously a person of great intelligence and skill. But when we needed her leadership on the question of war, she ducked. She hid. She says now she didn't know enough then to know the war was wrong. Who was she listening to? Who was she talking to? Not to me or my neighbors. We all knew. That's what my teacher was telling me. Your neighbors can see the truth and will tell the truth. Your leaders might see the truth, but they won't tell you.

Now I'm trying to do my litle bit with Ithaca Blog. We write about local things, but also larger issues. I try to write in a way that respects the truth as the ultimate goal. I try to do it in a way that repects the reader - no rants or raves here. No foul language. Using whatever skill I can muster in trying to see, think, and talk straight.

Do me a favor and tell your friends about the Blog. Maybe together, the little bit we each do will be magnified and make a difference.

Meanwhile, take heart and have faith and find pleasure in the effort.


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