Monday, December 27, 2004

From an article in the Saturday Post-Dispatch on Rumsfeld's visit to Iraq, I gleaned the news that at least one serviceman in Iraq still approves of Rumsfeld. Navy Chief Petty Officer Damon Sanders defended the secretary of defense: "I totally believe in him." Whether many others agreed with Sanders is impossible to know because the town hall-style meeting was closed to embedded reporters, open only to compliant reporters who had traveled with Rumsfeld from the States. On his last visit, a soldier had put him on the hot seat with a question about the lack of armor for military vehicles, and apparently Rumsfeld has decided that so much openness is intolerable. Of course, the article stated that it was his aides who had "requested" that other reporters not attend, but if you believe that, you can probably also be convinced that this is a winnable war.
Democracy doesn't thrive when the press is muzzled, when only the reporters who cozy up to those in power have access to information. Rumsfeld doesn't understand that, but his countrymen had better keep it in mind. Instead of worrying about freedom in Iraq--a pipedream anyway--let's concentrate on the freedom of our own press.

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