Wednesday, June 20, 2007

'Press vital to freedom' - Defense Secretary

Arizona Republic Viewpoints editor Joe Garcia this week wrote a compelling commentary based on recent remarks by Robert Gates, Secretary of the Defense Department.

"In these difficult and foggy days of trying to identify exactly who our enemies are, Gates tried to clarify the smoggy matter when he addressed the U.S. Naval Academy's Class of 2007.

" 'The press is not the enemy,' Gates told 1,028 graduates at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., 'and to treat it as such is self-defeating.'

"What?" Garcia asks. "You mean we're not the bad guys after all? News media are used to being portrayed as such: The people who bring you bad news are the real bad guys. Not so, Gates says, who urged new Navy and Marine officers 'to remember the importance of two pillars of our freedom under the Constitution: the Congress and the press.'

"Gates said the military 'must be non-political'."

"Waitaminute. Is this an olive branch being extended instead of the traditional sharp stick in the eye?

"You cannot have freedom without a free press."

Read the entire piece here -