It’s just common sense

Dec 032003
Authors: Stacey Schneider

Over the holiday break, President Bush made an unannounced visit

to the troops in Iraq. During this visit, President Bush proved to

the 600 soldiers that he, as well as the entire nation, greatly

appreciates the bravery and effort set forth by these troops. While

this seems like a commendable action for a president, Bush is

getting severe criticism for his secret appearance in Iraq.

Those in opposition to the president’s move claim that the

secrecy involved in this unexpected trip only emphasizes the

instability in Iraq, apparently proving that the country is

deteriorating at a rapid pace. Due to the fact that many in the

country are all too quick to criticize any action taken by

President Bush, the important point of security for both the

president and the nation have been neglected. While it is important

for the government to communicate with the public it has been

elected to represent, it is not necessary for the government to

provide information about all its happenings.

In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, people not content

with the information provided on the multiple news stations were

calling for more complete information from the government. They

immediately wanted to know who it was and what the government was

going to do about the situation. Information could not come fast

enough to satiate these individuals’ appetites, and so they began

to grow skeptical of the government. Apparently a lack of

information must mean that the government is attempting to cover up

and hide things from the public. For many, this was just the start

(or a just the continuation of) a corrupt, secretive government

that could not be trusted. The lack of information provided by the

government is at times necessary, and Sept.11, 2001, was just one

example of those times.

By now, many of you are getting angry, planning out your next

letter to the editor. But before I get angry e-mails, let me

explain the position that the government should not tell the public

everything. First and foremost, the government must keep

information under wraps for our own safety. If the government

disclosed all information about things like the president’s trip to

Iraq, it would let terrorists know that our president is in close

proximity to them, perhaps inviting an attack. Any information that

is available to the U.S. public is available to terrorists. Also,

information about the troop locations or attack plans should

obviously be kept secret in order to keep soldiers safe and the

attack a surprise. There should be no argument against that last

point. It only makes perfect sense. The nation’s security is in the

government’s hands, and to disclose information that could in any

way jeopardize that would be asinine.

Also, divulging all information to the American public could

only invite chaos. If the news stations had broadcasted information

about terrorists’ whereabouts, troop whereabouts or attack plans

after the terrorist attacks, the nation would have erupted into a

chaotic state. The government will tell the public the information

that is necessary to keep them safe. However, anything beyond that

is too much information. With too much information given, many in

the country could decide to take things into their own hands,

rioting would occur and government leadership would be completely


I am not saying that the government should keep absolutely

everything concealed, however. There is information that should be

conveyed to the public. The government consists, after all, of

representatives who we elect. However, they do have the power and

the knowledge to make certain decisions in our best interest, and

we have to trust that they are doing so or run the risk of

important information getting into the wrong hands.

President Bush’s surprise visit in Iraq was not an attempt to

prove the unstable conditions in Iraq. It is a known fact that all

of the Middle East is unstable. The secrecy of his visit was to

protect the president, his traveling crew, our troops and

ourselves. The government knows what to tell the public and when to

tell it, so do not put everyone in jeopardy by requesting

information that puts us all in danger. It’s just common sense.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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