Ponder long and hard before you believe


To the Editor:

“How would Americans feel if there was a law requiring Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to turn over the data they collect to the government regularly?”

What, pray tell, makes you think the government is not doing so right now?

Is it because our leaders (and I do use the term loosely) have said they’re not doing it or is it because they have yet to admit doing so?

I’m not saying they are doing it, but I don’t take anything, and I do mean anything, the government says at full face value. Nor am I surprised when it come to light what it has been doing while keeping the citizens in the dark throughout the duration of its misdeeds.

I adopted this stance in June 1971 and have maintained it ever since.

That is the month the Nixon Administration, fearing embarrassment during the upcoming re-election campaign, had the Department of Justice issue a restraining order against further publication of the Top-Secret material which became known as the Pentagon Papers, a government-directed deep study of America’s involvement in Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam. The New York Times and The Washington Post fought the order for more than two weeks, during which time both newspapers suspended further publication of the series.

On June 30, 1971 the U.S. Supreme Court, a 6–3 decision, said the newspapers could resume publishing the material. Something about the restraining order being unconstitutional — that it violated the First Amendment’s Freedom of the Press. (Nixon always placed his self-interest well above obeying the law. He was, after all, the POTUS.)

I won’t go into full detail, but suffice it to say that I am totally justified in this stance. The Pentagon Papers are voluminous (nearly 3,000 pages) and prove just how underhanded politicians, especially those in our nation’s capital, can be.

If you doubt any of this, just research “Pentagon Papers.” You’ll likely be surprised to learn that every presidential administration from Truman to Nixon is implicated. I know I was.

You say you need another example of presidential skullduggery?

Okay, how about when William Jefferson Clinton looked straight into the camera and (with pointed finger) said, “I never had sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

If it isn’t abhorrent enough that he remained POTUS after Oval Office behavior that would have immediately cost any corporation CEO or university president his job, Slick Willy emphatically lied to every American Citizen (along with the rest of the world) in hopes of avoiding a confrontation with his wife.

What a low-life, self-serving poltroon!

And don’t overlook this important detail: If Monica Lewinsky has sent her infamous blue dress to the cleaners, the public-trust betraying Clinton would have gotten away with his deception and, in the process, left Miss Lewinsky hanging; ripe for being viewed and vilified as nothing more that a despicable, publicity-seeking, lying harlot.

That, my friend, is lower than low.

Go go ahead and accept at face value what politicians say if you wish, but I’ve witnessed too many incidents where doing so simply makes me a gullible fool.

And believe me, I need no help in portraying that persona.

Patrick J. Leslie