I have been particular disturbed (as have many others) by the arrest of another ex-soldier for opinions he expressed in an on-line forum (in his case it was a closed forum!). The actions of our government to suppress the free expression of opinion and ideas is frightening.
I certainly expect those currently in the military, and those who have served to not divulge classified information about operations, tactics or strategy that they are knowledgable about. And critical statements about on-going operations while in the military does not support the command structure that is critical for a successful armed forces.
However, when those same military personnel are no longer serving, they are free by our constitution to express their thoughts just as any other private citizen. They must not be prevented from being able to express their views. We are proud of, and grateful for the service of these great men and women, who dedicate a portion (or all) of their lives to help maintain freedom in this country and others. Their perspective is an important component to the dialogue that helps to keep this country great.
Fortunately, the technology today is fantastic – we can express our views and have it seen by people around the world immediately. Gone are the days when it was nearly impossible to share your thoughts with many people in a timely fashion – a past time when we were often captive to the few organizations that controlled the dissemination of information. With this technological capability however, also comes the risk that there will be those watching the “airwaves” for nefarious reasons. We must protect each other against these forces.
For if our government is watching ex-military now, they are or will shortly be watching each and every one of us. Are we really that far away from our neighbors reporting us to the authorities because they don’t like something we’re doing? Sounds like several failed communist and facist countries to me.
Lets stand together to insure our airwaves, the internet and our expression of opinion – whether we agree or not – stays open and uncensored. We must resist all efforts to suppress the opinions of others – and yes – especially of our ex-military personnel. Only in this environment can we truly be free. [We do have to act responsibly with our freedom – but that’s for another post.]