Bush and Singleton’s revision of ‘freedom’

To The Salt Lake Tribune staff, all I have to say is: You poor fools.

Your Sunday endorsement of President Bush for a second term was nothing less than appalling, disappointing and for the many of you who must have disagreed with it, cowardly.

When asked what freedom meant when I was younger, I could easily supply any number of juvenile answers including, “I can say and write what I believe.”

The freedom we have today, unfortunately, is a little different from what I thought it was. “I can say and write what I believe” has been changed to “I can say and write what I believe, as long as it doesn’t threaten the Bush administration’s values.” And your freedom, Tribune staff, has been violated by your publisher, Dean Singleton, for making you say and write what many of you do not believe.

Bush’s many crimes against the democracy of this country have been devastating, among the most harmful, the attack on our freedom of expression. Until Sunday, I didn’t realize it could hit so close to home.

Bush’s Critical Information Infrastructure Act, a provision of the Homeland Security Act, allows individuals to report information regarding the health and safety of America’s public to the Homeland Security Department. The information could include virus outbreaks, dam leaks and corporation fraud.

Once reported, that information becomes confidential. That means anyone who leaks the information will be criminally prosecuted. That means the newspaper, our government watchdog, can’t even give its readers the information they need to participate in a democracy. But you knew this, Tribune staff, didn’t you?

And you also knew that under Bush’s Patriot Act, anyone attempting to “coerce a civilian population” is defined as a terrorist.

You know how many problems the act has caused for the diverse population that is America.

And what about our roles as editorial writers-are we terrorists for trying to coerce the population with our columns?

And, as you already know, Bush has been the most secretive president in office for as long as we can remember. He has limited press access to the White House to the extent that we can’t even tell the public who he is.

When I look back, I realize I probably did have a good understanding of what freedom was when I was younger. It helps put into perspective the freedoms Bush has taken away, and it helps me understand the pain you must be in now that Publisher Dean Singleton has taken away your freedoms by abusing his own.

I now also have a new understanding of what unethical means since the Tribune has endorsed this particular candidate after refusing to endorse anyone for three decades. Thank you for educating me.

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