A different kind of shock and awe

Supporting those who fight for our Flag, Motherhood and Apple PieMy husband and I were watching a major network news station the other morning, and were shocked (yes, SHOCKED!) to see them explain, in great detail, a new piece of military equipment, and how it was going to be used in the coming months, as the US effort scales up in Afghanistan.

We were shocked because some of the capability being discussed and broadcast on the public airwaves for anyone to hear, aligned with the work our son is doing, which he only confided to us in bits and pieces, in hushed tones, under the promise of utmost secrecy for the security of his mission and the safety of his fellow soldiers.

My father was a fighter pilot in WWII, flying the Brit made Spitfire over Malta and Italy with the early Army Air Corps, 31st Fighter Squadron, 308th Fighter Group.    Fifteen, twenty years later while raising me in the 60’s, the lessons of the “Just War” were impressed on me fervently:

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do”

“Scrap your fat, lady” – yes, the government reclaimed bacon fat, after repeated uses!

Loose lips sink ships.”

“Careless talk kills”

What am I missing? What is going on here?  How can we have we moved so far from these basic sensibilities? Is the tyranny of the 24/7  news cycle so ravenous, that every detail of our capability and technology MUST be spun out for public consumption, with no thought given to the ramifications for the guys in the trenches, the men and women who are putting their lives on the line, for us?

Yes, I know: the First Amendment, Free Speech, Freedom of the Press.  There is absolutely no argument that it is our RIGHT to disclose all this information.  It’s perfectly legal.  I get all that. And I support all that – in the spirit of the Friends of Voltaire – I disagree with what you say, but I defend to the death your right to say it. I was raised to believe that, too.

But does that mean we have to disclose everything, all the time?  Can’t we, as a free society choose NOT to exercize our right to disclose everything until it becomes pertinent to do so?  Isn’t that the definition of maturity – knowing what NOT to do, and when NOT to do it?

red-fri-dayAnd please, remember to wear RedFriday.

Thanks much,



3 Responses to “A different kind of shock and awe”

  1. 1 W
    April 10, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    I’m wearing red. From Alaska.

  2. 2 Jim Fischer
    April 13, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Our press has lost its common sense. Thank you to all your family for their service.

  3. April 13, 2009 at 12:02 pm


    I agree wholeheartedly. Simply because something is legal and within your rights doesn’t mean you should do it. That’s the insidious nature of the nanny state. People come to believe since the government hasn’t made something illegal it is “okay” to do that thing. As you know freedom is eternally intertwined with responsibility. They cannot be separated. It is up to us to use our intelligence to decide what is a responsible action. Unfortunately the modern media takes zero responsibility for the damage they cause. The danger here is, freedom is lost when faith in freedom is lost and faith in freedom is lost when free people fail to act responsibly and look to big government to “fix their problems.” When the irresponsible fail to see that “they are the problem” that needs to be solved and that they alone can solve it, violence, force, and tyranny are right around the corner.

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