Thursday, 11 July 2024

    To the Mainstream Media: Thank You

    by Navy Capt. (Ret) Pete O’Brien

    I’ll begin by saying that National Review and the Federalist have already covered this facet of the ongoing national drama and done so very well; I’m joining the dog pile.

    There’s an old vaudeville line that goes: “Sincerity is the most important thing, once you can fake that you can fake anything.”

    In practical terms, sincerity is the opposite side of the coin of trust. To be trusted you must be sincere, you must try to do what’s right and you must tell the truth. Further, once trust is lost it cannot be easily regained. Those who have had their trust violated rightly should be exceptionally demanding in trusting such an individual ever again in even the most minor of matters. 

    Christ told his disciples: Anyone who is trustworthy in little things is trustworthy in great; anyone who is dishonest in little things is dishonest in great.

    In the case facing the American people – for whom the government works, I’ll remind you – there is literally a cast thousands of people who have, with all faked sincerity, stood up and lied to the American people.

    And these have not been trivial lies. 

    I’m not going to comment about family and friends, that is simply too convoluted in nearly any family, never mind one living in such a fishbowl. But what about the rest of them? Specifically the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, and all of the folks who work in government who had the chance to see the situation at first hand.

    First off, all the people in government take oaths. Those oaths are to defend the Constitution. There is no mention of any other person, nor any office. The oath is to defend the Constitution and the nation. Is there a responsibility to act, to say something when someone in a position of power is no longer capable of acting clearly and rationally? The answer to the question would seem to be self-evident. But clearly it is not to quite a few people in the government right now. All those people not only failed to do their jobs, they violated their oaths.

    Seven years ago we had senior figures in Washington publicly calling for legislative steps to remove from the executive branch the control of military forces because they said the President couldn’t be trusted. 

    That president avoided war for 4 years. 

    And when he left office in January of 2021 the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Doomsday Cock was at 2 minutes to midnight. It’s now at 90 seconds to midnight.

    Yet no one in the major media outlets seemed to raise the alarm in the past 3 years, no one voiced concerns about actual control of the football.

    Department Secretaries and Directors of agencies said nothing and did nothing.

    And for those grasping for their defense in history, FDR’s infirmities were hidden by the press nearly to the end, but except in his last few weeks, FDR’s mind was sharp.

    As for Woodrow Wilson, at least there was no nuclear arsenal to worry about.

    Thomas More once said that “an oath is words we say to God.” Every single figure in that inner circle who had a chance to see the reality of the situation at first hand, you broke your oath.

    But it is to the Press, the mainstream media, that we owe the real thanks. For you, who now suddenly find out that “there is gambling going on in this establishment,” it’s not that you lack even the integrity of this or that criminal element. In fact, you have no integrity at all. To any member of a mainstream press outlet, there is no reason for anyone to trust you. You were found to be untrustworthy not simply in a little matter, but in one around which curled the lives and safety of hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of people. Yet you scoffed at that responsibility and lied to one and all.

    And so, to all of you, to all the press figures who didn’t cover the obvious story, to the editors who spiked those stories that were written, and to all the thousands of government  figures who for more than 3 years have said nothing, and failed to live up to their oath and to the offices they held, who failed to be loyal to the Constitution, I say: Thank You.

    You have, as clearly as it has been demonstrated in the United States in quite a while, shown the reason why we are a republic, not a democracy, the reason why we have a written Constitution and a Bill of Rights, and the season why we have the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 14th amendments; because government is not – ever – to be trusted.

    George Washington, perhaps apocryphally, commented that: “Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is a force, like fire: a dangerous servant and a terrible master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”

    So this is our silver lining: this sad, 3 year long lie will result in more people in this country realizing they must never trust the government – any government – ever again. In particular, they must never trust the federal government.

    As for the individuals involved, particularly in media, but also in the executive branch, and for a large number of elected officials scattered around the country, and a large number of prominent citizens who had and have regular contact with the White House, you have just demonstrated that you are not trustworthy. Period.  

    There is no reason any of you should ever be trusted again in anything until you prove you are worthy. And frankly, nothing occurs to me as to how you could possibly do that.

    An immediate dis-qualifier for any person seeking a positions of any trust whatsoever would be that he or she was a member of the Press in Washington DC (with a few obvious exceptions), or worked in this White House, or was a senior member of any Executive branch department or agency in the last 3 years. You threw it all away and there is every reason now why you should never again be trusted by anyone, anywhere.

    You are the proof that government must not be trusted. And that is an invaluable lesson. Thank you.