Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Fri, Jun 01 2007

Let it be public record

In a former day, when political secrets were much better kept, the issue over records of entry and exit logs might not have drawn such attention. But we live in a world where the untimely revelation of certain secrets has gotten a lot of politicians into hot water of one type or another. Destroying records does not seem prudent in the current political atmosphere. It raises questions of propriety and conduct in the professional lives of our highest officials, who are paid their salaries by taxpayers and who should adopt an attitude that holds them accountable to taxpayers. Anything shy of this comes across as self-serving and shady.

I don't think anyone is demanding a detailed report of all that is discussed. Records of that could certainly be kept secret. Destroying the records altogether is like trying to erase a trail of history. Why would we approve of that if we want to encourage honesty and integrity? It would make no sense in either principle or practicality. It can only serve a purpose in a political sense. And American taxpayers have no legal or ethical obligation to serve the political purposes of officials.

Even if a list is destroyed (or kept secret), let's remember that the ones doing the entering and exiting, and anyone who assists them in such, know of their actions. If they decide to talk about it later, it could end up looking very bad. If a record is kept, there's no doubt as to who did the coming and going. And as long as two or more people know something happened, there's really no secret anyway if one of them ever decides to talk. Didn't we just go through all this with the Valerie Plame case? It seems to me that the best thing would be a bright light from the start, so that no one can spring a list of names on anyone down the line.

posted at: 10:23 | category: /Politics | link to this entry



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The most disturbing and wasteful emotions in modern life, next to fright, are those which are associated with the idea of blame, directed against the self or against others.
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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!