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Just before Thanksgiving, the FBI briefed the president on what actually happened to Washington Post columnist Jama Khosshoggi, that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia had to know and give the order for his murder in the Saudi Turkish Consulate.
Instead of defending the constitutional right of freedom of speech and the press and those that work so diligently at revealing and publishing the truth – POTUS defended the brutal killing of Khosshogi. In a wholly greedy, self-serving, money grabbing (as Dickens would put it) way he talked about how important Saudi oil was to the U.S and for the kingdom to keep buying U.S. arms – killing thousands of innocent Yemeni people along the way.
The Truth lost its most important defender today. We all lost out to geo politics and power in its most naked way. The message being sent by our President is: “as long as you keep paying us and buying our stuff you can kill anybody you want and we will look the other way, including journalists”. Historians will look back on this event as the low point for Truth in this country and the defense of the Press.
Our founding fathers knew that a strong press was crucial to keep government in check from overreaching with its power over the people. Jefferson and Madison believed in the American experiment that a well-informed citizenry will in the end make wise decisions about who and how they should be governed.
This president with all his demagoguery, scapegoating, bullying and no respect for the truth has taken the moral level of our country to a new low – in our eyes and the eyes of the world. He passed the 5,000 mark in falsehoods, misleading statements and just plain lies as recorded by the Washington Post this past September. He has actually increased the number of falsehoods as he was campaigning for candidates he backed to an average of 32 per day from 8 per day up to his 601st day in office.
Journalists are under attack around the world, in the first 6 months of 2018 there has been 47 journalists killed worldwide almost the same number as for all of 2017.
Source: Statista – 2018
With nearly double the number of deaths through June 2018 journalists have a target on their backs. Our POTUS did not help the situation by sending the message that dictators can kill journalists and there is no consequence. When worldwide we a renewed focus on the truth, instead we are giving a green light to the creation of lie after lie.
Our national leaders need to be defending journalists throughout the world and in the U.S in particular because they are the investigators, researchers and messengers of truth. Truth is the fresh air of democracy. Our democracy cannot survive as a representative government when the truth and those who find and express the truth are under attack.
Congress and our national leaders need to take action to show the Saudi government that we want a relationship with the nation, not their present brutal leader, and the Saudi people. We must defend the Truth, Liberty and Freedom wherever it is under attack in the world.