The very word secret is repugnant in a free and open society. And we are, as a people, inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided, long ago, that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.
Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in ensuring the survival of our Nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand it means to the very limits of censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that its in my control. And no official of my administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes, or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.
For we are opposed, around the world, by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence. On infiltration, instead of invasion. On subversion, instead of election. On intimidation, instead of free choice. On guerillas by night, instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligent, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.
No president should fear public scrutiny of his programs. For from that scrutiny comes understanding. And from that understanding comes support or opposition; and both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support an administration. But I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed. I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers, I welcome it.
This administration intends to be candid about its errors, for as a wise man once said, “An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors. And we expect you to point them out when we miss them. Without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed and no Republic can survive. That is why the Athenian law maker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment. The only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution. Not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasis the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply give the public what it wants, but to inform, to arouse, to reflect. To state our dangers and our opportunities. To indicate our crises and our choices. To lead, mold, educate, and sometimes even anger public opinion. This means greater coverage and analysis of international news. For it is no longer far away and foreign, but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news, as well as improved transmission. And it means, finally, that government at all levels must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of National Security.
And so it is to the printing press, to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience the courier of his news, that we look for strength and assistance. Confident that, with your help, man will be what he was born to be. Free and independent.
We may never know who this domestic terrorist referenced. For on November 22, 1962, his dissident voice—along with many others—was silence by a warning shot, presumably, from a grassy-knoll in Dallas, Texas. This domestic terrorist was John F. Kennedy. The words of the transcript, above, are accurate, if grammatically incorrect. I took it from a speech that he gave five days before that fateful day that changed our nation. In more ways than you can imagine.
Did President Kennedy get “cold feet” and start to stray from the “party” line? After studying this man for much less time than other writers and scholars, I readily admit, the conclusion that I draw is a little different. Perhaps he saw something in our government not to his liking. Perhaps a government agency, or “non-governmental agency” was doing something that he intended to thwart. After my brief study of this man, I rather believe that he was taking a courageous step and trying to warn the burned-out-on-drugs-sixties-hippies that loved him that the game was afoot. And it would not be pretty.
This is not a new proposal, by any means. The web is replete with such accusations. I merely state them for your consideration. Are there any indications, today, that President Kennedy might have been correct?
The CIA is alleged to have sold drugs to the inner cities to finance who-knows-what? They investigated themselves and, to the satisfaction of Congress, absolved themselves of any wrong doing. We can no longer question Gary Webb. He “committed suicide.”
John Rockefeller (D-WV) recently expressed the opinion that the Internet had never been invented. Obama espouses the use of an “Internet Czar” to rid it of “hate sites.” This despite the words of Thomas Jefferson, “Our first objective should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues of truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press.”
The Federal Reserve Board has taken over control of your money without your consent or vote in this “Democratic society.” They do not even have any oversight by your elected representatives.
President Obama does not mind the “special interest groups” trying to shove health care down our throats without even giving time for Congress to read and study the 1600 page proposal. It is reported out of Washington that the Congress has tabled the proposal until after the August recess. But staunch Obamacrats still are fighting for passage without consideration.
I did not know John F. Kennedy, Mr. Obama. But you’re no Kennedy!