Letters to the Editor

Obama gets a bye on Libya distortions

President Barack Obama's claims of advantage over a political rival on Middle East issues are rightfully being questioned.

In its ever-changing narrative about the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, and subsequent false reports, the Obama administration now claims U.S. intelligence failures. Two weeks after that deadly attack, we learned something almost immediately known by U.S. intelligence: It was a planned attack carried out by militants linked to al-Qaida, not a spontaneous outburst incited by Egyptian uprisings over an obscure anti-Islam film produced by an American.

Furthermore, recent events demonstrating our failure to provide adequate security for Americans serving in those countries has received little press.

Had this occurred before 2009, it would have been huge news. The press vigorously defends its constitutional guarantee of freedom and no law was passed restricting it, yet news exposing executive branch failure appears suppressed by the press. Is it presidential influence or undue pressure? Is the press aligned with the administration such that it protects the president from potentially negative stories?

If the former is true, the government illegally restricts the press; if it's the latter, one questions the legitimacy of a body defending its freedom while constraining stories it publishes -- in effect becoming the public relations arm of the government. If so, it is not publishing news, and it is no longer free.

Phil Freer

Dataw Island

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