LETTER TO THE EDITOR - An Absolute Need For Secrecy

(11/24/2001)

Referring To: GUARDING FREEDOM - Vigilance Over The Enemy Within

Dear Bob,

In the military there is an expression that "One 'Aw shucks' will cancel 1000 'Atta boys,'" when evaluating an individual's career. One relatively minor event can halt advancement in the military. Incompetence exists in all endeavors including the profession of arms, and when a soldier is involved, treatment differs from civilian counterparts in two ways. First, the incompetent soldier can, and will be, eliminated easily with virtually no recourse, while it is difficult, indeed almost impossible, to deprive a bungling doctor, teacher, lawyer or engineer of the privileges of their professions. Second, a military error will get far greater attention in the media than an abject blunder committed by a civilian. As a military man I would not have it any other way.

I was placed on the retired list as a Regular U.S. Army Colonel in 1986 and, unless I resign my commission, I am subject to lifetime active duty recall for whatever purpose I may serve, or to be tried by court-martial for a crime or unseemly behavior committed in the civilian sector. It would be far better to be tried before a military judge who sits on the bench because of consistently superior performance than to stand before a civilian judge who has claimed the seat through political channels. Many civilian judges and virtually all military judges are competent.

The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in peacetime without warning. A declaration of war was late, but the fact remains it came after the event. Perhaps we should have identified the planners and perpetrators of that attack and arrested them to stand trial for their crime in our civilian courts. Did the United States government quickly move to replace long-standing due process by placing those Japanese suspected of crimes against America in a special legal box, because our constitutional system of justice was no longer trusted? Was our massive military response ill advised, especially since the Empire of Japan was crushed and many of those who stood accused of crimes against us were tried by military tribunals, some being put to death? Most served short prison terms or were acquitted.

The attack on the United States that took place on 11 September of this year was as dastardly as the 7 December 1941 crime committed against us. It was clearly an act of war. It was not a mugging. The planners and perpetrators of the crime aren't readily available for arrest since they are spread over the world, representing no nation and having allegiance only to their cause.

An absolute need for secrecy attends our efforts to destroy or otherwise bring these criminals to justice, which necessitates the closed court of a military tribunal. The need for protection of innocent witnesses and other matters requires that records be sealed for a period of time.

Bob, I would not presume to lecture you on historic matters. Everything that is being done now has been done before, approved by the United States Supreme Court and, here-to-fore, has caused no permanent derogation of our freedom.

I can assure you without reservation that our military will never do anything to diminish the freedom that is the essence of our nation. The military is the one group fully committed to its preservation.

Every morning I go to The Hur Herald, look at the picture of the day, and search for anything you have written. Thank you for the opportunity to start my day in such a delightful way.

Bob, I must take exception to parts of the referenced article, but that certainly does not change the fact it was written by a master.

Please give my regards to your bride. I hope the doppelgangers have left her computer.

Sincerely,

Sam Griffith