Freedom Is Being Censored in America
by Sergey Borisov
Since America is waging war with the international terrorism, the USA started struggling with the “informational leakage.” The “battle field” is rather wide; it included libraries, Internet sites, press-releases. The citizens of the former Soviet Union are familiar with this situation. The Americans used to have a saying during the World War II – about “the words that can sink ships.” We are living in the new millennium, but the calls for circumspection are still actual. The Americans understand that watchfulness is a sister of security, that is why they are trying to understand the censorship, which had to get into the picture. As the Christian Science Monitor wrote, the public libraries were offered to remove certain books from the shelves, available to everyone – terrorists could get some information they need from them. Something like was applied towards the world wide web. The Pentagon called upon its military chiefs to be more attentive towards the information, they published in their press-releases, even with the information, which seems to be totally harmless. The Federal act about the freedom of the information has been cut. There are appeals to censor the messages from those organizations, dealing with the environmental protection: the potential terrorists might use the information about poisonous substances and their influence on human organisms.
President Bush has to say it more often now – America is “an open society” so far. But at the same time, like the president says, “we are at war,” which means that “the foreign terrorists and their agents will never be allowed to use our freedom against us.” So, if you do not want terrorists to use the American freedom, you should cut this freedom in the first place. America is acting in the way any other country would do, if it were in its shoes. While some people are protesting censorship in the USA, others think it is their duty to deprive terrorists of the access to a huge number of materials, which have been taken off the security list. The Federation of the American scientists was scolding the government all the time for keeping a lot of the things secret. The Federation itself has recently removed 200 pages from its site - the pages, which were devoted to the intelligence and nuclear weapons. Other organizations call upon the ministry for energy to withdraw the “secret” data from the Internet not to make them accessible to terrorists.
Any kind of information, concerning the “work” with detained terrorists can become secret too. The censors think the information, saying who was detained, when, the citizenship of the detained terrorists must not be exposed.
Those, who stand for the American freedom are very alarmed: “Limiting our right for the information, the government avoids its duty to warn the society about the coming danger.” It is ironic, but America has to become “closed” at the moment, when another trend is gathering pace. In 1995 President Clinton ordered to declassify millions of documents. Well, what is going to be now? Are they all going to be put on the secret list again?