Beyond the Cusp

August 7, 2007

Is Our Ship of State About to Sink?

Filed under: Uncategorized — qwertster @ 11:49 PM
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The Ship of State is defined as, “A nation or its affairs likened to a ship under sail.” So, why might our Ship of State be in danger of sinking? We have the mightiest of all armed forces and our economic wealth production is unequalled. We appear to be unstoppable and invincible with the crumbling of the Soviet Union in the late 1980’s. Where we may be having a degree of difficulty in the Middle East, it is understood that should push come to shove, there is no alliance of Middle East or Islamic countries that could actually pose any true threat should we fully engage. So, what could possibly be a threat that could sink our Ship of State?

As everyone knows, there are many ways to sink a ship. One could set the ship ablaze burning it to the waterline when it would then sink. A torpedo could punch a large enough hole in the hull at or under the waterline and sink the ship. You could bomb it, or have it run aground on a reef, or have it overcome in a storm or be overturned by a tidal or rogue wave, or any of numerous ways. Fortunately, our Ship of State appears too well built, too well protected, and too commanding to be subdued by any force that might rise against it. But there is one cause that just might sink our Ship of State. This would be the naval equivalence of death by a thousand cuts; the springing of more leaks than our bilge pumps could overcome.

Watching the news I have seen a disturbing increase in classified or secret information being made public. This release of privileged information are referred to as leaks and is just these leaks that could come such a threat so as to sink our great Ship of State. Where many of these leaks are nothing more than inconvenient or embarrassing for some in our political and government ranks, some of these leaks are of vital information, special secret programs, or future plans of military or diplomatic nature. These are the leaks being punched in our Ship of State below the waterline. These are the leaks that if compounded sufficiently will sink our Ship of State. Lesser number of such leaks would slow our Ship of State and make her all the more vulnerable. This is a serious problem that needs to be seriously addressed.

The first step to plugging and preventing leaks would be to stop the practice by our Administrations and to a lesser extent our Congress to leak information in order to gauge public reaction. This is referred to as a trial balloon, but it is basically just a nice way of saying leak. Political parties and campaigns also practice this. This allows the leaking of information to become accepted in other areas by other sources. This has made leaking an accepted means of propagating information that is either supportive of the leaker’s position or destructive to an opponent’s positions. This trend is especially troubling, as it has become used more often to frustrate the policies and efforts of the opposing party. This leads to leaks by Democrat sympathizers when a Republican is in the White House and by Republican sympathizers when a democrat is in the White House. It may be my bias, but I have tended to notice a greater use of embarrassing and damaging leaks during Republican Administrations. As I said, it may be my bias, but that does not diminish the threat leaks pose to our Ship of State.

In reality of the world it makes little difference which side of the political spectrum is guilty of leaking as all of them cause problems and they are accumulative in their effects. Granted that after a leak has occurred the damage can be mitigated by adjusting policies or procedures as needed to negate the effect, essentially plugging the leak. Even in such a case, there is still damage, as it requires extra efforts and actions to make adjustments to adopt a new approach. There are also those leaks that no amount of effort can mitigate their effect. These possibly devastating leaks have become more prevalent as time passes. These leaks are those that lay bare our secret intelligence methods and programs. These leaks permanently allow water into our Ship of State and enough of them will pose a serious situation where we can no longer gather the needed information instrumental for piloting the Ship of State. These are the leaks that we cannot plug and must find ways of preventing them.

The obvious path leading to ending the leaking of vital projects and methods is to search out the source of such leaks and bring them to justice. This may be a difficult task but it is a necessary one none-the-less. Part of the problem in tracking down leakers of sensitive information is the sheer size of our intelligence agencies and the great numbers of employees that may be in a position of privilege that allows access to the guarded information. Further problems are the current protection offered all too many government employees by the Selective Service Acts. This and the fact that these systems often have cliques that forms giving a layer of protection and anonymity for the leaker. These methods of concealment must be broken and dissolved by investigations into the source of leaks.

We must take a no tolerance approach into prosecuting leakers where any unauthorized dissemination of classified or secret information has taken place. The punishments must be seemingly more severe than the apparent level of the leaked information. Often a leak has far reaching damaging effects beyond the actual and disclosed secrets. Naturally, the more sensitive the information, the more severe the applied punishment. It would not be beyond imagination that some damaging leaks would present such a degree of severity that life in prison would be applicable. A ship is only functional when there are no leaks and the ship is kept sound. For the sake of our future and the health and buoyancy and maneuverability of our Ship of State, leaks need to be addressed by a serious and concerted effort backed up with severe and guaranteed punishment for those convicted. This should be an effort supported by all who hold our country dear. Count me as one of those patriots.

Beyond the Cusp

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