The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 5, 2012

Your View: A free and apolitical press

By Anson Burlingame
Special to The Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — If that is not one of the bastions of America, then I have no idea what might be the principles that support our country. For now almost two months have demonstrated a lack of such press coverage of a national crisis by “mainstream” media. I speak of events in and around Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.

We the people only really know two clear facts, undisputed facts. An American diplomatic consulate was overrun and burned to the ground by a violent mob, and four Americans died in that onslaught. From there we are all in the dark as to exactly what did or did not happen.

For three weeks or so, the administration tried to psychoanalyze the mob to explain why the attacks took place. I could care less why a mob burned an American facility and killed four Americans. I only want to know if we could have prevented or mitigated that attack.

I also want to know instead what will be done in the future if such attacks take place.

I do not suggest what should be done. I only want to know the truth about what happened and what will be done to prevent a repeat of such a crisis. Our free press, mainstream media if you will, has done little or nothing to answer such questions.

I have unleashed a stream of emails for over a week now to the Washington Post ombudsman, pleading for news, not opinion, but coverage of events surrounding Benghazi. He agrees that such should be covered but thus far, for almost two months now, essentially no news coverage has been forthcoming.

When the entire authority of our National Command Authority is questioned, military officers are “fired” with no real reasons given, some attempts at timelines are made but only by Fox News, then what are Americans supposed to do? Wait while we investigate seems to be the answer.

This issue is far from a political issue. It goes to the heart and soul of how we protect America and Americans in harm’s way. If there is confusion in the National Command Authority, the White House, State Department, Department of Defense and all the intelligence agencies, then we the people need to know about that and join the debate to not let it happen again.

Only a free and apolitical press can provide that information to us, and I call for such information now, not after an election or some yearlong bureaucratic investigation with lawyers making excuses for principles.

Anson Burlingame