Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pertinent Quotes - Free the Files

“I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion.” – Thomas Jefferson

“The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open republic, and we are, as a people, inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“We don’t dare confront the implications. I think we’ve all agreed there was a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy, and we just don’t want to know the complete truth. It involves such powerful forces in what we call ‘high places’ that if we do know, everything might fall apart.” – Leonard Bernstein – 1980

“…The Justice Department is in physical custody of a variety of materials originating from the Select Committee (on Assassinations HSCA). It can be anticipated that your department will receive requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for access to these materials. The purpose of this letter is to request specifically that this Congressional material and related information NOT be disclosed outside your department without the written concurrence of the House of Representatives. All (government agencies) are treat the records they compiled for the HSCA committee investigation in the same fashion as ‘congressional material’ NOT TO BE RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC.”  - Rep. Luis Stokes, Chairman, HSCA, March 27, 1979

South American Bishop Juan Genrardi Conedera, shortly before he was assassinated on April 25, 1998, said:  “The root of humanity’s downfall and disgrace comes from the deliberate opposition to the truth…To open ourselves to the truth and to bring ourselves to free the force with our personal and collective reality is not an option that can be accepted or rejected, it is undeniable requirement of all people and all societies that seek to humanize themselves and to be free. Truth is the primary word, the serious and mature action that makes it possible for us to break the cycle of death and violence and open ourselves to a future of hope and light for all. Discovering the truth is painful, but it is without a doubt a healthy and liberating action.”

On signing the FOI Act July 4, 1966 LBJ said: “This legislation springs from one of our most essential principles: a democracy works best when the people have all the information that the security of the Nation permits. No one should be able to pull curtains of secrecy around decisions which can be revealed without injury to the public interest. I have always believed that freedom of information is so vital that only the national security, not the desire of public officials or private citizens, should determine when it must be restricted. I signed this measure with a deep sense of pride that the United States is an open society in which the people’s right to know is cherished and guarded.” 

Sen. Edward V. Long, in introducing the bill that became the FOIA, quoted James Madison: “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both.”

“At this point in the investigation there appears to be nothing of significance which should not be revealed to the American public because of national security or any other consideration.” – Warren Commission Counsel  J. Lee Rankin in March 11, 1964 letter to Sen. Jacob Javits

“We are all the victims of the executioners of John F. Kennedy. Surely, the assassination of a president should be freely and openly discussed, with no information withheld except where the law requires it. Yet the government keeps facts about the assassination secret, in violation of what Congress intended the Freedom of Information law to mean.”
– James Lesar, Esq.

G. Kinston Clark, in The Critical Historian, writes: “The distortion produced by bias are potentially present in any attempt to write history. Sometimes the danger is obvious and menacing; sometimes it is covert, coming from unexpected angles and in not easily detected forms. ….Any interpretation which makes use of facts which can be shown to be false, or accepts as certainty true facts which are dubious, or does not take into account facts which are known, are at best, potentially misleading, and possibly grossly, and dangerously deceptive. ….It is the first task of the historian to review any narrative to find what links are missing altogether…where what is defective cannot be supplied by further research, it is an historian’s duty to draw attention to the fact so that men can know where they stand.…Any historical conception which has not been adjusted to the most recent results will cease to be satisfactory.”

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