Barbarians at the gate

We’ve found the point of tension between the pull of security interests during this troubled time versus our rights as a free people. We weren’t looking for a confrontation on this issue, it was thrust upon us. But now we have an opportunity to examine this tension and draw a line between the two points for our readers.

We believe a contributor on assignment for this paper had his rights abused at an airport (see “Homeland Insecurity,”). A National Guardsman with a gun ordered his photos destroyed and the reporter was held in custody for hours. Then an airline refused to allow him to fly because he supposedly “made people nervous.”

We also contend the military and police weren’t sure at the time where the line between security and freedom was and simply crossed it because they could. They have the guns and the authority, so who will question them? We will.

We feel that during this current crisis a free press is more important than ever. We need to know what the military is doing in our name.

You may not be as concerned right now about individual liberties as we are, but try to step back and remember that this so-called War on Terrorism will be over one day, and the First Amendment will still need to be around.