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It’s Time for Transparency

Why Is It The Truth-Tellers Always Get Canned?

Some news stories give me pause about whether those in government have any concern at all for the rights of the American people. The detention of Bradley Manning is one of those stories. If he did what authorities claim he did, he most certainly broke some serious laws, and for that, there should be consequences.

Regardless of his guilt or innocence, the seriousness of his actions, or whatever, one thing is clear: No American should be stashed away in the brig, under questionable conditions and treatment, without a timely day in court.

An American accused of a crime should be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This basic principle has been firmly established in our laws since the Founders, and has been hailed by Americans of all political stripes as a staple of a free society. If Bradley Manning is guilty of a crime, he will have to deal with the consequences of his actions. His guilt, however, is a matter for the judicial system. The rule of law works only as long as the government has to play by the rules set forth in the Constitution and proves its case in the judicial system. This case is no exception.

Last week, P.J. Crowley, a State Department spokesman, called Manning’s treatment, “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.” Three days later, the Obama Administration asked him to step down– so much for this administration’s promise of transparency. A government spokesman who tells the truth, or even his own observation, about what the government is doing shouldn’t be the one to ‘take the fall’ for yet another embarrassing example of Federal arrogance.

We have a judicial system that works pretty well if we actually use it and make sure all have access to it. This case is no exception. If the facts and the evidence can’t stand the light of day, then we have a much bigger problem than WikiLeaks. It’s a problem that that involves a lack of transparency, too much secrecy, and a general disregard of civil liberties.

It is clear that freedom and individual rights still have to be fought for every day before an overzealous government swallows them. Sadly, the Washington insiders and political commentators in the media, whom have all been silent on this scandal, will not do it for us. We have to fight for our rights ourselves.

Good governing is simple. I practiced it for 8 years while Governor of New Mexico. Government should protect us from individuals that do us harm, but should be out of our lives otherwise.

The government should protect the value of individuals and their civil liberties. The government should not intervene in the private lives of individual citizens unnecessarily. Personal liberty and freedom from unwarranted governmental control or regulation should allow law abiding individuals to pursue their own desires as long as they are not causing harm to other people.

There should be less government, greater liberty and lasting prosperity for America.

Transforming these simple ideas into the guiding principles of government is what the Our America Initiative is all about. They are the motivation behind the fact that I have spent the past year and a half traveling to 32 states and appearing on countless news programs. And our message of truth and freedom is resonating.

This week, I am in California meeting with folks from all political persuasions – and they all agree with us that government is out of control. This weekend, I am headed back to Washington, DC, and next week on to Chicago. At every stop, heads are nodding in agreement that we can no longer stand by and watch as the government strips our freedoms, spends us into bankruptcy, and robs our potential for prosperity.

I can’t do this alone. Our America is growing every day, with more and more like-minded Americans signing up to help. But we need YOUR help to keep the momentum going. Your contribution today, of any amount, provides the resources we must have to keep spreading our message and put the pressure on Washington to get out of our daily lives.

One of my most important goals is to continue defending the rule of law and the civil liberties that you and I hold so dear. The Our America Initiative is growing every day, with more and more like-minded Americans signing up to get involved. Our message is one that needs to be heard, and there has never been a more important time for our fellow citizens to hear it.

Thank you for all of your support. It is truly humbling to know that so many people are united in defense of freedom.

Your energy and support is what motivates me every day to stand tall as a spokesman for liberty:


In Liberty,

Gary Johnson

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