Military Families Speak Out Washington State Chapter

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Bring Them Home Now!

One of the features of military families in this war that differs from previous wars is that there are more young married soldiers.

Here are some statistics:

-- in Iraq war, soldiers often married, with children

-- 55% of military personnel are married. 56% of those married are between 22 and 29.

-- One million military children are under 11.

-- 40% are 5 or younger.

-- 63% of spouses work, including 87% of junior-enlisted spouses.

Source: Department of Defense and National Military Family Association.



Dissent is loyalty Robert Taft, the conservative Ohio senator who is a hero to many of today's conservatives, gave a speech at the Executive Club of Chicago in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor.

There are a number of paragraphs that are just grand, but here's the best one, which is worth quoting in full:

As a matter of general principle, I believe there can be no doubt that criticism in time of war is essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government

... too many people desire to suppress criticism simply because they think that it will give some comfort to the enemy to know that there is such criticism.

If that comfort makes the enemy feel better for a few moments, they are welcome to it as far as I am concerned, because
the maintenance of the right of criticism in the long run will do the country maintaining it a great deal more good than it will do the enemy,
and will prevent mistakes which might otherwise occur.

Drink in those words.

That's not William Fulbright two years into the Vietnam War.

It's not Ted Kennedy last week.

It's Mr. Republican, speaking -- when? Not mid-1943, or even March 1942

Taft delivered this speech ... on December 19, 1941!

That's right: Twelve days after the worst attack on American soil in the country's history,

perhaps with bodies still floating in the harbor,

the leader of the congressional opposition said to the president, 'we will question, we will probe, we will debate.'

By Michael Tomasky,
The AMERICAN Prospect online


Order and send postcards to Congress - Fund our Troops, Defund the

Bring Them Home Now postage stamps


For more information see Appeal for Redress website.


For more information go to dvd 'The Ground Truth' website.


Some Past Campaigns - Washington state chapter MFSO members participation

2007

(photo - Daniel Ellsberg, Lt. Ehren Watada)

(photo - Organizing Team; Lietta Ruger - MFSO - WA chapter introduces the Panelists)

(photo - on the Panel - Elizabeth Falzone - GSFSO/ MFSO - WA chapter and Rich Moniak - MFSO - Alaska chapter listen to two days of testimony)

(photo - close up of Panelists Elizabeth Falzone - GSFSO/ MFSO - WA chapter and Rich Moniak - MFSO - Alaska chapter)

(photo - rRetired Diplomat Col. Ann Wright gives her testimony)

(photo - Organizing Team - Lietta Ruger - MFSO - WA chapter with retired Col. Ann Wright - Testifier)

(photo - Stacy Bannerma, wife of returning Iraq veteran - WA Natl Guard, gives testimony)

(photo - close up Stacy Bannerman, author of 'When The War Came Home' gives her testimony. Formerly MFSO - WA chapter. For more on Stacy, her book, media archives, see her website at www.stacybannerman.com)

(photo - IVAW veterans Geoffrey Millard and former Lt. Harvey Tharp give their testimony)

See website; 'Citizens' Hearing on Legality of U.S. Actions in Iraq';

Jan 20-21- 2007, Tacoma, WA.

A 2 day citizens' tribunal support action in defense of Lt. Ehren Watada court martial at Fort Lewis.

(Organizing Team from MFSO - WA chapter; Lietta Ruger, Judy Linehan)

2006


(photo Lietta Ruger, MFSO- WA, in support Lt. Ehren Watada, June 2006, Tacoma, WA)

(photo - Jenny Keesey, Judy Linehan, Lietta Ruger - from MFSO-WA in support of Lt. Ehren Watada June 2006, Tacoma, WA)

(photo - Lietta Ruger, Judy Linehan, Jenny Keesey - from MFSO - WA chapter, June 2006, Tacoma, WA)

(photo - Judy Linehan, MFSO - WA at support rally for Lt. Watada, June 2006, Tacoma, WA)

June 2006 ongoing through court martial Feb 2007

For more information, see 'Thank You Lt. Ehren Watada' website.


(photo - right is Stacy Bannerman, MFSO -WA; organizing team)

Representative Brian Baird, Washington state 3rd Congressional District, in blue shirt comes out to talk with MFSO members at 'Operation House Call')

'Operation House Call' June thru August 2006 in Washington DC.

MFSO members make individual calls on Senators and Representatives advocating to Bring Them Home Now.

For more information go to 'Operation House Call' website.

postcards sent to Congress - summer 2006, 'Operation House Call'


2005


(photo - Lietta Ruger, MFSO-WA on central tour. Not pictured - Stacy Bannerman, MFSO -WA on northern tour)

Bring Them Home Now tour - Sept 1 thru Sept 25 2005. From Crawford, Texas to Washington DC. see Bring Them Home Now tour website


(photo - left Lietta Ruger, MFSO -WA with center Cindy Sheehan and right Juan Torres at Crawford, Texas, Camp Casey, Aug 9, 2005


2004

photos from Newshour with Jim Lehrer; segment 'Homefront Battles' aired Oct 2004.

Online video, audio and article still available at Newshour website. photo - Sue Niederer, MFSO. Her son U.S. Army 2nd Lt.Seth Dvorin, 24 yrs old was killed in Iraq Feb 3, 2004.

photo - Nancy Lessin, MFSO Co-Founder

photo - Lietta Ruger, MFSO - WA

photo - Stacy Bannerman, MFSO - WA


See at Seattle PI; List of casualties with Washington state ties

This is one of WA state casualties; Army Spc. Jonathan J. Santos, Whatcom County, Washington died Oct 15, 2004

Watch a slide show of family photos and listen to audio recordings of Army Cpl. Jonathan Santos' mother, brother and the woman who's documenting his life.

See the trailer for the documentary "The Corporal's Boots." (QuickTime 7 required).

A special thank you to mother, Doris Kent - GSFSO/ MFSO - WA for her generous sharing and contribution in speaking of her son's life and death in Iraq


Title 17 disclaimer In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
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Contact us


mfso@mfso.org




Military Families Speak Out
is an organization of people who are opposed to war in Iraq and who have relatives or loved ones in the military. We were formed in November of 2002 and have contacts with military families throughout the United States, and in other countries around the world.

As people with family members and loved ones in the military, we have both a special need and a unique role to play in speaking out against war in Iraq. It is our loved ones who are, or have been, or will be on the battlefront. It is our loved ones who are risking injury and death. It is our loved ones who are returning scarred from their experiences. It is our loved ones who will have to live with the injuries and deaths among innocent Iraqi civilians.

If you have family members or loved ones in the military and you are opposed to this war join us.

Send us an e-mail at
mfso@mfso.org
.
You can call us at 617-522-9323
or Send us mail at:
MFSO
P.O. Box 549
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.

click here - MFSO Membership Form – to join Military Families Speak Out or

JOIN us by sending an e-mail to mfso@mfso.org.


MFSO - Become a Member

Membership in MFSO is open to anyone who has a family member or loved one serving, since August 2002, in any branch of our Armed Forces

* The Reserves

* The National Guard

* Returned from serving but still eligible for redeployment under stop loss.

There is no membership fee. Donations are welcome.

People who are not eligible for MFSO membership may join our Supporter Group. You are welcome to attend meetings that are open to the public, volunteer to help with event preparation and participate in our community actions and events. Supporters may purchase MFSO t-shirts and wear them with the "Proud Supporter of MFSO" button. Buttons may also be worn without the t-shirt.

Our Supporters provide emotional encouragement and physical help to our MFSO military families who are under extreme stress, especially if their loved one is in Iraq or Afghanistan

We welcome your involvement, please contact us.


click to see the list MFSO chapters other than Washington state forming around the country.


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CHRONOLOGICAL ARCHIVES
into our 3rd year of speaking out
20 Oct, 08 > 26 Oct, 08
7 Jan, 08 > 13 Jan, 08
5 Nov, 07 > 11 Nov, 07
17 Sep, 07 > 23 Sep, 07
23 Jul, 07 > 29 Jul, 07
9 Jul, 07 > 15 Jul, 07
11 Jun, 07 > 17 Jun, 07
4 Jun, 07 > 10 Jun, 07
28 May, 07 > 3 Jun, 07
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30 Apr, 07 > 6 May, 07
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9 Apr, 07 > 15 Apr, 07
2 Apr, 07 > 8 Apr, 07
26 Mar, 07 > 1 Apr, 07
19 Mar, 07 > 25 Mar, 07
12 Mar, 07 > 18 Mar, 07
5 Mar, 07 > 11 Mar, 07
26 Feb, 07 > 4 Mar, 07
19 Feb, 07 > 25 Feb, 07
12 Feb, 07 > 18 Feb, 07
5 Feb, 07 > 11 Feb, 07
29 Jan, 07 > 4 Feb, 07
22 Jan, 07 > 28 Jan, 07
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30 Jan, 06 > 5 Feb, 06
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3 Oct, 05 > 9 Oct, 05
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30 May, 05 > 5 Jun, 05
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Wednesday, 18 July 2007
Iraq veterans present the first of the folded flags to Congress in
Topic: Soldiers Speak Out
Iraq veterans present the folded flag to Representative Hoyer's Chief of Staff.




Iraq Vets Announce Tri-Folded Flag Campaign to Hold Congress Responsible:
"FUNDING THE WAR IS KILLING THE TROOPS"


Washington , DC : Iraq Veterans Against the War is urging a rapid and safe withdrawal of troops from Iraq , adequate funding of the needs of veterans when they return and the rebuilding of Iraq by Iraqis.

According to Garett Reppenhagen, Chair of Iraq Vets Against the War: " Iraq Veterans Against the War is a growing movement of Iraq War era veterans and active duty service members that are opposing the occupation of Iraq . Through our military experience we have learned that the continued presence of US troops in the Middle-East is instigating further hatred toward American Armed Forces and undermining our nation's security. As a result, our military in Iraq is viewed by the majority of the world as occupiers and not peace keepers. The Iraq Veterans Against the War stands by the belief that funding the war is killing the troops."

IVAW will be holding a press conference, rally and the delivery of Tri-Folded American Flags to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, and Majority Whip Clyburn on Tuesday, July 17th at the Upper Senate Park at 1:00 PM. A rally will be held at 2:00 PM and flags will be delivered at 3:00 PM.

Speaking at the press conference will be Garett Rappenhagen, Adam Kokesh – who recently gained national media attention when the Marines threatened him with discipline for his anti-war advocacy and Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. is the President of the Hip Hop Caucus, an Air Force Officer who is being threatened with discharge from the Air Force Reserve Individual Reserve Program as a 'national security threat' due to his anti-war, climate change and civil rights activism.

Adam Kokesh described how funding the war is killing the troops saying "As a proud combat veteran who believes in a strong US military and national defense, I find the Iraq war most offensive. Resources that could be allocated to a multitude of other projects to enhance our security are instead being diverted into the futile occupation of Iraq . The brave men and women who have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution deserve better than to risk their lives in a misadventure that is detrimental to our security, and our Constitution. Further funding of this quagmire will only result in more needless deaths."

Rev. Yearwood put the blame for failure to end the war on the Democratic Party leadership saying "On Nov 7, 2006, America went to the polls to demand an end to the war in Iraq, yet this Democratic Congress continues to fund the occupation. As a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, I can say we did not vote for a Democratic Congress or a Republican Congress, we voted for a Human Congress. Representatives Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn are putting the interests of the Democratic Party before the interests of humanity, and until they use their leadership in Congress to de-fund the war, Iraq Veterans Against the War holds them personally responsible for the deaths of U.S. soldiers." Yearwood is also a board member of VotersForPeace which puts 'peace before partisanship.'

The Tri-Folded Flag Campaign is being spearheaded by Iraq Veterans Against the War but already other anti-war groups are joining in. Among the groups already signed on to the multi-month campaign are Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace, VotersForPeace, Grassroots America, the Hip Hop Caucus and Democracy Rising. The campaign will let the House Democratic leadership know that voters will be holding them responsible for failing to end the war by sending them tri-folded flags between now and the end of September.



Digg!

Seed Newsvine

(posted by Lietta Ruger)

Posted by SwanDeer Project at 9:32 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 18 July 2007 9:56 AM PDT
Friday, 1 June 2007
Evan Knappenberger, Iraq Veteran Begins Weeklong Tower Guard Vigil in Bellingham, Washington
Topic: Soldiers Speak Out

Iraq Vet Evan Knappenberger introduces himself.



Evan Kappenberger sends a message to his friends still serving in Iraq.



Gold Star Mother, Doris Kent, of Bellingham speaks in support of Evan Knappenberger



Capt Benjamin Marx, a two tour returning Iraq veteran from Federal Way, WA speaks in support of Evan Knappenberger


More from Evan Knappenberger

To see more up to the minute videos of Evan's tower guard vigil, visit Bellingham blogger's blog = Washington Outsiders.

 



Iraq Veteran Begins Weeklong Tower Guard Vigil in Bellingham, Washington  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 1, 2007 

 CONTACT: Iraq Veteran Evan Knappenberger: (434) 249-5956 www.TowerGuard.org

 Marie Marchand, Executive Director Whatcom Peace & Justice Center (360) 734-0217 (office); (360) 920-4817 (cell) www.WhatcomPJC.org; WhatcomPJC@fidalgo.net

WHERE: Federal Building 104 E. Magnolia Street, Bellingham, WA WHEN: 24-hrs. a day, June 1-7

 Standing Tower Guard on a 6' scaffold at the Federal Building in downtown Bellingham, Iraq Veteran Evan Knappenberger, 1st BDE, 4th Infantry Division, started a weeklong vigil on June 1st to draw attention to the US military STOP-LOSS and INACTIVE RESERVE policies, which he submits are being used as a substitute for conscription in a political war.

 I spent a year in Iraq. I pulled 97 nights on tower guard, explained Knappenberger. Many of the friends I served with have completed their contractual obligations to Active Duty. Now, they're being sent back to Iraq for their third or fourth tours. Some soldiers are getting called up after living years of civilian life. Stop-loss is an unethical policy.

The Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, a non-profit organization in Bellingham, is supporting Knappenberger's week-long action. "This is a powerful, highly-visible action," said Executive Director Marie Marchand. "It's a nonviolent, creative way of educating the public about this widespread exploitation and abuse of our soldiers.

 Evan has seen this injustice perpetrated against his friends and comrades. We will do everything we can to help him get his message out." Community members have shown an outpouring of support for Knappenberger, including help with night security, media outreach, meals, and solidarity. A new website has been set up: www.TowerGuard.org.

"People come out of the woodwork to support courageous leadership like this," stated Marchand. "This is huge; and the news is spreading across the nation like wild fire." Western WA University students are also hyped-up by this action.

Student group, Western Against War, has made a statement of support for Knappenberger. "For those who take notice, this sobering demonstration will bring the hardships our solders have been forced to endure a little closer to home," stated Michael Biesheuvel, WAW president. "Western Against War wholeheartedly supports Evan." Knappenberger invites the public to talk with him while he is on Tower Guard, and to learn more about the unethical stop-loss policy.

###

Marie Marchand, Executive Director Whatcom Peace & Justice Center 100 E. Maple Street/PO Box 2444 Bellingham, WA 98227 (360) 734-0217 www.whatcompjc.org

 

 (Posted by Lietta Ruger)


Posted by SwanDeer Project at 1:59 PM PDT
Updated: Saturday, 2 June 2007 12:07 PM PDT
Monday, 14 May 2007
Officers Honoring Duty to Troops & Country, not a political party.
Now Playing: Retired Generals Batiste and Eaton
Topic: Soldiers Speak Out
Major General John Batiste

Major General Paul D. Eaton, Retired and living on Fox Island, Washington.

Posted by SwanDeer Project at 9:42 AM PDT
Updated: Monday, 14 May 2007 9:44 AM PDT
Monday, 23 April 2007
Sundance channel airing 'Ground Truth' and 'Sir! No Sir!' May 7
Now Playing: Lietta Ruger
Topic: Soldiers Speak Out
Hi chapters,

   My 'find' this morning;   Sundance channel airing two great dvds - one we know about =
'Ground Truth' and if you haven't yet seen 'Sir! No Sir!' then I'd like to recommend it - highly.    Best to you all  -  Lietta - WA state chapter

             http://www.sundancechannel.com/schedule/

On Monday May 7th 2007...there will be an historic night of GI resistance on national television as the Sundance Channel presents the U.S. broadcast premiere of both

Sir! No Sir!
Monday, May 7
The Sundance Channel
9 pm Eastern
8 pm Central
7 pm Mountain
6 pm Pacific

The Ground Truth
Monday, May 7
The Sundance Channel
10:30 pm Eastern
9:30 pm Central
8:30 pm Mountain
7:30 pm Pacific

*******************

This is a wonderful chance for millions of people to see these films that, together, link the tremendous movement of American soldiers against the Vietnam war with the growing opposition
among soldiers to the Iraq war today.

Posted by SwanDeer Project at 9:05 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 24 April 2007 12:57 PM PDT
Sunday, 5 November 2006

Now Playing: Arthur Ruger
Topic: Soldiers Speak Out

Military Newspapers, real patriotism & outrageous courage from a surprising source


Tomorrow the Air Force Times, The Army Times, The Navy Times and the Marine Times are publishing an editorial calling for Bush to fire Rumsfeld. The editorial says Rumsfeld has "lost credibility" with top officers.

As a legitimate action of genuine political support of our sons and daughters at war, the implication of these editorials is enormous. They  accomplish more in one moment than 6 years of presidential appearances on military installations, in military communities and at VFW and American Legion Conventions.

In addition, the military "Times" editorials effectively counter the shabby and foolish decision of the VFW to endorse a did-not-serve cheap-talking Republican candidate rather than Democratic Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq veteran who lost both legs to the Republican Occupation of Iraq.

 

Without doubt, historically these newspapers have been solidly in the Bush-as-CIC adoration society. That they now choose to risk disfavor among their subscription base which is - of course primarily military families - speaks loudly and clearly about the changed direction of the political breeze in this country.

The White House can't really launch a swift-boat-liars campaign against these Military Times publications because of who the subscribers are, but they can fall back on their own historical cupidity and go to the dumb-them-down well one more time before the election.

Regardless of White House and Tony Snow protestations that  "the military papers, produced for military personnel by a subsidiary of Gannett, are biased,"  the dumber statement Snow and Bushco made was that the editorials are  "a caricature" and a "shabby piece of work" filled with inaccuracies.  

I find it ironically apropos that such a phrasing comes from Mr. Snow who himself in his short career as Scotty McLellan's replacement has been nothing but a caricature and given us nothing but shabby pieces of work filled with inaccuracies in his own role.

When asked at the press conference "Has the President seen or been told about the editorials?"

Snow replied,

"He's been told about the editorial.

... His reaction was just to sort of shrug it off. I mean, he understands what editorial writers sometimes do, and in this case, they're grandstanding.

The notion that somehow, as the editorial says, that this is not intended to influence the elections -- you've got to be kidding me. I mean, if they didn't want it to influence the elections, they could have published it Wednesday."

I suppose Snow is making a valid Republican talking point about the timing. But isn't timing part and parcel of when you write an editorial?

Not to mention the "timing" thing when Saddam is sentenced to hang three days before the mid-term election - as if when we vote we have been reminded that Republicans and the President who couldn't find WMD's under his own desk and gave up trying to find OBL deserves our vote now because we're finally getting around to executing the guy they said would attack America with WMD's.

The importance of these editorials is not the call to dismiss Mr. Rumsfeld who long ago proved totally incapable of running an invasion and occupation.

Rather, the importance is that the angry and disgusted breeze blowing every more fiercely against Republicans, neo-cons and the true betrayers of our military loved ones is reaching gale-force.

More American military families are speaking out, voicing opinions they used to suppress out of patriotic habit - and fear of insitutional military retribution - confirming what we've all known for more than three years.

Our military families are losing their most precious blood;  

the vigorous and disciplined young men and women of our future.

The shabbiest work and caricature that was always the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq sits broadly in loud full view of the American conscience.

More and more Americans have awakend from a fixation on dummies who eat insects and swim with worms,

on who can dance and who can't,

on a shallow focus on the wrong American idols,

on whether or not gay neighbors are the greatest threat to America,

because Iraq dominates our fears and hopes. The military Times editorials are worth their weight in tons of the real gold of American values.


Posted by SwanDeer Project at 12:01 AM PST
Saturday, 21 October 2006

Topic: Soldiers Speak Out
APPEAL FOR REDRESS by active duty troops.

mail from MFSO mfso@mfso.org on Oct 21,2006

Dear Member of Military Families Speak Out,

Recently a number of active duty Sailors and Marines started a project to give current service members a voice in the call to bring our troops home from Iraq. They initiated an APPEAL FOR REDRESS to be delivered to Congress.

According to their website www.appealforredress.org:

     "Many active duty, reserve, and guard service members are concerned about the war in Iraq and support the withdrawal of U.S. troops. The Appeal for Redress provides a way in which individual service members can appeal to their Congressional Representative and US Senators to urge an end to the U.S. military occupation."

The text of the APPEAL FOR REDRESS is short, simple, patriotic and respectful in tone:

    As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq . Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home.

This appeal gives current service members a concrete, legal way to let their voices be heard. See http://www.appealforredress.org/php/legal.php for more information about the legal basis for this APPEAL FOR REDRESS.

If your loved one(s) in the military are Active Duty, Guard or Reserves and if they oppose the war in Iraq, please share this email with them to see if they are interested in submitting an APPEAL FOR REDRESS at www.appealforredress.org.

 If you or your loved one(s) know others who might be interested, please let them know about the APPEAL FOR REDRESS. The active duty service members spearheading this project are seeking to collect thousands of APPEALS FOR REDRESS from Active Duty, Reserve and Guard service members. They plan to deliver these to Congress in mid-January, around the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.

Thus far, service men and women from Norfolk, Virginia; Quantico; Ft. Hood, Texas; Ft. Campbell, Kentucky; several other U.S. bases, and bases in Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan have submitted APPEALS FOR REDRESS on-line.

Iraq Veterans Against the War has sent this information to its membership. Military Families Speak Out is now sending this to our members.

We understand that there will be an article about the APPEAL FOR REDRESS in Navy Times on Monday, October 23rd; and subsequent press events involving the active duty troops who are spearheading and supporting this action.

If your loved one(s)/relation(s) in the service would like more information about this project, we can connect them with the active duty servicemembers who began this project and are currently speaking with fellow servicemembers on bases across the country and around the world about the APPEAL FOR REDRESS.

You can reach us at mailto:mfso@mfso.org

Please be in touch and let us know if your loved one(s) are interested in this APPEAL FOR REDRESS and/or have any questions.

In Peace and Solidarity,

Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson

for Military Families Speak Out

www.mfso.org

http://www.bringthemhomenow.org

Posted by SwanDeer Project at 12:01 AM PDT

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Criticism of the President is Patriotic

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile.

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else.

But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

Theodore Roosevelt, 1918, Lincoln and Free Speech