WikiLeaks `tweets` Kennedy speech on secrecy
Washington: WikiLeaks, defending its decision to publish thousands of classified US diplomatic cables, sent out a link on Twitter to excerpts of a speech by John F Kennedy in which the former US president denounced excessive secrecy.
"Kennedy on why WikiLeaks matters," WikiLeaks said in a message on its Twitter feed, @wikileaks, which was accompanied by a link to a YouTube video of the April 27, 1961 speech to the American Newspaper Publishers Association.
The selected excerpts feature remarks in which Kennedy condemns excessive secrecy, but left out were other comments in which the president appealed to the press to exercise restraint at a time of high Cold War tensions.
"Government at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security," Kennedy told the publishers in one of the chosen excerpts.
"The very word `secrecy` is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings," Kennedy said.
"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," he added.
The president went on, however, to cite instances in which newspapers had revealed sensitive information to the "nation`s foes" at a time of "national peril" and he appealed for restraint -- excerpts which did not appear in the YouTube excerpts posted by WikiLeaks.
"In time of war, the government and the press have customarily joined in an effort based largely on self-discipline, to prevent unauthorised disclosures to the enemy," Kennedy said.
"In time of `clear and present danger,` the courts have held that even the privileged rights of the First Amendment must yield to the public`s need for national security," he said.
"If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our security," he said.
"I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to re-examine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self-restraint which that danger imposes upon us all," Kennedy said.
"Every newspaper now asks itself, with respect to every story: `Is it news?`" he said. "All I suggest is that you add the question: `Is it in the interest of the national security?`"
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Panel discussion over continuous chaos in Parliament on demonetisation
- Opposition observes 'black day' to mark one month of demonetisation
- 800 tourists stranded in Andamans due to heavy rains, Navy launches rescue operation
- Watch shocking visuals - Speeding car rams pedestrians in Kolkata, 3 killed
- Cashless transactions increased rapidly following note ban
- Twitter users blast Arvind Kejriwal as he says 'Modi will never appoint a Muslim Vice President no matter what Jung does'
- Yuvraj Singh-Hazel Keech Reception: MS Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag attend lavish party — PHOTOS INSIDE
- Pakistan International Airlines plane from Chitral to Islamabad crashes near Havelian, 48 people dead
- Gali Janardhana Reddy converted Rs 100 crore black money by paying 20% commission, claims driver's suicide note
- Was Rahul Gandhi smiling during Jayalalithaa's funeral? Twitter users share pictures as proof