Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Balance of Rights and Responsibilities Leads Us to the Truth

The basic concept of the Responsible Community is balance.  Rights are balanced with responsibility.

Two things over the last few days have driven this point home.  The first was the very high profile Tweet from President Donald Trump.  President Trump said that President Barack Obama tapped the phones of his home in the Trump Tower.   Trump said this happened during the campaign for president.

The is a powerful accusation.  It echoes President Richard Nixon’s 1972 re-election team when they broke into the offices of the Democratic National Committee.  This accusation has been received by both sides dramatically.  The pro Trump group saw it as the truth because they believe President Obama could do such a thing.  The other side is as equally aghast because they know President 
Obama could not do such a thing. 

How are the two sides to be reconciled in a Responsible Community?  By President Trump laying out the evidence that lead him to make the accusation.  President Trump can then deliver the evidence to the Department of Justice to investigate the matter.  After all, President Trump could be right (oh, keep reading liberal friends).  President Obama could have been consumed with power and wanted to help Hillary Clinton.  Or, he could have done it as a sign-off on an investigation by the Department of Justice.  (Remember, the phones of world leaders were tapped by the United States and leaked by WikiLeaks.)

Come forward with more evidence President Trump so your accusations may be evaluated.

The second event that brings the issue of balance to the forefront is much more difficult to find answers to in today’s America, but shouldn’t be.  Khizr Khan, the father of the Captain Humayun Khan who was killed during the Iraq war in 2004, claims his travel privileges are under review by the United States even though he has been an American citizen for 30 years, per reports.  He was to travel to Toronto, Canada to give speech but had to cancel because of the travel review.

Mr. Khan needs to come forward with the events and names of people that have contacted him about the travel review.  The U. S. Customs and Border Protection officials have said that they can’t comment on the issue due to privacy rights.  But, the officials did appear to dispute the report when asked by Politico.  CBP told Politico that travelers are not contacted in advance when leaving the country but must present documents on returning that they should be allow in. (This story is worth watching.  If Khan’s travel is under review and CBP is not investigating, then who is?  Even a more important reason Khan must provide more information.)

If Mr. Khan is indeed under review, evidence must become public.  In this case, if Mr. Khan doesn’t release information about his travel problems, the CBP will not be able to release any information without pressing charges because of privacy issues.  The evidence would then come to light.  (That is, of course, if due process is followed.)

Since the CBP is not likely to release, Mr. Khan needs to release information so your accusations may be evaluated.    

There is the issue.  President Trumps’ accusations about President Obama and Mr. Khan’s accusations about his travel review need to be supported with evidence.  Making accusations in a free and open society is a right we all have.  But, we must be responsible in exercising those rights and support those accusations with evidence. 


We must have balance between rights and responsibilities to find the truth.  Both must release more information.