Americans have a right to know


By Kate O’Dell, Opinion Editor

Over 30 years ago, President Nixon changed the way the people of the United States view the government. It became apparent that the word of a government official isn’t always trustworthy. In the 1970s, this was a disgrace and the people didn’t stand for it.  The media exposed the Watergate Scandal and those involved were ashamed. Nixon was impeached, and ultimately resigned from office.
In the 1990s, President Clinton faced allegations of a sex scandal in the White House. Accused of an affair with a White House intern, he told the country a lie that forever stained his career. Although a bill of impeachment was brought before Congress, it never passed, and Clinton remained in office until the end of his term.
Despite the obvious immorality of the lie he told, Clinton’s reputation remained in good shape with many Americans. They stood behind the idea that his sexual relationships were none of the public’s business.
The lie became less important compared to his ‘right to privacy’ and his charm kept him in high regards with many. Some have even gone as far as to pity him as though he was a victim to media scrutiny and felt that he should have been left alone.
Fast forward to present day, and the Secretary of State has decided she is above answering to Congress. This past Friday, when Hilary Clinton was asked what the details were behind the deaths of the four Americans in Benghazi, the answer they got can be summed up quite simply. Clinton said it is not significant after the fact, and that she still does not have answers regarding the events that led up to the tragedy.
In September, the answer was given to us. There were protests, there was a video that outraged Muslims. An answer that came quickly and was accepted by many, media included, as the truth.
Since, this explanation has been proven inaccurate and all of a sudden it is difficult to explain what happened.
Americans are expected to roll over, not question the motives and actions of our leaders and to trust them to do the honest and noble thing. Unfortunately, we have learned in the past this does not work.
If Americans, Congress and reporters fail to hold these leaders accountable, who will? When did we stop expecting our ITS to answer for their actions?
Was it deplorable that President Clinton had sexual relations? No. But it was unforgiveable that he faced the nation and lied about it.
Can we allow government decisions to stay the business of government for matters we do not need to be involved in? Yes. But when American lives are lost, motives are fabricated, and officials refuse to answer questions, we should be outraged.