The Instigator
trippledubs
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Chaos88
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette should be able to publish his book

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Chaos88
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/20/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,008 times Debate No: 25728
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

trippledubs

Pro

Matt Bissonnette should be able to publish his book, No Easy Day, about his role in the annihilation of Osama Bin Laden without Government Review
Chaos88

Con

I accept this debate and look forward to an interesting discussion.

To be clear, my case is that this book should be reviewed by the government before it is published.
Debate Round No. 1
trippledubs

Pro

Thank you Con for accepting this debate. Both sides of this issue merit examination and I look forward to hearing your arguments.

1. Prior restraint is inconsistent with Freedom of the Press and should only be used in extreme circumstances

The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity. (4 Bl. Com. 151, 152.)

-William Blackstone

No adequate study seems to have been made of the psychology of licensers, censors,security officials, and their kind, but common experience is sufficient to show that their attitudes, drives, emotions, and impulses all tend to carry them to excesses. This is particularly true in the realm of obscenity, but it occurs in all areas where officials are driven by fear or other emotion to suppress free communication."

http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu...

2. A responsible account of OBL’s death is justified by the costs of war

The American People have spent over $500 billion financing the war in Afghanistan (costofwar.com) largely precipitated by attacks led by Osama Bin Laden. 3,014 Americans have died prosecuting the war. (Wikipedia.org) They deserve to be given a responsible 1st hand account of the raid, unbiased by political censorship decisions.

Chief Bissonnette has personally performed in 13 combat tours and risked his own life many times over, his commitment to the cause is evident. It is laughable that some nerdy suit and tie would look over his shoulder and tsk tsk while crossing words out.


3. Replacing fifty shades of Grey as USATODAY’s top selling book regains some of America’s dignity and credibility in the world. The sooner, the better.

A Federal review would have delayed the publication and fifty shades of crap would stayed on top of the best sellers list for longer

An online comment from Katrina after reading Fifty Shades of Grey:

“What in the hell just happened? Did I really read that? Oh, my god, I did. I did read that. “

http://books.usatoday.com...


Chaos88

Con

Thank you Con for accepting this debate. Both sides of this issue merit examination and I look forward to hearing your arguments.

1. Prior restraint is inconsistent with Freedom of the Press and should only be used in extreme circumstances

The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity. (4 Bl. Com. 151, 152.)

-William Blackstone

No adequate study seems to have been made of the psychology of licensers, censors,security officials, and their kind, but common experience is sufficient to show that their attitudes, drives, emotions, and impulses all tend to carry them to excesses. This is particularly true in the realm of obscenity, but it occurs in all areas where officials are driven by fear or other emotion to suppress free communication."

http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu......

Publishers have long since not had “freedom”, as they can be sued for libel, held in contempt of court (gag orders), and in extreme situations, even held responsible for crimes committed (inciting a riot or reckless endangerment, by posting addresses or false accounts).

This point is moot as it misses the issue; the issue is censorship on the soldier, not on the publisher, which I will address.

2. A responsible account of OBL’s death is justified by the costs of war

The American People have spent over $500 billion financing the war in Afghanistan (costofwar.com) largely precipitated by attacks led by Osama Bin Laden. 3,014 Americans have died prosecuting the war. (Wikipedia.org) They deserve to be given a responsible 1st hand account of the raid, unbiased by political censorship decisions.

Chief Bissonnette has personally performed in 13 combat tours and risked his own life many times over, his commitment to the cause is evident. It is laughable that some nerdy suit and tie would look over his shoulder and tsk tsk while crossing words out.

I will concede this point, but there is something you overlook. To my understanding, No Easy Day is a book, not just an account of the events of the day. An account could be a few page report, yet an entire book is being written. This suggests there is other material, perhaps sensitive in nature that should be avoided being disclosed, such as identities of informants or secret bases.

3. Replacing fifty shades of Grey as USATODAY’s top selling book regains some of America’s dignity and credibility in the world. The sooner, the better.

A Federal review would have delayed the publication and fifty shades of crap would stayed on top of the best sellers list for longer

An online comment from Katrina after reading Fifty Shades of Grey:

“What in the hell just happened? Did I really read that? Oh, my god, I did. I did read that. “

http://books.usatoday.com......

To avoid embarrassment, Pro advocating that the government should encourage someone, anyone, to write something to get some trashy book off the best seller list. If the concern was to get “fifty shades of crap” (nice touch) off the list, perhaps the government should offer grants to get others to publish books faster, any book (of course, the gov’t may review these to make sure they are not WORSE than the book they’re trying to replace). This is “reverse censorship”, and quashes free speech just as equally.

Regardless, this is irrelevant for two reasons.

1. It is a matter of opinion that the top-selling book glorifying the death of an individual speaks better of a nation than some trashy guilty pleasure book; especially if that person is beloved by certain people, certain enemies.

2. Even if No Easy Day was the top-selling book, it would be for non-fiction, while Fifty Shades of Grey would presumably still be the top-seller for fiction. So, there is no material benefit to publishing this book for this reason. Since both these books would be number one in their respective genre, they would likely be number one and two on the unified bestseller list, as people would not forgo one book over the other in masse, and even if they did, the effect on all other book sales would be similar. What, then, does that say about America? We love sex and killing. That’s a good message…

Now that that’s taken care of, let’s get to my arguments.

The arguments for government proofreading are simple:

1. Security

If this book were published without oversight, sensitive information may be inadvertently released; for example, the location of a secret base, the identity of an informant, or various tactics or training exercises. If this information was released, it may put lives in danger and jeopardize future missions. The use of a single name, mannerism, anecdote, or physical characteristic could be enough for someone to figure out who a spy is.

2. The rights of citizens are not the same as the rights of those in the military

Active military personnel do not have the same rights as civilians; specifically their freedom of speech is more limited than yours and mine. They are not allowed to publicly disparage commanding officers, incite mutiny, and a bunch of other things that I, as a citizen, can do.

So, if this book has passages that say Obama dragged his feet and it cost many men to die, this could be viewed as inciting mutiny, and Chief Bissonnette could actually go to jail. While I as a citizen could go shout it on any talk show that will have me.

http://nlgmltf.org...

Debate Round No. 2
trippledubs

Pro


Publishers have long since not had “freedom”, as they can be sued for libel, held in contempt of court (gag orders), and in extreme situations, even held responsible for crimes committed (inciting a riot or reckless endangerment, by posting addresses or false accounts).


I don’t agree that those examples serve to diminish freedom. I believe they promote it. ie Defamation laws only protect innocent people being slandered, contempt of court keeps a healthy justice system..


1. Security


I don’t really see an argument here, just a bunch of possibilities. It is also possible that the book may capture the attention of a terrorist one night, staying up in bed reading that joker, and then the seals sneak in and BAM! A second 9-11 was basically just avoided.


2. The rights of citizens are not the same as the rights of those in the military


The author is not in the military.



Thanks for the debate CON. Vote PRO!


Chaos88

Con

Publishers have long since not had “freedom”, as they can be sued for libel, held in contempt of court (gag orders), and in extreme situations, even held responsible for crimes committed (inciting a riot or reckless endangerment, by posting addresses or false accounts).

I don’t agree that those examples serve to diminish freedom. I believe they promote it. ie Defamation laws only protect innocent people being slandered, contempt of court keeps a healthy justice system..

Freedom of speech is promoted through silence? How does that work? The laws protect people, I agree, but at the cost of freedom. A publisher cannot facilitate libel, this protects someone from my false accusations, but it hinders my speech nonetheless.

And what if there is a non-disclosure agreement? Publishers cannot disclose this, even though it is true, and in the interest of justice. Think of Michael Jackson’s non-disclosure, had he admitted blame, there would be no doubt of his actions. Instead, people are allowed to think what they want, right or wrong.

Regardless, you agree that censorship (for lack of a better term) is a good idea, in certain circumstances. Why are publishing potential military secrets or divulging identities any less of a protection issue?

Publishers should confirm as much of a story as possible; you said libel should not be published, and this is the way to protect a publisher from it. Who better the source to confirm military actions than the military (i.e. government)? It is completely justified.

1. Security

I don’t really see an argument here, just a bunch of possibilities. It is also possible that the book may capture the attention of a terrorist one night, staying up in bed reading that joker, and then the seals sneak in and BAM! A second 9-11 was basically just avoided.

It is a bunch of possibilities, and any one of them warrants intervention. What is your argument? The possibility that government will strip out something from the book. If they don’t, then there is no issue. Both of our arguments are founded on the possibility of something. Yours that gov’t censors the book, and mine that gov’t edits out sensitive information. But, my argument allows the validation of facts, while yours does not.

2. The rights of citizens are not the same as the rights of those in the military


The author is not in the military.

True, but there are lingering effects on speech. I am quite certain that, just because one is out of the military, one cannot go around and disclose military secrets. What’s that, there was a secret assassination that you were part of, and you want to tell the world, even though other groups (say, freedom fighters) took the credit? Yeah, you should totally be able to say this, without consequence.

Thanks for the debate. I enjoyed it.

Judges, you must vote Con.

Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
trippledubsChaos88Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Maybe I missed something, but it seemed like in his last round Pro dropped pretty much all of Con's arguments. Con's arguments, therefore, were extended, and generally more in depth.