Today’s post was written by Daniel W. O’Connor
Pronunciation: \‘kan-der, -,dor\
Etymology: French & Latin; French candeur, from Latin candor, from candere — more at candid
Date: 14th century
1 a : whiteness, brilliance b obsolete : unstained purity
2 : freedom from prejudice or malice : fairness
3 archaic : kindliness
4 : unreserved, honest, or sincere expression : forthrightness
The Gulf BP oil disaster, the Arizona immigration law, the Wall Street Bail outs, intelligence collection, homeland security. Where has the ability to be candid gone?
Based on the above definition of candor, I believe our leaders have lost the ability to be candid. Some readers may find this naïve or idealistic, but the fundamental essence of protecting our Nation is the ability to be candid with our citizenry.
George Washington was very clear about this: “I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”
As the days march by we’re finding out that the oil spill in the Gulf is being vastly under reported. News reports indicate the oil dumped into the Gulf is already the equivalent of five Exxon Valdez spills…five of them. Some other reports are alluding to possible collusion amongst news agencies to ensure this does not become “Obama’s Katrina.” I don’t think we are getting the full story yet about the spill.
In another story, the President of Mexico expressed his displeasure with the recent Immigration law passed in Arizona. Rather odd that a president from another country is upset with a state law. Even odder that he’s given the opportunity to address Congress and lecture them on laws and such. Perhaps it’s the billions of cash infused into his country he’s concerned about.
And the failed Times Square Bomber happened to be a recently radicalized Muslim. Just like the Army Major at Fort Hood and the failed Christmas Underwear bomber. And yet, that theme is downplayed by leadership, as if to say it is not significant.
So, if Thomas Paine words are correct and “These are the times that try men’s souls,” then perhaps its time to understand that now more than ever, candor and our leaders’ requirement for it is upon us again.
Read past postings by Mssrs. Cumming, Palin, Chubb, and Bellavita – all touch on the same theme: now is not the time for rhetoric and politics, but hard answers and bold leadership. We must be candid in our assessments and stop trying to evade our fate. Why did our DNI resign? Was it because of political expedience or institutional ineptness? Why can’t we simply state the obvious: we have an illegal immigration problem and radicalized Islamicists wish us harm?
Why can’t we see and say we have a debt problem and our future is perilously moving towards a tipping point of no return?
And what does this have to do with Homeland Security?
Absolutely everything. Last week, the 2010 National Level Exercise, Eagle Horizon, took place. It was based on a nuclear weapon detonation in Indianapolis, Indiana with additional threats to Los Angeles and Washington DC.
Look up Eagle Horizon. You may be surprised by the volume of reporting. Virtually nil.
This exercise has been scheduled for two years, with millions of dollars spent, and thousands of DHS and component members participating. Where are the news reports? Where’s the dialogue? Why did they choose Nuclear Weapons detonation in the CONUS?
My guess is there is a threat out there and group(s) of terrorists who want to do this very thing. Could you imagine the orders of magnitude of fear and panic our Nation would experience if this happened? Could you imagine the devastation and loss we’d experience? They picked that scenario and those who perpetuated it for a reason. The time for finger pointing and rationalization are over.
As for me, I am waiting for candor. Let’s get it all out on the table. Are we prepared for the truth?
The essence of leadership is to exhibit presence, vision, and example, all the while leveling with the citizenry with candor and fidelity. If our current situation does not spur the necessary gravitas to speak plainly and with virtue, than unfortunately, a dark horizon looms in the distance. This is not histrionic or melodramatic in any sense. Character is never revealed in good times, but in trying ones. If we as a Nation fail to learn from the mistakes of former Empires and Nations we will most assuredly suffer the same demise and are destined to repeat their fall.
The Gospel of John, 8:32, reads: “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
Those words are also inscribed in marble at CIA Headquarters.