Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Does the White House have a Bat Phone?

I am aghast!

The article that the title of this blog links to is implying that President-Elect, Barak Obama, will have to do without most forms of personal electronic communications with family and friends during his term/s in office.

I find it incredibly strange, bordering on Luddite insanity, in fact, to have such a thing happen in this day and age.

Forgive me if I'm being a little too naive but having a human being - a formidable leader among nations notwithstanding - be denied access to the same kinds of technologies available to every other citizen under his watch seems impossibly ludicrous!

I know there are certain conventions where the role of a President of the United States should be seen to be reasonably transparent in his dealings with people, but we all know that is a pipe-dream fantasy which does not happen in practice. Still, I argue that a President who cannot email or text his own wife and children, close relatives and dearest friends for fear of those very emails/messages being subpoenaed in a court seems to be the very height of Breach of Privacy.

If a public office denies these very rights to someone who is there to protect those same rights for everyone else...well that is just hypocritical in the extreme.

Let the President keep his Blackberry (unless of course some 007 out there has implanted - or will be implanting - a tracking device in it or something) and leave the poor guy alone to run the country while still having the right to an electronic life like the rest of us!

I didn't REALLY want to know about Bill Clinton's exploits in the Oval Office with Ms Lewinsky btw... impeachment or otherwise, all that was just sloppy, slutty media encroachment on a personal choice in Bill and Monica's (and Hilary's by proxy) private lives.

How many people's lives do we seriously wish to ruin in the course of "Investigative Journalism"?

Watergate was one thing; serious breaches of personal power and political manipulation etc. However, there is still a reasonably wide scope for the PERSONAL life of a person - be they powerful and in the public eye - to have a life that is private and unfettered by qualms of persistent and invasive scrutiny by that same public eye!

Yes! I am an impossible idealist on this matter. I'd be the first to be shocked if a President of the USA meddled in the affairs of others for Machiavellian purposes, using his "Right to Privacy" as a cover for such things! Integrity of the Highest Order is a prerequisite of the role...I would have thought!

Still, it just seems outrageously unfair on Obama and his family to deny them the same opportunities to communicate in a way that the rest of us presently enjoy, just because he has the top job!

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