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Big Brother

By       Message Katherine Brengle     Permalink
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As many of my old readers know, I haven't contributed anything to the progressive dialogue in months. What many surely do not know is that I have been on hiatus because my husband was preparing to deploy to the Middle East, where he finally landed today.

I have been understandably angry, depressed, and unfocused over the past three months. For someone in my position, someone who writes about the evils of war and critically about the direction in which our country is moving, someone who stands in snow and rain and under the hot sun trying to reach out to ordinary Americans and open their eyes to these very issues, this is an even harder than usual situation to be in.

In light of all this, soon after we found out that my husband had been activated and would soon be deployed, I needed to lash out without hurting anyone. I turned to an old online journal I hadn't been using much, and posted a brief, vague, very angry message expressing my general rage at what was happening to my family.

End of story.

Until this morning. This morning I was informed that someone in the military had stumbled across my speck of a diatribe and was quite agitated. I was asked to remove it.

I'm all for homeland security (although I find the phrase itself more than a little creepy), so I double checked to make sure I hadn't inadvertently, in my anger, given out sensitive information about my husband or his location. I had not.

Now, I may be young, but I am not naive.

No one "stumbled" across my angry scribbling. In the case that anyone did happen to find it, purely by accident, my last name is not my husband's last name, and there would have been no reason for the reader to look further into me.

The sad truth is, someone probably saw my husband addressing a letter or asked him my name, recognized it (wow, I'm famous) or Googled it, and came up with some stuff he didn't agree with.

It's not easy being a liberal, antiwar writer with a military man for a husband, but it also isn't a free pass for the government, or any portion of it, to demand that I keep quiet or censor myself.

I was and am fully within my Constitutional rights to speak out against this war, and any other action of my government that I find objectionable, regardless of who I am married to. In fact, I believe that I am obligated to do so.

End of story.

 

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Katherine Brengle is a freelance writer and activist.

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