Monday, March 21, 2011

The difference between an agreement and an oath (Jan. 11, 2007)

Current mood: awake

I had a "driveway moment" a bit ago. Well, not exactly a driveway moment, more like a "two in the morning and I can't sleep because I have to hear that clip again" moment.

A couple days ago on NPR, there was a story about leaking critical information to the press, involving Daniel Ellsberg, the man whose leaking of The Pentagon Papers in 1971 helped to change America's perspective of the Vietnam War. He apparently popped up unexpectedly last week at a hearing in Washington D.C. about leaks, and faced down the panel speaker who said "leaks are bad".

The specifics concern the difference between agreements and oaths. The panel speaker said he swore an oath to secrecy when he took the job. Ellsberg, in a Q&A session, said he signed many agreements to secrecy while holding the same job 35-odd years ago, but that the oath he swore was to uphold the Constitution.

A mighty important distinction, indeed. Oaths trump agreements.


1 comment:

bus15237 said...

Original comment from 2007

Pittsburgh Storm Man. Talk about beeing stuck between a rock and a hard place.