, Muskogee, OK

July 12, 2013

Congress should unSEAL files

— Hiding documents from public scrutiny is not in the best interest of a free and open society.

When military files about the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout were removed from Defense Department computers and sent to the CIA, it effectively put a wall between the public and its government.

By removing the files, the federal government hid information from its constituents.

Our government is supposed to be made up of its constituents to serve its constituents.

Hiding information makes government secretive.

A secretive government does not serve the will of the people.

The removal of information about the bin Laden raid — as ordered by the nation’s top special operations commander — was described in brief in a draft report by the Pentagon’s inspector general.

An acknowledgement by Adm. William McRaven of his actions later was deleted from the final version of the inspector general’s report.

A spokesman for the admiral declined comment to the media.

Adm. McRaven should be required to go before Congress to answer questions.

If he continues to be unwilling to respond to the people of this nation, he should be removed from service.

The military has civilian oversight for a reason.

Congress has the right to convene a hearing to determine whether McRaven’s actions are warranted.

There are few exceptions to a transparent government. Congress should determine whether those files contained information that would endanger national security.

Otherwise, the public has the right to have access to information from its government.