Letter to the Editor
Legal Claim Withdrawn
To the editor,
I was disturbed and disappointed to read in “Legal Claim Withdrawn,” Whatcom Watch, August, 2014, that the Watch had “deleted certain phrases from the online version,” in response to the allegations, deemed “without merit,” of an offended representative of the hotly debated Gateway Pacific Terminal project.
The combined output from PR and lobbying, funded by staggering amounts of money supplied by coal and related coalitions (“Look Who’s Taking Coal Money,” Sightline, December 13, 2012, http://daily.sightline.org/2012/12/13/look-whos-taking-coal-money )makes this a genuinely David and Goliath struggle for the citizens who wish to protect a precious and priceless future for their children and for the species so interconnected with their well-being. For instance, one of the PR front groups, The Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports, is overwhelmingly funded by coal, mining and shipping giants whose only interest in our county is the money they may pull out of it, regardless of the mess it leaves for the rest of us.
We are standing on the thin edge of a “1984” world with unlimited government surveillance of citizens, the door opened wide to out and out propaganda directed at Americans with the Thornberry and Smith amendment of 2013, and the Florida Court of Appeals unanimous agreement that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States. With this in mind, I believe it is imperative that we do not add to the imbalance of information by allowing fear of reprisals to cause us to self-censor and overtly censor our one small voice of “truth to power,” the Whatcom Watch.