Note: This is the opinion of the writer and not necessarily of the Kentucky New Era. Let the community know your opinion about this topic and others by submitting a "Letter to the editor."

Whistleblowers seem to come in three categories: those motivated by love of truth and country, those motivated by revenge or self-interest and those with a mixture of both.

Our national government needs to do a few things secretly in the interest of security, but it quite often does things secretly on the basis of self-interest or party interest. I looked up a list of whistleblowers over the last 50 years and formed the opinion that about one in 10 had more intent on malice than on good government.

Leaks which are a form of whistleblowing are often a part of an attempt to mislead our enemies and are undoubtedly sometimes arranged with great skill and secrecy. “Loose lips sink ships” was a common warning during World War II, just as disinformation and camouflage to confuse the enemy was common and acceptable.

Big corporations hide all kinds of nefarious conduct and deception by hiring paid lackeys to deliver false scientific reports. Many of these lackeys are highly qualified scientists who are willing to sell their souls at a very high price.

Deception is practiced in many ways that can be fairly well justified, but I suspect that much of it in governments and corporations is pure evil of a self-serving nature. Lying for political gain is as common as crab grass and just as hard to eradicate.

The media have a big hand in giving a whistleblower credence or in dismissing him or her as a mere sore loser. Watergate was a case of outright lying, which is often dismissed as the mere normal operation of our political system. The mainstream media made a justified and concerted effort to keep the issue alive because they hated Nixon.

Mainstream media tolerance for some pretty serious lying and deception since then is a little disturbing. Fox News seems to be keeping the Benghazi issue alive partly because they hate the president, but I agree with them that we are seeing a little lack of forthrightness of partisan nature.

Eternal vigilance is indeed the price of liberty, but it is of little value if we look at things through highly polarized lenses. I think that I may have read too many conspiracy books, and I suggest you take some of my innuendos to be a result of that reading. While maintaining a watchful vigil, I hope that we can make it is as free of bias as possible.

TOBY HIGHTOWER is a retired educator and former Hopkinsville High School teacher. His email address is Write to him at 222 S. 25th St., Apartment 434, Terre Haute, IN. 47803.

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