A new plan proposed by Connecticut state officials to withhold crucial records pertaining to the Newtown school shooting records from the public promises to ignite a firestorm of controversy, and may possibly be the tipping point that conspiracy theorists have been waiting for.
On June 2, it was reported that a bill privately crafted by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office would permit authorities to withhold photos, videos, 911 recordings and other records which concern the condition of any victim of the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook shootings, unless the family gives written permission.
On the surface, this may seem harmless but, as they say, the devil is in the details. Better grab a seat, folks, because the details will make your head spin.
According to the Associated Press, the proposed legislation would prevent the release of emergency responders’ audio transmissions. However, there's a provision that would allow the public to view transcripts of the recordings- for a price. For 50 cents a page, the American public will be "allowed" to read the heavily-edited transcripts of the audio transmissions. In other words, you have the right to obtain information- as long as it has been censored by the government first (and then you have to pay Big Brother for the privilege). This hearkens back to the days of Communist-controlled newspapers like Pravda, or state-controlled entities like Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency.
More astoundingly, this bill also would limit disclosure of the death certificates of the students and educators killed in the attack to immediate family members only.
This just may be the straw that breaks the camel's back, since the bill applies only to the victims of Sandy Hook. Meanwhile, death certificates of any other crime victims will still be available to the public.
Why is Gov. Malloy taking such drastic measures to conceal documents pertaining to Sandy Hook? Why is Gov. Malloy only interested in "protecting" the privacy of Newtown families? Why doesn't this bill extend to the victims of the dozens of other murders that take place in Connecticut each year?
|The brave Gov. Malloy fears nothing... except Sandy Hook parents.|
Advocates of transparency in government worry that the bill would set a bad precedent because it exempts specific incidents from FOI laws. It gives special treatment to Newtown families, and it appears to make the Sandy Hook killings "more important" than other killings that have taken place in Connecticut.
Adding to the controversy is the fact that is the type of "midnight legislation" that gets passed in secret behind closed doors. The bill in question was drafted in secrecy and is not subject to the public hearing process, states the AP.
In spite of protests, Gov. Malloy is defending the proposal, saying that the state wants to protect and respect the wishes of relatives of the Newtown victims and that the bill applies only to the Sandy Hook shootings. This comes in the wake of the push by Newtown parents to keep the records private. On May 31, Newtown parents made an appearance at Connecticut's state capitol, urging legislators to block the public release of the evidence which millions of people around the world have been demanding for six months.
“I’m fully supportive of an open and transparent government, but I can’t understand how distributing graphic photos of murdered teachers and children serves any purpose other than causing our families more pain,” said Dean Pinto, whose 6-year-old son was killed by Adam Lanza.
That's a lot like saying, "I'm all for equal rights, but I don't see why I shouldn't be allowed to own slaves."
Allow us to respond to your statement, Mr. Pinto.
This proposed bill has nothing to do with the distribution of graphic photos of slain children. Just about every host, from YouTube to Photobucket to Facebook, has rules about the posting of objectionable material and will waste no time in removing the offending material. So that argument isn't valid. Since you can't "understand" what purpose transparency will serve, let us enlighten you. It serves a pretty damn important purpose, and that is to clear up a situation that stinks like a dead fish in the trunk of someone's car on a 100 degree summer day.
Furthermore, Mr. Pinto, this bill stinks to high heaven because it reeks of cover-up at worst, and reeks of favoritism at best. With all due respect, Mr. Pinto, your son is no more important than Alyssiah Marie Wiley, the student from Bridgeport who was murdered on April 20.
With all due respect, Mr. Pinto, your child is no more important than 11-year-old Michaela Petit from New Haven, whose clothes were cut off with scissors before her killer ejaculated on her stomach and took photos of her with his cell phone.
With all due respect, Mr. Pinto, your child is no more important than six-month-old Ashton Perry and his two-year-old brother Alton Perry, who were murdered by their own grandmother in New Stonington in February.
Yet the legislation proposed by Governor Malloy ignores these victims, and allows the family members of Newtown victims to surround themselves with an impenetrable cloak of secrecy. But, most importantly, it allows the government to surround themselves with an impenetrable cloak of secrecy.
No one is asking to see photographs or your dead son, Mr. Pinto. The overwhelming majority of us would be satisfied with just one still shot from a surveillance camera showing that Adam Lanza was inside of the school on the morning of December 14, 2012.
Get back on your soap boxes, parents of Sandy Hook victims, and tell Gov. Malloy to release that one image so that we can finally put an end to this maddening display of lies and deceit that you and the state of Connecticut choose to propagate. Don't you at least owe that much to your precious children?