This is in response to Brian W. Rolfes letter on Aug. 14.
First of all, thank you for your service in Vietnam. Your job as a soldier was to follow orders and not question why, just like every other military organization on Earth. It is my job as a civilian to question federal policies.
Thank God you were able to get through that miserable war and make it back home to the states because in the end analysis, every life and dollar last there was wasted. It was a miserable defeat delivered to us by a shoe string of a country.
Today, Vietnam is one of the largest Pacific rim trading partners. Why is it so different now as compared to then? The American way to face your preceived adversary is the exercise of free speech through the free press.
Your closing statements, however, about why the Watertown Daily Times would print my letter flies in the face of those very same American values of free speech and free press. A newspaper cant print just one viewpoint all the time or it is just propaganda. That is the point that Bradley Manning has given up his remaining life to try to protect.
I was exercising my right as an American citizen to support Mannings decision. Mr. Rolfe, your duty as part of the American military is to fight to protect the American values of free speech, which protects all the rest of our American values. Dont fall into the trap of supporting totalitarian values like censorship or you are supporting un-American values, which is and was my point.
To your disparaging remarks about my education, I was an honor student. God bless America, because of our American values and no other reason.
Edward L. Barlow