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The Search for Truth

January 07, 1988

In his opinion piece in The Times (Opinion, Dec. 20), Martin E. Marty points out that the greatest danger to national security in the U.S. is lack of truth in government.

I have long thought that responsibility starts at the top, whether it be family, church or government.

Although we have perhaps always had some dishonesty in government, we haven't condoned it, nor have we held its perpetrators up as heroes. Not until the Reagan Administration. Reagan promised to change this country forever, and I'm afraid he has succeeded all too well. Succeeded that is, in making secrecy and mendacity in government heroic qualities in the minds of too many of his countrymen.

We claim to be the greatest defender of freedom in the world today. But we are not free, since we do not receive the truth about our options. But, then, I'm afraid we do not really want freedom--is that because we do not want the responsibility freedom demands? We have been convinced by our leaders that we must resort to deception in order to defeat the "Evil Empire," the Soviet Union.

But, if the Soviet Union is evil, what in our eyes makes it so? Asking the question, we immediately respond, "deceit and lack of freedom." If we are honest with ourselves at least, we realize as quickly that what we detest in "the enemy" are precisely those qualities the present Administration, in its choice of "heroes," parades before America's young people as honorable, heroic even.

Have we not, alas, held the mirror of "the enemy" up only to find that he is, indeed, us?

ELINOR BRENNAN

Los Angeles

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