Can you keep a secret? | Columns

Can you keep a secret? | Columns

Paul Entrikin

Most of us hold all sorts of information to ourselves and we trust others to hold our secrets to themselves too. We have family secrets. Businesses have secret plans, techniques, and recipes.

Your minister, rabbi, lawyer, or physiologist knows things about you that we expect will go with them to the grave. Teachers secure their test questions until the moment is right. And we all have our many passwords and secret confirmation codes and words to keep our wealth and privacy secret. So many secrets swirl in silence around us that act rather like stabilizers on a ship and keep society on a civilized keel through the daily storm.

Now it’s true that there are degrees of confidences. Fifth-grade girls twittering about who likes which boy or my wife’s “secret” pecan pie recipe are only important for a time and of limited consequence. But even so, smaller things have broken friendships. It would be cruel chaos if our lives were fully open books, and if there were no trust to be found.

Given the reality of secrets and the value of trust, what do we make of the leaks pouring out of the White House these days? Are those in the halls of power in Washington who break their oath of confidentially heroes or heretics?

The media cry, “ First Amendment protection!” and “We are not breaking any laws!” Really? In any other context both the ones who violated their oath of fidelity to security and the publishers would be guilty.

If you or I receive and profit from goods we know are stolen, it’s a crime. If you or I steal our company’s trade secrets and give or sell them to a competitor, it’s a crime, or at least an expensive civil suit. And if you or I advertise, “Please steal and bring your loot here!” we’d be in trouble. Yet there are public figures, Democratic Party leaders, and media “professionals” encouraging just that.

And the hypocrisy is staggering. Let Wikileaks expose corruption and malfeasance in the Democratic machine and the world is coming to an end and everyone from Putin to Trump must be held accountable. Let an anonymous source pass classified material or just rumors that may reflect badly on the Trump administration and all is good and noble. The liberal condemnation is pretty selective and obviously self-serving.

Now we have world leaders reluctant to speak with the president of the United States because they can’t be sure their conversations won’t be in the papers. If this is such a grand thing, why do the leakers not stand up and take credit for it? Because they know that no one loves a backbiter.

No one admires the character of a gossip. No one trusts a confidence-breaker. No one respects the political “pusher” or actor on the sidelines who encourages such low-life behavior. And of course, there’s that nasty risk of federal prison.

It’s a sad state of affairs when FBI agents have to spend time catching secret-leakers instead of Islamic terrorists. But that’s where we are now, thanks to the unprecedented liberal Democratic sabotage and their lapdog media pals. It’s no secret, so I can tell you: what is going on is not noble, it is a crime.

Paul Entrikin is a newer resident of Pocatello. He grew up in Baton Rouge and has two degrees from Louisiana State University. Following a tour in Vietnam as an Army officer, he began his career in information technology. The last 35 years of his career were with ExxonMobil at a variety of foreign and domestic locations. These days you will find Entrikin substitute teaching, volunteering with the Girl Scouts and playing with his many grandchildren.

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