J. KARL MILLER: A fine line separates the right to know and the need to know

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST; updated 6:18 p.m. CST, Sunday, December 26, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, my Missourian colleague, Dave Rosman, penned a thoughtful column lamenting a perceived reputation of the press for lack of truth and trustworthy reporting. There is yet another area in which the press, in its zeal to keep the public informed, often crosses the line in balancing the right to know against the need to know.

Admittedly, that is a fine line, one upon which there is disagreement and lively discourse among various media entities as well as with the public. I find the answer by asking this question: "Does the purpose served by the reporting rise to such magnitude as to outweigh the individual personal consequence or, in extreme cases, the very real danger posed by its publishing?"

For example, our two daily newspapers chose to report the resignation of Deputy Police Chief Tom Dresner, citing an affair with a subordinate. Initially announced as a routine retirement, it was later learned that Dresner had approached Police Chief Ken Burton to reveal the affair and that the chief subsequently asked for the deputy chief's resignation.

In the determination of what constitutes "all the news that's fit to print," I find myself siding with Police Chief Burton and obviously at odds with the reporting community. An internal situation, it was effectively solved "in house" to spare the innocent undue pain and humiliation. Perhaps I am naive, but I fail to see why a purely personal matter fits the public's "right to know."

I don't know how or why this was exposed, nor do I particularly care. In no way did it affect the public safety or the day-to-day operations of the Columbia Police Department. If one is interested in the foibles of the rich and famous, the select and the ordinary, or merely rumor and innuendo, there are always the tabloids located at grocery store checkout lines.

The other, and far more serious, example involves the WikiLeaks cables and subsequent publication of the data by The New York Times, Germany's Der Spiegel, England's Guardian, France's Le Monde and Spain's El País. WikiLeaks' founder, Australian national Julian Assange, with the assistance of a military intelligence analyst (Pfc. Bradley Manning), has released volumes of classified military and State Department documents to the above media.

In releasing this information, Mr. Assange has made no secret of his objective, that of causing damage to the United States, which he considers a criminal nation for waging war. As is the norm, he has incurred the undivided praise of the antiwar minions along with condemnation of the leadership of those nations whose soldiers and national security have been placed in harm's way.

Proclaiming the right of the public to know the details of government, the left has hailed WikiLeaks as a triumph of data journalism — that the disclosure of these documents constitutes a public service. However, just who gets to determine the public's right or need to know?

In this instance, is it the Defense or State departments, where the documents were prepared, analyzed and classified? Or, does Mr. Assange of WikiLeaks have carte blanche for disclosure? Or, has that responsibility been ceded to The New York Times? Realistically, while the ACLU, the city and campus of Berkeley, et al. may dissent, it is an absolute certainty that a majority prefers the president over Mr. William Keller of The New York Times in deciding what is to be declassified.

As an example of The New York Times' editorial "impartiality," I offer this from's "Best of the Web" of Nov. 29 regarding Climategate e-mails from Nov. 20, 2009, that appeared in The New York Times: "These documents appear to have been obtained illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements never intended for the public eye, so they won't be posted here." WikiLeaks, Nov. 29, 2010, New York Times: "The Times believes that the documents serve an important public interest, illuminating the goals, successes, compromises and frustrations of American diplomacy in a way that other accounts cannot match." Illegality is in the eyes of the beholder?

The Espionage Act of 1917 makes it a criminal offense to disclose information relating to the national defense to any person not entitled to receive it, a law Pfc. Manning and Mr. Assange have obviously violated. Further, the self-serving notion, owing largely to precedent, that journalists may publish what they please is hardly concrete. While no news outlet has faced criminal charges to date, there is nothing in the Espionage Act granting them a pass.

Finally, although the American press does publish classified material, often recklessly, it is difficult to prove, or even believe, it operates in bad faith or with criminal intent. But, in some manner, that fine line between "right to know" and "need to know" must be better defined and understood by both the producer and the herald. When national security and human lives are at risk, any right to know is trumped by the common sense of need to know.

J. Karl Miller retired as a colonel in the Marine Corps. He is a Columbia resident and can be reached via e-mail at

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Matt Pearce December 22, 2010 | 12:53 p.m.


I was one of the reporters who covered Dresner's resignation. To address the first half of your column, you seem to be challenging the very nature of how a watchdog press is supposed to function. We're supposed to ask the questions and then verify the answers, so we can make sure that public officials are doing what they're supposed to do. It's not always pretty, and it's not always Watergate, but it's our job, and we're doing it for you.

For instance, as I private citizen, I could care less about the salacious details involved with Tom Dresner's resignation. But as a Columbia taxpayer and a reporter, I would like to make sure that one of the city's highest-paid employees has done right by the city; I would also like to make sure that the others involved have done right by the city as well. And you have to do that by asking probing questions.

You said: "I don't know how or why this was exposed, nor do I particularly care. In no way did it affect the public safety or the day-to-day operations of the Columbia Police Department." But *how do you know*? *Do* you know? Because you appear to have just made an assumption. The Missourian, however, has been working to independently verify that Chief Burton's word is good. We're not doing it nail anyone. We're doing it to make sure your government is functioning like it's supposed to. And that's journalism.

-Matt Pearce

(Report Comment)
Matt Pearce December 22, 2010 | 1:15 p.m.

*Unfortunately, given that these comments are unsupervised, I must add the caveat that my views don't necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the other reporters of the Missourian — but, personally, I sure hope that they do.


(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 22, 2010 | 1:18 p.m.

Matt, may I play Devil's Advocate for a minute?

I happen to agree with you. And I happen to think you are a great reporter, as you and I have had some communications before. But, if you will allow me; just for a moment?

If I understand Mr. Miller's article correctly; although you are saying this is journalism, I think he is asking "is it responsible journalism"?

In other words, does the public knowing about this affair do more harm than it does good? Do we really need to know about Mr. Dresner's personal affairs, even with a subordinate Officer? Or does knowing about Mr. Dresner's personal affairs, even with a subordinate Officer harm us all by unnecessarily threatening the public's trust in one of it's Law Enforcement Agencies?

Now, understand I am playing "Devil's Advocate", and I have already stated that I agree with you. So, there is no need to use anything that I have posted in regards to this in the past against me...

Just asking for your view on this alternate view I gave you on this situation.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 22, 2010 | 1:35 p.m.

Mr Miller, in absence of that which you decry, the job which you engaged in during your prime would become useless, because inevitably the only thing you would be defending would be fascism. That is what happens when checks and balances are removed, suppressed, or nullified. Which governments operate a state run media? Which governments restrict their press? They include the same governments that were on your short list of governments to dislike as you were instructed when you were in your prime. Remember that and also "absolute power corrupts absolutely". Quit pretending that you can rely on any part of government to police itself.

(Report Comment)
Matt Pearce December 22, 2010 | 1:38 p.m.


That's a bit harder to answer. An aggressive free press will always push boundaries and wreak a little havoc. There will always be grey areas.

But let me put it this way: The next time we get a news release from CPD, would you prefer that I just retype it for our site, or do you want me to look into it — for better or worse?


(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 22, 2010 | 1:48 p.m.

Like I said, I am with you Matt. You and I are in complete agreement on this topic. I am just playing "Devil's Advocate"; in this case Mr. Miller being "The Devil". Just humor Mr. Miller; no offense intended.

That question may better serve us if it were asked of Mr. Miller.... ;o)

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm December 22, 2010 | 2:10 p.m.

“The Espionage Act of 1917 makes it a criminal offense to disclose information relating to the national defense to any person not entitled to receive it, an act PFC Manning and Mr. Assange have obviously violated.”

I find it very frightening that so many people think Assange committed a crime and should be prosecuted. He is not an American Citizen; he did not steal the documents (he did not even know who leaked them until Manning was arrested), and the documents were not posted while on American soil. Why so many people think that we should be able to prosecute a foreigner who is on foreign soil for violating American law is ridiculous. Assange is not American and we have no reasonable expectation of him to protect America or its secrets.

Furthermore, Manning should be released also;

"On the other hand, the very essence of the Charter is that individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience imposed by the individual state. He who violates the laws of war cannot obtain immunity while acting in pursuance of the authority of the state, if the state, in authorizing action, moves outside its competence under international law."- Nuremberg Trials

“Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."- Nuremberg Trials

Manning saw proof of atrocities being committed by his country and he brought them to light. He did not do this as an American, solider, or journalist; he did it as a human. He should be commended for his actions. We are condemning those who have done nothing but spread the truth so that we can protect those who violated some of the most basic human morals.

As far as the Dresner issue; if you can’t see why the citizens of Columbia have a right to know that one of their city’s most powerful and highly compensated employees had a prolonged affair with a subordinate and that affair comes with the potential of corruption on the part of Dresner then you are blind to the basics of democratic values.

“An internal situation, it was effectively solved "in house" to spare the innocent undue pain and humiliation. Perhaps I am naive but, I fail to see why a purely personal matter fits the public's "right to know.”

Yes, you are naïve. How can you think that a public employee having an affair with another public employee who is married to a third public employee who are both subordinates of the first employee is an “internal” matter. There are no internal matters when you work in the public sector and the matter at hand affects the public. Last, it was not initially “solved” in house; it was initially COVERED UP in house. Like I said before, you seem to lack a strong understanding of basic democratic values.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz December 22, 2010 | 2:18 p.m.

Seems to me that Dresner's affair caused him and his family much more pain that the media's reporting of it.

(Report Comment)
dan elliott December 22, 2010 | 4:19 p.m.

Dresner's affair was newsworthy because a city official put the city at risk of a lawsuit for sexual harassment and the people have a right to know that there is an issue, the issue is dealt with and that future issues are being avoided

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller December 22, 2010 | 7:34 p.m.

Matt and others who don't share my opinion in this or other instances of "In flagrante delicto," let me offer this scenario. I would expect that, conservatively, 40 percent of Columbia's divorce proceedings are triggered by infidelity. Why then are not journalists beholden to investigate each of these cases to determine who among us has been "naughty or nice?" Yes, the Deputy Chief of Police is a public employee, paid by taxpayers, of whcih I am one.

I would be among the first to praise the investigative journalist who uncovered evidence of criminal misconduct on the part of any public servant, e.g., theft, falsifying records, extortion, malfeasance of duty or other felonious acts. However, this was merely an affair between two consenting activity for which Chief Burton decided (rightly in my opinion) to ask for Dresner's resignation for being detrimental to the good order and discipline of the department.

In my opinion, as I have so stated, this is tabloid journalism. Reasonable people can always agree to disagree as to what is or is not appropriate for public content but, in such matters, I did not just fall off a turnip truck. I have spent many years in shoes similar to those worn by Chief Burton

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 22, 2010 | 8:03 p.m.

So then does your critique of tabloid journalism also extend to Wikileaks? Is that tabloid journalism? Or is his arrest over what is said to be consensual sex tabloid journalism?

Inquiring minds want to know.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 22, 2010 | 8:08 p.m.

Excuse my omission. I meant to ask you if the COVERAGE of his arrest was tabloid journalism.

And I thought of another question.

Someone is saying that the half of the people who don't pay federal income tax are freeloaders and should humble themselves before those who are carrying their load. You and I both know that a lot of junior enlisted personnel qualify for what is called "earned income credit" and thus pay no federal income tax. Do you feel that these people are freeloaders? And why? Thank you.

(Report Comment)
John Bliss December 22, 2010 | 8:22 p.m.

Colonel, you stated, "When national security or human lives are at risk, any right to know is trumped by common sense."
It would seem that even Assage agrees with you partly. On his release, he told his lawyer that his address was to remain a secret! What an idiot!

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 22, 2010 | 8:50 p.m.

United States:

Alfred Kinsey has found in his studies that 50% of males and 26% of females had extramarital sex at least once during their lifetime.[24] Depending on studies, it was estimated that 26–50% of men and 21–38% women,[25] or 22.7% of men and 11.6% of women had extramarital sex.[26] Other authors say that between 20% and 25% of Americans had sex with someone other than their spouse.[27] However, one survey that measured the prevalence of adultery in the 12 months prior to the study showed rates of extramarital sex as low as 2.5%[25] The results suggest that while 15–25% of married Americans have had extramarital sex at least once in their lifetime, extramarital sex occurred infrequently in any one year.

Source: Wikipedia

Probably less than what you quote, Mr. Miller. But still, I'd say you made a pretty good guess...

However, here is my problem..

Mr. Dresner is a public official. Mrs. Haden is a public official. We pay their salaries. We expect professionalism and we expect those that are enforcing our laws to set good examples and to be beyond reproach; after all how can you tell someone else to "behave" when you are "misbehaving"? We are not paying our tax dollars to the city of Columbia so that it can set up a dating service for city employees.

Mr. Dresner and Mrs. Haden have negatively impacted the lives of others by doing what they did. And they have left many questions that should be addressed in doing so.

Was Mrs. Haden unfairly promoted to PIO? Did any other Officer in the department have "something" on Mr. Dresner? If so, was Mr. Dresner "blackmailed" by anyone in his department with this information? If so, over what and how did that impact the CPD and the citizens of Columbia? While the scenarios that these questions imply are probably unlikely, they are possible. And if they are possible, then they are the concern of all of the citizens of Columbia, MO.

Lest you not forget that Mr. Dresner was the ranking officer over Mrs. Haden's husband who is also employed at the CPD. You would not have sex with one of your soldier's wives, would you? Don't you find that HIGHLY improper, unprofessional, and a complete blow to Esprit De Corps? And if so, don't you think that the citizen's of Columbia should know what it's Police Commanders are doing when it disrupts the morale of the unit?

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller December 23, 2010 | 10:01 a.m.

Ricky, I understand your concerns. Nevertheless, the indescretions of these public officials were addressed by the public official also paid by us to decide such matters, to wit: Chief of Police, Burton. The consequences assigned by Chief Burton, that the Deputy Chief resign and the Public Information Officer be reassigned to a less visible post appears to have been a reasonable and proper solution.
Until we have evidence that Chief Burton's judgment is flawed, we should give him the benefit of trust. Second guessing proves only that it is easier to criticize than to create.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 23, 2010 | 10:26 a.m.

I agree with Mr. Miller on this. We, the taxpayers, hired and pay Chief Burton to manage the police department. Part of "managing" is dealing with personal stuff like this; it's not all police's dealing with the foibles of folks just like you and me. Unless we find that the Chief's judgment is flawed, he should be allowed to do his job. On this matter, I think the Chief was spot-on. He seems to have behaved exactly as a good manager of people should behave, with firmness and clarity of thought and purpose sprinkled with sensitivity towards those disciplined. A good manager NEVER kicks a person once he's down. Bad ones and their supporters do, tho.

In many situations, folks like to try and hide their tendencies for voyeurism and titillation behind the "public's right to know" moniker, but sometimes (like now) that strategy just doesn't wash with many of us. There are good reasons why personnel matters are held in confidence...after all, your next personal screw-up just might not remain very secret.

(PS: If you receive ANY public money for ANY reason...grant, gift, job, whatever.....does the public have a right to know YOUR foibles?)

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 23, 2010 | 10:30 a.m.

So then we have a creative person who is criticizing the hell out of the critics? Quit second guessing the press!!! Oh wait, you are the...

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 23, 2010 | 11:13 a.m.


I think you are confused about the differences in the expectations of privacy between a public servant and a private citizen.

Depending on what my next "screw up" is, I have more of a right to privacy than what Mr. Dresner and/or Mrs. Haden does...

It is a well settled fact, supported by the U.S. Supreme court, in lots of case law; that public officials don't have the same expectation of privacy as private citizens do.. Don't argue with me on that, write a letter to the U.S. Supreme Court Justices; if you don't like it.

So, let's say that I have an affair on my significant other. It's none of your business, I don't work for you, your tax dollars don't pay my salary. I generate my own income. I don't protect and serve you or represent you in any way. I started and paid for my company, kept it running, provided for it, pay it's employees, and maintain it with my own funds, out of my own pocket, generated by me. So, a lot of what I do is none of your business. That is NOT the case with your public officials; however.

Now, if I commit a crime against society (all crimes are thought of as "against society"), then it is your business, and you'll be able to read all about it on CaseNet and in the News Paper.

Technically speaking, none of us have an absolute right to privacy. You will not find the words "private" or "privacy" anywhere in our constitution.

Here Mike, I have you. Now if we were discussing chemistry, I'd proclaim ignorance, and tell everyone they should listen to you; because that is something you know about. If we were discussing military matters, I'd say I know a little about the topic, but I'd never pretend to know as much as Mr. Miller and I'd say this; as I already have one one thread by Mr. Miller. But, I have owned and operated a Private Investigation company for many years. And if there is one thing we know about; it is matters regarding personal privacy, the expectation of privacy, and matters involving intrusion into people's personal lives. Knowing about these matters are a P.I.'s stock and trade. Which is why I won't be swayed to your viewpoint on this topic.

There is nothing "sacred" about a Police Officer, as you might have us believe. A private citizen can have a background check ran on a Police Officer, have that Police Officer followed and put under surveillance, and question or have his neighbors and associates questioned. These things are not "off limits" by virtue of being a Law Enforcement Officer. As a matter of fact; they are more "on-limits" because the person IS a Police Officer.

Paul has a point. Our Free Press has established itself as an important part of our society and it's NEED to be informed about our government, and has been vested with certain protections by our constitution so that it can effectively provide this NEED to our free society. So why are you trying to second guess that integral part of our free society?

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 23, 2010 | 2:22 p.m.

No Rick, once again you've expanded my thoughts beyond the limits of your standard curve.

I'm saying there is LITTLE difference between knowing about a public servant's private activities because we-the-people pay them, versus knowing the same information about ANY person who receives tax dollars for ANY reason. I don't think a rational person can discern a difference between the two. A person that dislikes cops, or a city council person, or a university professor can, tho. Speaking of which, should a professor getting it on with a student be public knowledge, or should it just be handled internally by a good manager?

Quite frankly, Rick, in this matter your posts have come across more as voyeurism and titillation than any drive to report "news" about the police department. This is my interpretation. I've read....and re-read....and re-read those posts, and this is the only interpretation I can come up with given the words, phrases, paragraph development, and sly, slow releases of information. This is the type of thing Mr. Miller is writing about, not just the stuff from you but from others within and without the media. I don't think I'm on the wrong side of the fence with this with respect to many others (most) in Columbia. There are right ways to deal with this, and there are wrong ways. I think voyeurism and tabloid-journalism are the wrong ways to go. I think sly, slow releases of hypothetical madeup stories that are really not made up is NOT the way to go.

INO, if you've got information, spit it out!!!!!! Doing otherwise causes many of us to ascribe very bad motives to you and others doing the same thing, which I would hope is contrary to what you would like to achieve.

That means I think it makes no sense whatsoever.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 23, 2010 | 3:08 p.m.


I think you are missing a HUGE point here that is staring you in the face; so I can't see why you are missing it?

You posted: "Quite frankly, Rick, in this matter your posts have come across more as voyeurism and titillation than any drive to report "news" about the police department."

Mike! I AM NOT THE PRESS! That is the point that you seem to be missing here. I have no obligation to "ethically report" anything. As far as anyone is concerned, there is no obligation for a non-press member, private citizen to ethically report anything or abide by any journalistic standards of responsibility.

But it is funny that you should mention the: "sly, slow releases of information"... So, I must ask now that you have bought that up, do you think that Chief Burton might have performed some "sly, slow releases of information" by first announcing that Dresner was going to retire, then 2 days later announcing that Dresner was asked to resign, then a week later announcing that Jessica Haden was being moved from her position as PIO to Patrol?

Let me help you with that; I think the link below will help you to better answer that question:

Just click on the link, look at the timeline, and tell us if Chief Burton did some "sly, slow releases of information".

And Mike, I do want to say one thing about your previous posts about not hiring me because of this issue with Dresner. IF you were accused of a crime that you did not commit for which you could go to prison for 20 years, with visions of "Bubba" holding up a pink wig and a leather miniskirt that he wanted you to wear for him, I can assure you that if you thought I was your best bet for assisting in proving your innocence, you'd hire me, be my best friend, and sing my praises on this board after you got a "Not Guilty" verdict. You see, that is what it is all about, not whether the client likes me or not, but whether or not I am EFFECTIVE at what I do and the client knowing so......

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 23, 2010 | 3:52 p.m.

Rick says, "I have no obligation to "ethically report" anything."

Yeah, you do.
It's called "being a human being" and "being civilized."
This has nothing to do with whether you are the press or not the press. It is not necessary for you to stoop to the lowest common denominator just because you are not the press. You are human, and the rest of us expect you to retain that evolution-based, thin veneer of civilized behavior required once we decided to live amongst one another.

No, I do not think the chief used a "sly, slow release of information." Even if he did, that does not justify you doing so. I think he was simply being a good manager of people. He handled it well and I applaud him for it. Those who do not are just enjoying someone else's extreme discomfort and loving the "titillation of inquiry". Many folks feel better about themselves when others are kicked while down, but I don't know why.

My statement about folks reading your posts and deciding not to hire you is about "loose lips".

Bluntly, I cannot fathom anyone hiring someone who has demonstrated a willingness to print investigator information, whether gathered by the author or by someone else. I cannot fathom someone slyly making up a so-called scenario that has obvious truth, then follow it with an inuendo. I would think clients would ponder, "I wonder if he'll ever say something about MY case?"

And that's all I meant. Others will have to determine how they feel about it.

But, hey...we all have to make a living and feel good about ourselves. If saving Joe Doaks from Bubba is your fount of self-esteem, who am I to argue?

But, I don't have to like the methods, nor do I have to respect the methods.

Except for the link to news, we've strayed from the I'm done with that side of it. We hashed it to death elsewhere, and I'm sorry I brought it up here. I shouldn't detracted from what we are talking about. I know what you think, and you know what I think. I don't think any minds are going to be changed.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm December 23, 2010 | 3:55 p.m.

@ Michael

“I'm saying there is LITTLE difference between knowing about a public servant's private activities because we-the-people pay them”

These are not private activities. Dresner was having a multi-year affair with another officer who is married to a third officer; both of whom are his subordinates. Seeing the potential for severe malfeasance in this situation is common sense.

Honestly, you seem like one of the most level headed and rational people on these boards and it is blowing my mind that you don’t see why the public has a vested interest in this issue.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop December 23, 2010 | 4:17 p.m.

Paul is amongst the same ones who would be the first to ask why the military or law enforcement didn't stop terrorist from their next strike on our soil....all the while defending every leaker's attempt to destroy our intelligence capabilities.

These are the same fools who would be sitting in the pot of water over the fire but demanding the right of cannibals to publish their cook books.

There is a point where journalistic integrity should meet common sense. While the need of the press to publish everything that might affect our lives is what many journalists espouse, they would not dare to expose all those in public office who are homosexuals. If Deputy Chief Dresner had been engaged in a homosexual affair with another officer, I'd bet Mr. Pierce would not only have not reported it, but would have published an article that Chief Burton had no business sticking his nose into other people's business.

Journalism's selective outrage and the left leaning bent of most reporters is seen daily by what they report, don't report, and the nuances of how events are reported.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 23, 2010 | 4:23 p.m.


You seem like a very level headed, educated, and intelligent man too. I wish more people of your caliber would wade in here to show Mike "the error or his argument"..........


IF the Chief used a "sly, slow release of information", then you MUST openly criticize him as you have me. Or you must admit that you are willing to relax the standards for the responsible release of information for the Police Department, but hold the public to a more stringent standard than the Police Department instead of saying: "Even if he did, that does not justify you doing so"!

Fortunately the link I provided speaks for itself. That is the wonderful thing about good proof, you can't spin it! It is what it is. So, at this point, the more you post to defend Dresner, The Chief, Haden, and/or the CPD, the more foolish you will look to anyone reading this. Probably why Jack Hamm waded in on this before you wipe out any credibility you might have on this topic....

Part of a civilized society is its right to be informed about its government and the rights of the citizens to freely express theirselves. Try to remember that when you talk about civilized societies....

And YES! No, HECK YES! I get a complete RISE out of participating in cases where I assist an innocent man in proving his innocence and not becoming falsely imprisoned. Sometimes it is better than sex! It DOES make me feel good about myself. I am PROUD of that. It is the people that do this type of work that also play a part in defending your rights, Mike. Lest you not forget that.

Like I already said, hiring me would be more fathomable to you if you were facing 20 years in a cell with a boyfriend named "Bubba". They I think you would have a complete and total understanding of why you hire a person to work for you. An auto mechanic can be the nicest guy in the world, you could just like him as if he were you best friend; but if he does not know how to change the oil in your car he is a "crappy" mechanic and you WILL go to another auto mechanic to do the job correctly even if you don't like him. That is why you hire someone to work for you, not because they are "nice" or you "like them"; but because they are EFFECTIVE at what they do. I have a few clients that do NOT "like me", but they have been REPEAT CLIENTS FOR YEARS!

I don't understand how you are missing these concepts, because you ARE a HIGHLY intelligent and well educated guy?

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 23, 2010 | 5:20 p.m.


I guess my question to you is just how much info do you want to know?

You know of the affair, you know who was involved, you know what the chief did about it; what else? Condom use? Interviews with the injured spouses? Interviews on just how horrible they all feel? Where the affair was consummated? Where it was continued? Whose cars were used? Their colors? How it all started? An interrogation that allows you to make sure there were, or were not, chain-of-command problems? Tape recordings of the chief's discussions with all parties? EXACTLY WHAT WILL SATISFY YOU??????

The chief did his job. We paid him to do it. I would have been PERFECTLY happy to know that it was a personnel matter, Tom Dressner resigned and another patrolman was reassigned. Why would I have been happy? BECAUSE I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE PAST OR PRESENT THE CHIEF IS USING POOR MANAGEMENT JUDGMENT!!! None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Not even from those who exposed the whole thing. Nothing. You folks have introduced not one teeny tiny smattering of any managerial malfeasance at all! Yet, you persist in defending sly, childish, slow releases of titillating information with included innuendos on a public forum under the guise of "news". I say bullshirt and if that expletive gets me canned, so be it. But, it's the very, very best word I can use to express my disgust.


But quit being cute about it. Doing so says more about the authors than the targets.

Do I, as a taxpayer, have a vested interest? You bet I do! And THAT is the damned reason we hired the Chief!!! The moment he heard about it, I expect him to act. He investigated and DID act once his mind was made up. What part of "good management" do you not understand?

Bunch'a journalistic wannabees who love a good, embarrassing "Gotcha", imo. I'm about as disappointed as I can get...for a lot of reasons.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 23, 2010 | 5:27 p.m.

Rick says, "I don't understand how you are missing these concepts....

I know. And I don't understand why you did what you did in the way you did, either. And I'm disappointed.

Impasse. What more is to be said?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 23, 2010 | 5:33 p.m.

One more thing: If I accept the fact that we have a right to know about a public servant's private activities because we pay them, then I have to accept the fact that we have a right to know similar personal info about ANY person who receives tax dollars for ANY reason.

But I don't accept that fact.

But, in light of what y'all believe and in the interest of "consistency" and "intellectual honesty", any time y'all want my vote on whether we can investigate your personal life and splash it on these pages.....if you accept any form of taxpayer assistance....I'll be glad to oblige. Just let me know.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 23, 2010 | 5:36 p.m.

Don says, "I'd bet Mr. Pierce would not only have not reported it, but would have published an article that Chief Burton had no business sticking his nose into other people's business."

Wow. Another "gem" of a post.

Thank you for that.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop December 23, 2010 | 6:12 p.m.

Since we the public are paying out of our pockets for what news we get from journalists, don't we have a right to know all about their personal lives?

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 23, 2010 | 6:34 p.m.


You are still missing some very salient points here....

First, people who receive public assistance are NOT Public Servants. I PAY my Police Department to put my butt in jail if I "screw up"! I PAY my Police Department to stop me on the roads if I am speeding, question me, search my car, ticket me. I not only PAY them, I give them certain privileges and responsibilities that ordinary non law enforcement personnel do not have. They SERVE me when they are on the clock. Some poor lady on welfare is NOT a Public Servant. A Public Servant has thrust their self into a position where they are in the eye of the public and thus their expectation of privacy somewhat diminishes. We can not hold some poor lady receiving welfare to the same standard. AND; our U.S. Supreme Court does NOT!

How much information is enough? Well let me tell you.

If there are video cameras in the CPD and Mr. Dresner was having sex with Jessica Haden at the CPD while he was on duty, I WANT TO BE ABLE TO VIEW THE TAPES IF I CHOOSE TO DO SO! Do you want to know why? Because I paid for the video camera, I paid for the tape that recorded the activity, I paid for the building it was happening in, I paid for the uniforms that these Police Officers took off prior to having sex, and I paid their DAMNED salary while they were having sex! If you go out to the midle of Broadway and take off your clothes and start humping a street light and I video tape it, there is nothing you can do about it. And you can do nothing about me posting it on the Internet if I choose to. The CPD is in the same public view with the same diminished expectation of privacy for it's employees when they are working for the citizens. The lesson? Don't do anything in public that is going to bring shame to you! And if you do, then apply the same standard to yourself as you would to some guy that is accused of a crime and say "It is not Rick’s fault that I had that video of me humping a streetlight naked on Broadway posted on YouTube; it's my fault for being the DIPSTICK that did it"!

So, don't blame me, the press, or anyone else that wants to know more about what happened with Mr. Dresner and Jessica Haden or knows and tells, blame Mr. Dresner and Jessica Haden; because they bought that on their selves. Just like the guy that was speeding, got pulled over, got "mouthy" with the Police Officer and got Tased, as you Mike have said many times it is that person's fault for placing their self in that position.

What frustrates me is your application of a double standard for Law Enforcement and the Public; placing a more stringent standard on the Public than the Police. And if there is a double standard, then the standard for the Police should be far more stringent than the standard for the private citizen.

But if you are going to apply such a double standard, I guess there is no better place for you to apply it than right here in the eye of the public, for the whole world to see..

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 23, 2010 | 6:36 p.m.

How much money are you paying to read the News from the Missourian here on the Internet and to post on this forum, Don?

Just curious?

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop December 23, 2010 | 6:50 p.m.

Ricky, you do this for free?

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 23, 2010 | 6:54 p.m.

Do WHAT for free, Don?

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop December 23, 2010 | 6:57 p.m.

Ricky, the advertisers pay for it, and we pay for it by the products we buy from the advertisers. Ergo, the public is paying for it. Just like I send my tax dollars in to the government. I can't prove that any of my particular taxes pay for anything at the police department.

But we the public need to know about those people in the media giving us their "view" of what is and is not important. That way we can ensure they are not giving us a biased report. Just like the media needs to know everything about what happens in government. We must be aggressive in our examination of the media. The public has a right to know.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin December 23, 2010 | 6:58 p.m.

Some of this stuff is way over the top, downright sordid, and mean.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 23, 2010 | 7:12 p.m.

Don, you have a choice on what you choose to buy from advertisements that the Missourian puts up on it's website..

You also have a choice in paying taxes, pay'em or go to jail. But in this choice there is no "free will". You are not "forced" to buy anything that is advertised on the Missourian. I'd say the choice between paying taxes or going to jail is far more "forceful" than the choice to buy goods marketed through advertisements on this site. Your logic is just a bit flawed here....

Yes, we can actually show that a portion of our tax dollars go to the CPD. There is a report that the City has to file every year that shows where your tax dollars go. If I remember correctly, the report was published here (I think). AND, the largest portion of your tax dollars went to the CPD.

No, I don't care about Matt Pearce's lifestyle. Nor do I feel I have a right to know anything about his personal life. I don't pay his salary. He can't arrest me. He can't search my home. I have not elected to give him those "privileges". He does not serve me in any way. The Missourian is a great paper to read, but it is not here to even serve any of us; I think (and I could be wrong here) that it is more of a service to the journalism students at MU more as a "learning tool project". I could be wrong there, but I think I heard someone from the Missourian tell me that once. Either way, the Missourian funds itself without asking you or requiring you to pay it one dime. The City of Columbia REQUIRES you to pay taxes that pay the salaries of it's employees, and DIRECTLY to the City of Columbia I might add.

Now, if the City of Columbia wants to put up advertisements on it's website and tell us all that we can now stop paying taxes; I won't ask another question about what any city employee does, as long as they don't violate my rights.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop December 23, 2010 | 7:16 p.m.


You are missing some salient facts here. Just because you paid for it with tax dollars doesn't mean you own it or can do with it as you wish. You can't take home the camera. You can't take home the police car. You can't sit in the crime lab and watch them work. Yes you paid for it, but it's NOT your property. If the police put barricades across the access to the public park, you can't use it just because you decide you want to use the park. There are in fact limits to your use of and access to public property. Just because you don't like it or you are a member of the media doesn't give you right of access.

To think otherwise is both arrogant and petulant.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 23, 2010 | 7:16 p.m.

Well it was a good thread until you came along, Mike Martin...

"Detective Martin", who "investigated" the Jeong Im Murder and swore he'd have the culprit in jail a year ago, then falsely accused a member of our community of being the murderer thus miserably failing to fulfill his promise to solve this case; is now here to teach us all something...

Get your notebooks out, boys and girls......

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop December 23, 2010 | 7:18 p.m.

Ricky, I'm in Hawaii. The City of Columbia doesn't require me to do anything.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller December 23, 2010 | 7:18 p.m.

Mike...I agree with the over "the top, downright sordid and mean" discription. And, in spite of the lively repartee, conjecture and pontificating, no one has convinced me of any "right" or "need" of the public to know.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin December 23, 2010 | 7:21 p.m.

Find me the passage where I falsely accused someone of murder, Mr. Investigator.

And while I'm at it, a little fair disclosure is sure in order here.

Wonder if a certain ex-con would like to do it, given the standards he's imposing on everyone else, particularly our men and women in blue.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 23, 2010 | 7:26 p.m.

Hey Don, I agree with you last post..

But, I can sunshine request most of the information in the examples you gave. Lab results, dashboard cameras from patrol cars, 911 logs, footage from street cams, video tapes of footage inside the CPD, SWAT Raid records, budgetary records, and more. Right?

And why do the statutes allow me to sunshine request this information? Why does the statutes advocate "open government"? Perhaps because that is the citizen's rights?

I don't personally own it, but collectively we the citizens DO! And thus we are entitled to the results that are developed and produced by our government and the tools that it uses.

Don, I am NOT a member of the media. I know that you did not post that I was; but I do want to clarify that. And while I am clarifying that, I think that it is worth noting that members of the media with press passes do have greater access to some of the things that you mentioned..

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 23, 2010 | 7:28 p.m.

What? you mean accountability?

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 23, 2010 | 7:29 p.m.

That was directed at Mike.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 23, 2010 | 7:36 p.m.

Don Milsop says...

"Paul is amongst the same ones who would be the first to ask why the military or law enforcement didn't stop terrorist from their next strike on our soil....all the while defending every leaker's attempt to destroy our intelligence capabilities.
These are the same fools who would be sitting in the pot of water over the fire but demanding the right of cannibals to publish their cook books."

This is great. I'm so damn bad now that I can debate against a moron without even having to be there. Thanks for your projection. It saved me a lot of work. All the way from Hawaii too? Just wow.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 23, 2010 | 7:38 p.m.

Geez, I go work out and things go to hell inna handbasket.

That's ok, I'm done.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin December 23, 2010 | 7:39 p.m.

Accountability? Absolutely. For both police and -- as Michael Williams has been intimating on this thread -- PI's too.

Private investigators have to be licensed by the state, and are held to much higher levels of accountability than might be readily apparent -- dare I say, almost as high as police officers (after all, they both work in law enforcement, albeit in different capacities).

They are both granted high levels of public trust, and are both expected to work within certain moral, ethical, and legal confines.

More on PI licensure:

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 23, 2010 | 7:40 p.m.

Hey Mike Martin,

Why don't we ask Mark Foecking, John Schultz, Maria Oropallo, Angie Sloop, and Vanessa Hall if you made such false allegations? Want me to get them over here and get their opinion on it? Even if you did not mention the name of the person, you sure did make a false allegation against him. It was obvious who you were posting about. And in one post where I confronted you over it you did not deny it, you DEFENDED the allegation. I am sure I can "dig up" that post with a little Internet searching, shall I expend the effort?

Post my history here, Mike.. I have no problem with that. My life is an open book, buddy... Just do a Google Search on the name "Ricky Gurley", no big deal. I don't try to hide my past. I have a felony conviction. I did prison time for that felony conviction. The felony conviction was for Felonious Restraint for picking up a convicted Child Molester in North Carolina on a Bail Recovery Contract. Never harmed him in any way. Never did any property damage. And was assisted by a Deputy of the Martin County Sheriff's Department. ALL of my professinal peers know about this..

You act like I am afraid of such disclosures, Mike. I deal with them all of the time, even in court. They are my mistakes, I made them, I don't try to cover them up, and I take full responsibility for them. I always have. But, I was NEVER a Public Servant, so I was not obligated to behave in any manner by the public's trust whenever I was misbehaving.....

Mike, post what you will, son....

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 23, 2010 | 7:43 p.m.

Mike Martin,

I know something you don't.. And I have been waiting for you to tout this non-sense.. And I am getting ready to show everyone what a "piss-poor" researcher you really are....

You have no idea, DIPSTICK!

It may be a few days before I can go public with something that some of the people here already know, but when it happens you are going to really feel like a fool.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 23, 2010 | 7:53 p.m.

Mike, you are disappointing me. How does what Rick did ten or fifteen years ago have to do with this? It isn't essential to the debate and I don't recall Rick ever denying what you are attempting to hold over his head. It seems you are wishing to use some smear tactics.
The situation that is being discussed involved your tax money. Rick's did not. The situation being discussed, while embarrassing and highly personal, had implications well beyond that. It had ramifications that affected the command structure of the police department. It damaged the morale and the integrity of the police department.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin December 23, 2010 | 8:29 p.m.


I believe Rick brought up his criminal background. I mentioned no names. He may have done so because for a private investigator to be duly licensed, that individual must pass a lengthy criminal background check.

In other words, for PIs and police, a criminal background is a relevant issue. It's just a fact of state law.

All the state's licensed private investigators are listed here:

As to this notion of a smear campaign, what would you call the bulk of this thread and a similar one before it?

I don't see how these god-awfully sexualized posts serve the cause of justice or anything else.

I can't imagine how the spouses of these individuals, or their friends or children -- the innocents in this situation -- are handling reading it either, or hearing about it if they don't read it.

I also speak from some personal experience, being at the receiving end of one of these smear campaigns, around this time last year.

After we both banned Mr. Gurley from our respective forums, he treated me and the Trib's web editor to one of these deals, posting personal information about us on his blog below a photo of a man yanking at his crotch (among other things).

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 23, 2010 | 8:36 p.m.

Mike, I call this thread a debate regarding the right of the press to know facts.

Rick passed his exam. Are you disputing that?

I haven't seen much discussion about sex in this thread.

If you were at the receiving end of a smear campaign, your experience hasn't taught you enough. Perhaps you need a repeat?

I am sorry to have come between you in your personal argument. Post the picture. It might be good for a laugh.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 23, 2010 | 8:38 p.m.


What Mike Martin does not know, is that at anytime I can walk into the State PI Board and literally compel them to give me a PI License.

Of course he is far too poor of a researcher to look at the MO. AHC website.

There is something else he does not know either.. But I can not say anything about it right now..

Paul, shoot me an email at and I'll send you a document. Then tell Mike Martin what a DIPSTICK he is after you read it.... Or for that matter, anyone else that is interested, other than Mike Martin. I'd like for everyone but him to see how poor he is at research; for a "self proclaimed investigative journalist".....

Ricky Gurley

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop December 23, 2010 | 8:54 p.m.

Paul, the only reason it would matter is if some trial lawyer who donates primarly to liberals made a court case out of it. He did something unethical. He admited it. He was terminated. That should be the end of it. Any case of anything else is just self justification of publishing something of insignificance.

I noted that Jessie Haden was reassigned from her job as PIO to patrol duty. I don't see anything about her being fired, asked to resign, or disciplined in any other way.
That was an appropriate response by Chief Burton. But there was no media outcry on that. I haven't seen that information published by Mr. Pearce or even discussed on this thread.

Deputy Chief Dresner received a more severe punishment based on his leadership position. That is as it should be. But it's not news. If it was news, Ms. Haden would have been covered to a much greater extend. There are no lawsuits, no sexual harrassment claims. Just chest beating by the media of their right to know.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 23, 2010 | 8:55 p.m.

Told ya Mike Martin could throw this thread in the "crapper" faster than I could make a post. We had a lively debate going, and them Mike Martin showed up and the thread is gone straight to hell.. Thank you, Mike Martin.

I know I am controversial, but I have not actually "targeted" anyone but Mike Martin, on this thread. But that is because you pretty much deserve to wear that scarlet letter that you carved out for yourself, wherever you go.

He is like that "little red neck bully" in the trailer park that everyone hates to see coming their way..

Ricky Gurley

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin December 23, 2010 | 9:29 p.m.


I call this thread an ex-con kicking two cops while they're down.

I think it's my right as a citizen with free speech and all to protest when cons are kicking cops, just like it's your right to protest when cops are out of line.

Why you all get to scream bloody murder and "smear campaign" and "unfair" when the shoe's on the other foot doesn't make any sense, given our mutual rights to free speech and all.

Also, if Mr. Gurley passed his licensure exam, why isn't he listed at that website that shows state-licensed PI's?

I've tried typing in Gurley, and "Gurley, Rick," and "Gurley, Ricky," and just about every other combination, statewide and in Boone County.

So far, no dice. But since I know he's not practicing without a license -- which is required by law -- I just figure I'm not typing in the right information.

(Finally, if I've thrown this thread "into the crapper," good on me. It deserved it.)

(Report Comment)
Yves Montclear December 23, 2010 | 9:37 p.m.

Reporters, these, must we deal with like: Yoda.

Matt Pearce wrote:
--It's not always pretty, and it's not always Watergate, but it's our job, and we're doing it for you.--

There are too many apostrophes in that sentence. Can anybody else see where?

And Matt, you are a reporter, right? You state that in your comment. Not just a blogger, a 'wannabe' journalist? You are a University of Missouri, Columbia trained journalist?

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 23, 2010 | 9:51 p.m.


Send me an email... Then read the document I send you...

Mike Martin is a foolish man.. His research is always inaccurate. You can't rely on what he posts, because he is entirely too ignorant to research anything and thus makes baseless accusations and assumptions...

I can post the AHC Ruling on here. But, I'd much rather everyone but Mike see it, and then they send it to him and tell him what a complete DUMB ASS he is..

If Mike were as good at gathering information as he claims to be, he'd know that YES, I was denied a PI License after meeting all of the requirements to receive one. And YES I appealed the Denial to the Administrative Hearing Commission, and YES, the AHC ruled on the 14th of this month that the PI Board did not have the grounds they stated in their denial letter, to deny my license... I can actually take that ruling to the PI Board and compel them to either give me a PI License or face legal consequences for not doing so. But, there is just one more thing that I am waiting for before I consider that. It may not be necessary for me to even do that. Right now, I am in a pretty good position; and I am quite pleased with where I am right now. There is A LOT more that will come from this, that I can't talk about either. But I will say this.. Mike Martin's letter to the PI Board (Oh yeah Mike Martin, in a court case we have something called DISCOVERY), and the P.I. Board's decision, might have been a HUGE and REWARDING blessing for me.... There is still a lot to be done....

Furthermore and for now; the AHC also stated that the Missouri Board of Private Investigator Examiners exceeded their statutory authority in making up some of the rules that they have.

Now, if anyone doubts me, just send me an email to, and I will share the AHC's six page ruling with you which is a PDF file.

But there is an issue of larger concern that I can not talk about right now. But, I will be able to talk about it very shortly.

For now, rest assured that Mike Martin is WAY behind on what is happening. But that is nothing unusual or new for Mike Martin...

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver December 23, 2010 | 11:21 p.m.

Thanks for the file Rick. Glad that things are working out for you. It appears that Mr. Martin lost this one, but I wouldn't put it past him to try something else, as it appears that he is pretty bitter towards you.
Strange how groundless accusations can take wings and fly, until they get rightfully swatted down. So is he liable for the time and money that he cost you?

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 23, 2010 | 11:22 p.m.

Hey Don, what island are you on?

And the main thing this answered for me is that it explained the nature of the person making the press release for the department. It was sort of an annoyance to read them because it sounded like they were coming from someone who was inventing facts on the run. I don't remember reading one thing that the individual stated that sounded factually correct. But I actually got on here to say that the paper had the right to make one blurb about it. It's not worth all the carrying on you have been doing. For real.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 23, 2010 | 11:27 p.m.


Well let's just say this for now; Mr. Martin will probably find himself right "smack dab" in the middle of some of the COMPLETELY LEGAL things that are going to happen that I can't talk about right now (when I address someone as "Mr." it normally denotes some sort of possible or impending legal action).

It is ONLY a matter of time. Thats all....

And I'm a patient man.....

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Yves Montclear December 24, 2010 | 12:05 a.m.

I've heard that patience is a virtue.

And I'm sure it is, for pussies.

People who get things done, don't wait. They get the damn job done.

The historical list of people I could use as references to that belief is too long to be allowed here. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to discover.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 24, 2010 | 1:09 a.m.

Yves. LMAO! That was FUNNY!

Sometimes, one just has to wait... I suppose that is where patience is a virtue....

And sometimes some things are just worth waiting for.....

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Chris Delbert December 24, 2010 | 2:01 a.m.


Thanks for sending me the PDF, I found it quite interesting. I've been following your posts for some time now and the info you forwarded gave me a little more insight as to your situation, and what you've had to go through to claim this latest victory. In fact, Chip brings up a good point, anyone looking at the facts at hand would have to come to the conclusion that you are owed some major ducats for your troubles. I have no doubt that you are on the right side of this fight, and I urge you to keep punchin'..

(Report Comment)
neelam sharma December 24, 2010 | 4:17 a.m.

If you were at the receiving end of a smear campaign, your experience hasn't taught you enough. Perhaps you need a repeat?

I am sorry to have come between you in your personal argument. Post the picture. It might be good for a laugh.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 24, 2010 | 12:31 p.m.

What's up, what me worry?

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver December 24, 2010 | 1:27 p.m.

Back to the need to know aspect of this thread. I am torn on this one about the police officer matter. One the one hand, knowing only confirms what I already think, which always feels good, but on the other, I think that the details are harmful to the families of those who were in on the acts, which I find distasteful.
Perhaps it should have been more like the Dick VanDyke show, where Mary Tyler Moor and Dick had twin beds in the same room. We all knew what they must have been doing as after all they had a child, but we never saw naked scenes of them getting it on.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 24, 2010 | 1:42 p.m.

I am with you, Chip...

I like government transparency, but not at the expense of the lives of the people defending our country..

I guess what I don't know yet is; has any of these "leaks" actually caused anyone any harm, or put anyone in harms way?

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 24, 2010 | 2:20 p.m.

It seems like we have instances of people doing what they shouldn't and when it becomes apparent we have people wishing to silence those who made it so. The argument is then presented that the person who made the disclosure is causing some sort of pain for the people who were doing what they shouldn't.

And then some moron swallows the argument and regurgitates it.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop December 24, 2010 | 2:36 p.m.

The main actor, Deputy Chief Dresner was punished. In your own self appointed zealotry, you not only sought to rub salt in the wounds, you didn't gave one thought to the pain it would cause either party's family by the public disclosure. Or worse, you didn't give a tiny little damn because it served your own purposes, not the public good.
Need and right to know my behind.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 24, 2010 | 2:55 p.m.

Whether I have a need or a right to know, I don't want to know anything about your behind. Thanks for offering.

It seems like you are speaking about the police situation. I already gave you my take on it. I thought it was over, but NO.
"In your own self appointed zealotry, you"...
ought to be more clear who you are speaking to.
"you didn't gave one thought to the pain it would cause either party's family by the public disclosure.
Should the "you" from this portion of the sentence actually be the same "you" as was in the earlier portion?
I'm thinking this might be better stated if it was two sentences with two different "you"s.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 24, 2010 | 3:17 p.m.

Yeah Paul, you are right; because I don't know if Don is speaking to you or me. LOL.

But... I will say this about Don, he does seem to stay on topic, and he has not taken any "cheap shots" at me based on the last 15 or so posts and this notches up my level of respect for him. Same goes for you Paul, you actually came to my defense and I appreciate that (even though I don't need defending, the gesture was nice).

But I have a few questions for Don. I see many people on here posting about the family members of Mr. Dresner, and how we are not being considerate of them and not being responsible.

(1) Do you think that there is anything that can be said on this forum that will cause these family members any more pain than what Mr. Dresner and Mrs. Haden's actions have?

(2) When a man goes to jail, and he talks about how his family is impacted, the same people here that are saying that we are not considering how this may impact these family members will tell that man in jail "you should have thought about that before you committed the crime"; but these people also are willing to give Mr. Dresner and Mrs. Haden a "free pass" and not hold them to that same standard as they would that man in jail. Does this not seem just a little "off kilter" here? Shouldn't Mr. Dresner and Mrs. Haden have though about this before they entered into a 2 year affair together?

(3) Who is responsible for Mr. Dresner and Mrs. Haden's actions, them or us?

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver December 24, 2010 | 3:26 p.m.

While I appreciate my right to know, in the illicit affair of the officers, unless they were out doing something in my name, with my tax funded dollars that was criminal, then I don't even care to know.

The Wickileaks though, to me is a different matter entirely. While I haven't perused the files in depth yet, I did view the video of what appeared to me to be nothing less than the needless slaughter of innocents, including a couple of Reuters employees.
While I am still unsure about my right to know, I am totally sure about my need to know if my government is out taking part in what appears to be criminal acts, in my name and using my tax dollars to fund them.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 24, 2010 | 3:35 p.m.


I care to know about it... There are a whole lot of issues that this "debacle" brings up that I want to know about. And they all regard real potential problems with our Police Department's infrastructure; not the actual details of the affair. Although I think the point here is, do we have a right to know, not do we want to know. And my view is that we DO have a right to know, because these people are working for us, we are paying them, and they freely chose to accept the responsibility that comes along with their position. Nobody MADE them become Police Officers.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 28, 2010 | 1:29 p.m.

Don Milsop December says...

"Paul, the only reason it would matter is if some trial lawyer who donates primarly to liberals made a court case out of it. He did something unethical. He admited it. He was terminated. That should be the end of it. Any case of anything else is just self justification of publishing something of insignificance.

I noted that Jessie Haden was reassigned from her job as PIO to patrol duty. I don't see anything about her being fired, asked to resign, or disciplined in any other way.
That was an appropriate response by Chief Burton. But there was no media outcry on that. I haven't seen that information published by Mr. Pearce or even discussed on this thread.

Deputy Chief Dresner received a more severe punishment based on his leadership position. That is as it should be. But it's not news. If it was news, Ms. Haden would have been covered to a much greater extend. "There are no lawsuits, no sexual harrassment claims. Just chest beating by the media of their right to know."
Don, you are so stupid you are under the belief that what you said constitutes a credible argument. What retarded reason would you have for assuming that only one who aligned with liberals would make that argument? Does the fact that the media made little of it excuse the incident? If that were the case, then everything the media has spotlighted must be the case of the century. You have implied as much. Would you like to retract your statement? (If I were you I would).
In your second paragraph you demonstrate your complete ability to fail to read between any lines you find distasteful. In your third paragraph you use the media to validate your weak and insubstantial position. You verify your erroneous claims using the lack of action from the media, you remember, the same ones who "would have covered to a much greater extend. "There are no lawsuits, no sexual harrassment claims. Just chest beating by the media of their right to know."

Well either the media is right or wrong. This depends largely on whether that which they stat suits your shoddy agenda. Have a nice day in hell.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 28, 2010 | 1:40 p.m.

And yes, I resent the fact that stupid people assume I am similar to they and that they make arguments as such.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop December 28, 2010 | 3:17 p.m.

I am reminded of what journalism can be at its worst when I look at the video of Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings agreeing they'd let American troops be ambushed just to get a story. They felt they had no obligation to warn them. Just to get a story.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 28, 2010 | 3:51 p.m.

Don says, "...agreeing they'd let American troops be ambushed just to get a story."

Well, I guess that answers my question (in another thread) of whether American journalists ever consider the fact they are "American" when deciding whether to publish or not.

At least for Wallace and Jennings. Tar and feathers comes to mind, but that's just my opinion. Wonder if they would feel that way if they were "embedded" with the same about "up close and personal" reporting, lol.

They'd prolly be in a fetal position hysterically shouting "Kill 'em all! Kill 'em all!"

You have a link for that? I'd like to save it.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith December 28, 2010 | 5:15 p.m.

I'm reminded of how in the past certain things just weren't done by reputable journalists. Franklin Roosevelt was a handsome and vigorous President - from the waist up - but he could hardly stand freely on his legs (as the result of having had polio).

It was tacitly agreed among photo journalists of that time that President Roosevelt would not be photographed from the waist down or in any position that emphasized his infirmity. So far as I'm aware that agreement was never breached, even by the so-called tabloid newspapers. Was the outcome of FDR's administration really influenced by whether his legs were photographed? The answer would seem to be that it was not.

Today FDR would not only be photographed from head to toe but whole columns or TV sound bites would be devoted to the state of his withered legs. Some journalist would probably even question whether a man with "that sort of infirmity" could really be effective as President.

But what is important was what FDR or any President did or didn't do, not the state of a president's legs. Why would anyone wish to accentuate the negative?

But isn't accentuating the negative exactly the state of both broadcast and print journalism today? How can you watch network TV news or look through a major newspaper without concluding as much?

There's a thin line between what is journalism and what is sensationalism, and that line has been repeatedly breached. Hopefully, journalism students are being made aware of this.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 28, 2010 | 5:20 p.m.

I see, Ellis, only the
"good things" are reportable. Anyone who reports on the truth that is not officially sanctified as a "good thing" is unamerican!!!

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 28, 2010 | 5:24 p.m.

And Don should allow his alleged video to be viewed. If he really saw it.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 28, 2010 | 5:51 p.m.

Paul: For heaven's sake. Google it. It happened. Here's a snippet from a Colonel that was on the panel.

"I feel utter . . . contempt. Two days after this hypothetical episode, Connell, Jennings or Wallace might be back with the American forces--and could be wounded by stray fire, as combat journalists often had been before. The instant that happened he said, they wouldn't be "just journalists" any more. Then they would drag them back, rather than leaving them to bleed to death on the battlefield. "We'll do it!" Connell said. "And that is what makes me so contemptuous of them. Marines will die going to get ... a couple of journalists."

Quite frankly, I'd let 'em lay under these exact circumstances.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 28, 2010 | 8:03 p.m.


In extreme circumstances where lives are in a clear and immediate risk, you can be a journalist first, or you can be an American first. You have to decide.

I'll respond accordingly, and I'll support those who respond accordingly. You can't have it both ways; I simply will not allow you to behave as a journalist first, then expect me to treat you as an American-first at your whim. I simply won't do it, and I'll support those who won't do it.

You can call me names if you wish, but it reflects more upon you than me. I would remind you, tho, of the Missourian rules that state, "Please be civil and refrain from profanities and name-calling."

I never got a response from the author journalist whether they could see themselves holding a story just because they were American.

(Report Comment)
Tom Warhover December 28, 2010 | 8:08 p.m.

I haven't paid much attention to the thread in the past few days, but calling people names ain't allowed on our site. Take aim at their actions or opinions all you like folks. I do some stupid things, but I am not stupid. My opinion may be worn, inane, ugly, and unbelievable, but I am not.

You get the drift.

Executive editor

Now on to the Insight Bowl.

Ps: look in the dictionary for the two syllable word that begins with scum. It's not very nice.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 28, 2010 | 8:14 p.m.


There's nothing wrong with thinking about hypothetical situations. That's one way a male helps determine what kind of man he is, and will be, when the demands get difficult. The same holds true for females/women.

It's called mental visioning, a form of training or planning.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 28, 2010 | 9:06 p.m.

Nothing really wrong with using hypothetical situations to dispute and/or deny a time honored and well accepted right of a free society like government transparency, either.

But taking such a sacred right away from a free society based on a hypothesis does far more harm than it does good...

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 28, 2010 | 9:55 p.m.

Rick: I'm glad Jennings and Wallace said what they said; it's important to know the journalists' priorities so others can decide their own priorities.

There are certain extenuating (i.e., life-threatening) war-like situations where a journalist has to decide if he/she wants to be a journalist first or an American first. There are consequences, positive and/or negative, for whatever decision is made. Those consequences may depend upon how others view the decision, and they may be adverse.

As stated, for me it is simply not acceptable for a journalist to put a citizen's life at extreme risk by deciding to be a journalist first rather than an American first. Under such a circumstance, I would not allow the journalist to claim a change of priority just because his/her life was now threatened. There is a price to pay for not ascribing more importance to me, a fellow citizen, than my enemy...just for a story.

Which is why, in this particular hypothetical, I would let Wallace and Jennings lay. Their lives would revert to a lower priority than their rescuers as a direct consequence of their actions....they threatened other lives first.

It's a rather useful scenario.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 28, 2010 | 10:20 p.m.

Here is the question for me, Mike. Or at least the line of questioning for me...

Has WikiLeaks caused harm to come to an American Citizen?

Better yet; do you have any proof whatsoever that WikiLeaks has caused any harm to come to an American Citizen?

Not a hypothesis, but actual proof that you can show us.

Ya know, apparently the CIA is not even taken this seriously. They named their taskforce WTF. Imagine that; WTF! And nobody is going to tell me that the humor was lost on them with regard to that acronym....

At this time, it is much ado about nothing as far as I am concerned. Ohh sure, we have some "True American Patriots" rattling thier swords because they want to be heard. But even our government is not making as big a deal out of this as some of the posters here are; as far as I can tell anyway.

And if Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings were so stupid that they would make such a public statement as what has been quoted here; then they have already admitted to being FAR worse than Julian Assange is being made out to be.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 28, 2010 | 10:46 p.m.

Rick: I entered this conversation in response to Don Milsop's comment about Jennings and Wallace, and subsequent comments have related to that. I intend to stay on task. I've already stated my position on Wikileaks in another thread. You can look it up.

So, in the spirit of "staying on the current task", I'll return two questions:

(1) If you were embedded as a journalist with a company of soldiers facing American soldiers, and you saw a surprise attack against those Americans developing with claymores, would you try to warn your fellow citizens....or would you just keep filming?

(2) If your answer to (1) is "No, I would not warn", and if you were subsequently wounded in no-man's land, would you expect those same Americans to risk their lives to save yours?

Easy questions....but it's useful to know where a man stands....for him, and others.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 28, 2010 | 11:06 p.m.

Mike, this thread IS about WikiLeaks... Read Mr. Miller's article, and you'll find the article deals primarily with his opinion on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, and you'll also find that the forum you are responding to me on is one that is directly under and attached to Mr. Miller's article on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange..

So talking about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, would actually be "staying on task"....

And you DID in fact respond on a forum open to the public, ergo open for public comment from anyone.....

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 28, 2010 | 11:54 p.m.


No, the current conversation is about Jennings and Wallace. That is why I joined, and it's the only reason I joined. I have already responded to your questions in another thread; as stated, you can look it up.

If you want to change the topic of conversation rather than answer my on-topic questions (hey...surprise me), do so with someone else. My interest is in Jennings and Wallace.

Back to watching MU screw up this game.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 29, 2010 | 12:22 a.m.

And Mike; I also gave my opinion on Jennings and Wallace:

"And if Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings were so stupid that they would make such a public statement as what has been quoted here; then they have already admitted to being FAR worse than Julian Assange is being made out to be."

So, I should be spared the severe battlefield wounds because I think they (Jennings and Wallace) are NITWITS for making such statements....

But, this whole thread is supposed to be about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, although we did deviate in discussing Mr. Dresner, but that too was also a part of Mr. Miller's post as a "lead in" to WikiLeaks. And I think Mr. Milsop was making a comparison between Jennings and Wallace's statements and how they could cost lives to how Julian Assange's WikiLeaks could cost lives.

To which, I say again; it is all hypothetical at this point... I have seen no proof that Julian Assange's WikiLeaks has caused harm to anyone with WikiLeaks.

Besides; as intelligent as you are Mike; I'd think you would be capable of "expanding the discussion" a little.....

Actually, the current conversation between you and Mr. Milsop seems to be a bit one-sided, as I do not see him responding to you; but I do think you did manage to "get a rise" out of Paul... LOL.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 29, 2010 | 12:41 a.m.

Rick: Well, if I'm as intelligent as you say I am, then you know I'm capable of expanding the conversation. So, which is it?

I choose not to. Indeed, I stayed out of the conversation for quite a while since (1) my grandkids are here, and (2) I wuz yelling at MU. And, now it's late. So forgive the lack of expansion that you know I'm capable of.

You avoided my questions. Oh, you criticized (nitwits, I believe) Jennings and Wallace for stating their positions PUBLICLY. You DIDN'T criticize their positions. Huge difference.

Which is why I asked the same questions of you as were asked of Jennings and Wallace. You have not responded either way, and I don't think you are going to respond either way, so I'm off to bed. A bit of critter hunting with the grandson and his BB gun on the early morrow.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 29, 2010 | 12:53 a.m.

Mike Williams: "You avoided my questions. Oh, you criticized (nitwits, I believe) Jennings and Wallace for stating their positions PUBLICLY. You DIDN'T criticize their positions. Huge difference."

Not much difference in my view, Mike. But let me clarify my position, although I think most people understand it by now if they have read my posts carefully. You see, my whole contention has been that WikiLeaks and/or Julian Assange has not caused harm to anyone yet; that I am aware of. Thus I have no REAL problems with WikiLeaks or Julian Assange at this point. At best, he just seems to be a minor irritation.

One thing that I do think would be interesting to know is how many people that are complaining about WikiLeaks have also browsed through WikiLeaks... LOL.

So, with some reasonable extrapolation you can pretty safely arrive at the conclusion that I am all for transparency and open government as long as it does not cause harm to another person... Now if you couple this with me calling Jennings and Wallace NITWITS for making such a statement, you should at least have a fair picture of where I stand on this issue....

Ya just have to read carefully and draw some simple and logical conclusions often enough.........

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 29, 2010 | 10:03 a.m.

No, Rick: I just wanted to know a would warn the Americans under the circumstances described to Jennings and Wallace. It's a real simple yes or no question. I shouldn't have to draw "simple and logical conclusions" to a yes or no answer.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 29, 2010 | 11:17 a.m.

Well let's see Mike...

I A-M A-L-L F-O-R G-O-V-E-R-N-M-E-N-T T-R-A-N-S-P-A-R-E-N-C-Y B-U-T N-O-T I-F I-T W-O-U-L-D C-A-U-S-E H-A-R-M T-O O-T-H-E-R-S.

Tell me what you get from that statement, Mike?

It occurs to me that this statement answers your question because the scenario posed by Jennings and Wallace would cause harm to others.

Did I miss something? Really? That answer did not answer your question, Mike?

The answer you seek is in the answer you already have, Grasshoppa.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 29, 2010 | 11:26 a.m.

rick: lol...well, if I was grading your answers, I'd give you an "A" for obfuscation and an "F" for your inability (unwillingness?) to spell Y.E.S. or N.O.

It doesn't matter, Rick. Your answer on this issue is unimportant to me because you are not a professional journalist. My real hope was that a couple of pro's would respond, but they didn't. So, on to other threads and interests. No use spinnin' wheels.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 29, 2010 | 11:47 a.m.

Well Mike, it looks to me like you could derive a simple yes or no from the answer I gave..

But let me simplify that highly complex answer for you. NO! How's that?

Nope, I am not a Journalist... I'll imagine the reason no Journalist waded in on that question is because the answer is obvious...

Government transparency, the right of the people to know, free speech/free press and such important issues do not outweigh the importance of human life, Mike..

I take it you have heard of the scenario where someone yells "FIRE" in a crowded public theater? That scenario actually answers your question rather well.

In the case of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, I submit to you and everyone else here that I have not seen WikiLeaks or Julian Assange cause harm to anyone at this point in time. I HAVE seen WikiLeaks and Julian Assange cause embarrassment, discomfort, inconvenience, annoyance, and irritation to a great many people here in the USA. But none of these things (embarrassment, discomfort, inconvenience, annoyance, and irritation) separately or combined are more important considerations than free speech/free press, the people's right to know, and/or government transparency...

That has been my point all along...

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 29, 2010 | 1:34 p.m.

Rick says, "...I'll imagine the reason no Journalist waded in on that question is because the answer is obvious..."

Well, no, it's not too obvious, is it? After all, Jennings and Wallace said, "Yes". I was curious where other journalists stood, given that a couple of "heavyweights" in the industry were all for the story and not-so-much for the soldiers of the same citizenry.

In other words, for Jennings and Wallace, government transparency and the right of the people to know DID outweigh the importance of human life....your assumption of journalistic unanimity notwithstanding.

Glad you finally said no. Sometimes it's a good thing to get right to the point and cut through all the verbal constipation, fluff, and convoluted cuteness. Makes a person feel better when commitments are firmed up a bit.

You'll have to find another person with whom to discuss Wikileaks.....I've already commented elsewhere. You can look it up.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 29, 2010 | 2:07 p.m.

Mike, "heavyweights" or "geniuses" in any industry can still say and do ignorant things; and often do.... Wallace and Jennings are prime examples of that...

Do you think that any Journalist is going to play "follow the leader" to Jennings and Wallace because they made some stupid statements? Ya don't give Journalists much credit for being intelligent, do ya? LOL.

I'll make a note to simplify my answers to you in the future, Mike... Don't want you to have to "decipher" any complex answers, or "verbal constipation", whichever you prefer... LOL.

I am not really discussing WikiLeaks with you, Mike. I am making a public comment on a public forum, anyone that wants to is free to respond. This IS an open discussion....

You don't have to talk about WikiLeaks, Mike. I'll imagine your "patriotism" to defend the wrongful actions of Police Officers as a necessary protection of society well extends to defending anyone in our government that might try to "stretch and fit" espionage charges to Julian Assange for what he put up on WikiLeaks....... LOL.

Another question for the board (not just you, Mike). If you have browsed WikiLeaks and read some of the classified documents there, and you also contend that Julian Assange should be charged with possession of classified government material, shouldn't you also be charged? What about if you have printed it, would you not also be in possession of it? LMAO!

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams December 29, 2010 | 2:23 p.m.

Rick says, "I'll make a note to simplify my answers to you in the future, Mike"

That would be a good thing. Our readers will be pleased with any improvement in our collective writing abilities. Every little bit helps.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 29, 2010 | 2:23 p.m.

Mr. Miller,

I have been thinking about your article. It seems to come down to a simple question of rights versus needs...

I submit this to you; If I have a RIGHT to know something, then it follows that I should be the one to determine if I NEED to know it.

Let me qualify that statement. If I have a RIGHT to eat 20 cookies, then I am the one that determines if I NEED those 20 cookies or not. Now, if I determine that I don't NEED those 20 cookies because I am a diabetic, then I can choose to only eat 5 of them or none of them at all.

Well, if I have a RIGHT to know what is going on in my government, then I can determine what I NEED to know about that is going on in my government. And if I don't care or I feel like I don't NEED to know (or rather, if I don't care to know because I don't NEED to know) that some government official wrote an email to some other government official about how the USA should try to take over a foreign country, then I'll just simply find other things to read besides that email exchange....

You don't give a society rights and then take them away or limit them because you determine that they don't need them.... That makes no sense to me. The reason we have rights is because our forefathers determined that we needed them in order to be and maintain a free society in the first place.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 29, 2010 | 2:27 p.m.

Ohh, you are speaking for all of the readers here now, Mike? Or just a few? Has your phone been ringing off of the hook with readers of the Columbia Missourian Forums calling to ask you to inform everyone here to shorten their answers and comments? LMAO!

Well hold the press, Mike is speaking on behalf of the readership here now... LOL.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop December 30, 2010 | 9:31 p.m.

I know that Mike posted the link to the video that I discussed earlier. Rick, there was no equivocation was there. It was a bald faced position. But I feel a need to post is again in view of Paul's challenge for me to produce it. Notice his words of a video that I alleged? Notice also that after the video link was posted by Mike, Paul had absolutely no comment after that. No castigation of Jennings and Wallace for their viewpoint. Of course Paul could easily have looked up the video himself. The only reason I could imagine is that Paul agreed with them, but didn't have the courage to admit it in public.

But there was no need for Paul to respond. Bob Hope had already done that:

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 30, 2010 | 10:25 p.m.

I think some people ENJOY arguing, Don... I know, sometimes when I am bored I do...

And I see nothing wrong with the enjoyment of a good debate or argument. But, not just for the sake of arguing.....

If I post something that is controversial, I am prepared to defend my view on it. And if I post something that is controversial it is because that is how I feel about a given topic. It is not just to "get a rise" out of people.

In my view, Free Speech and a Free Press are vital to a free society. Government Transparency or "Open Government" are ideals that let a free society see that it is truly free. But anything can be taken to the point of absurdity. And I believe that is what is being demonstrated here by Jennings and Wallace.

A good story is not worth human life, but in my book that is just common sense; hence why I call Jennings and Wallace "NITWITS"....

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop December 31, 2010 | 1:53 a.m.

Rick, thank you for pointing out nothing I said was personally against you. Paul challenged me to prove my accusation against Wallace and Jennings. Then when confronted with the truth, he just slinked away. Typical of a true leftist, and why they can't be trusted in either the media or government.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 31, 2010 | 12:41 p.m.


I think you are a pretty fair person and that shows up in your posts. I don't think I have ever seen you just come right out and "attack" someone. I noticed that you stayed out of the little "argument" between Mike Martin and I; and I took note of that because it would have been easy for you to wade in on that one. I thought to myself that you must be a pretty intelligent person; at least smart enough not to wade in on something without having all of the facts. I have never taken anything you have posted personally. But then again, I am pretty "thick skinned" so I don't take much of anything personally. As long as you don't key my car, show up at my house and rape my fiancée, abuse my dogs, or have the initials M.M.; you are alright with me.

I like some of Paul's posts; barring the "victims" of some of his "full on frontal assaults" I think they are funny. LOL. I do think Paul can be kind of "radical" at times; but I also think that he probably has his reasons. It is really hard to harshly judge someone without knowing what it is that makes them say or do the things they say or do.

I have to admit, in one way I do understand Paul's initial doubt. Initially I found it hard to believe that Jennings and Wallace would make the statements they made; until you provided proof. They just made "NITWIT" in my book when I saw the video; but that does not mean much because my book of "NITWITS" is longer than War and Peace.

But I do think we are talking apples and oranges here when we compare what Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings would have done in this hypothetical scenario to what Julian Assange has done with WikiLeaks and with the public's right to know more about this debacle with Jessie Haden and Tom Dresner. I think with Jennings and Wallace we are talking about a cost in human life, and with Julian Assange, Tom Dresner, and Jessie Haden we are talking about a cost in embarrassment and humiliation. And I don't think the cost of embarrassment and humiliation trumps the right of the people to know what is happening in their government; whether it be local government or federal government.

That pretty much sums up my view on this issue.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop December 31, 2010 | 2:40 p.m.

Rick, that would be okay if it was even handed. If the left leaning journalists would admit that Assange's leaks endangered lives - which is does, if they admitted it would damage our ability to get future intelligence which would prevent terrorist attacks, and hence would cost human lives, etc. etc. The left, and probably the right, is very selective not only in what they report, but also in what they don't report, as well as how they phrase it.

But it should be a recognizable problem when the journalistic community admits it votes overwhelmingly Democrat. Based on the wide variance in the base values of the two parties, clearly you are going to get an overwhelmingly stilted and nuanced presentation of events.

FOX's own survey showed 60% of their people vote Dem. Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith admitted they have never voted Republican in their lives. I doubt Greta has either. What I do see though is that the FOX news folks will ask the hard questions on both sides. FOX also has a mix of guests of one conservative to one liberal normally. If they don't, they will usually tell you that the liberals refused to join the panel.

So while the public may have a right to know, I think journalists often feed their own egos with self justification in their hatred of law enforcement or traditional values based on their left leaning philosophy.
I agree with the colonel. The disclosure of this story on Dresner and Haden served no public good. It just exposed them and their families to public ridicule. Yes, it's their fault they did the deed. Dresner at least was punished for it. But their families didn't need to be made to suffer the public embarrassment.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 31, 2010 | 3:22 p.m.


I have a "harsh" view on this issue with Tom Dresner and Jessie Haden. First; I have to admit that I really felt "let down" by Tom Dresner. I held him in very high esteem as a complete professional at his job.

Second, I believe in holding people to the same standards that these same people hold everyone else to. I often give this example: "If some guy gets pulled over for speeding by some overzealous or aggressive Police Officer, and the guy that gets pulled over gets a little "mouthy" with the Police Officer and gets Tasered, then the Police Officer "throws the book at him". Then said speeder goes to court and gets six months in jail for what should have just been a speeding ticket. Then someone says that this is not right, this guy should not be in jail for six months for what should have been a speeding ticket. His family is now doing without a source of income, and they are being evicted, and his children are starving because of this." You (maybe not you Don, but I mean to say the hard core supporters of Law Enforcement or Law Enforcement) will say: "That is his fault, he should not have been speeding, he should not have gotten "mouthy" with the Police Officer. These consequences were caused by him (the speeder).

Now, why is it that this same standard should not be applied to Tom Dresner and Jessie Haden? Why is it that the answer to your view on this story on Tom Dresner and Jessie Haden can't be: "Whatever humiliation and embarrassment that comes to them and their family is their own fault, Tom Dresner knew he was married, and Jessie Haden knew she was married, Tom Dresner knew he was Jessie Haden's commanding officer and Jessie Haden knew that Tom Dresner was her commanding officer, and both of them knew they were public officials. So, why can't you say because of this, ANY consequences that come from their unprofessional actions is entirely their fault? And blame them for whatever embarrassment and humiliation that THEY caused to their family by doing something that they knew was wrong and would have consequences?

At the very least hold the Police to the same standards as everyone else. But ideally, you will hold them to a higher standard than everyone else......

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop December 31, 2010 | 4:21 p.m.

Rick, no comment on the rest of the information I presented?

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 31, 2010 | 5:42 p.m.


I am only allowed so many characters in one post. But yes, I do feel like you deserve a response on the rest of the information you presented.

But, not without a caveat, okay? I'll give you my response to the rest of the information you presented, if you'll give me your response to the post I made before this one. Fair enough? So far everyone else has avoided responding to my scenario which I originally posted in this thread on December 23, 2010 | 6:34 p.m., and you can find just by scrolling up and reading my post that matches that time and date.

I'll even go first...

I have not seen any REAL evidence that any harm has come to anyone as a result of whatever Julian Assange posted on WikiLeaks. Until I do, I believe that it is fair to conclude that at this time no harm has came to anyone as a result of WikiLeaks. Our own government has not even indicated that any harm has come to anyone as a result of what Julian Assange has posted on WikiLeaks.

I think it is also important to note that while you indicate that the press manipulates what we hear, see, and read in the media; so does our government. Our government is also "very selective not only in what they report, but also in what they don't report, as well as how they phrase it"; in regards to press releases and what it lets our media outlets know about. It is the job of the Public Information Officer to determine what information is released to the public and how it is best phrased to put the agency the P.I.O. works for in the best possible light.

So, I think you have to apply how the press is manipulated to our government as much as you are willing to for any one political party.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop December 31, 2010 | 7:48 p.m.


35 years ago I worked in intelligence. Each week I got three SECRET/NOFORN (meaning no non-US citizen was allowed access) international intelligence reports. One from the CIA, one from the DIA, and one from NORAD.

One week there was a picture of a Palestinian guerrilla in I believe the DIA report. I instantly remembered having seen the picture before. I dug through my news magazines and found it something like six months earlier - I think in a Newsweek magazine. The intelligence publication had the picture classified as confidential.

There was one source I trusted completely. U.S. News & World Report. At that time USNWR reported what I would call completely raw news. No shading, no opinion. If there was an opinion offered, it was carefully segregated in an editorial section. At that point in time, I considered USNWR the gold standard against which all other journalism could be compared.

We'll have to continue to disagree on the necessity of making the Dresner/Haden affair grist for the public mill. Keep in mind that it was Dresner himself that came forward, and the Chief did the right thing, though it was likely very difficult. Perhaps the whole thing could have been covered without naming names. The public still would have gotten the info, and the families could have been spared the public humiliation.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 31, 2010 | 8:43 p.m.


I think there is one thing that most people are missing because I am so staunchly defending the citizenry's right to know about what goes on in our government..

I knew about Tom Dresner and Jessie Haden a pretty fair amount of time before our local media knew about it. I don't really care about what happened between Tom Dresner and Jessie Haden, personally. If you'll take the time to notice in my posts, I don't ever say that I WANT to know every sordid detail. I also take the time to say that "IF I CHOOSE TO KNOW" something like this, then I have a right as a citizen to know about something like this. And I go onto state my reason being that both of these people were public officials. Personally, as far as knowing for the sake of knowing, I feel like it is our rights as a community that the CPD is serving, but I really couldn't care less to know.

My "argument" is NOT that I want to know, it never has been. My argument is for the right of the community to know, not that I have any desire to know...

You see, as I have stated before. IF I have the RIGHT to know, then I get to pick and choose what I feel is my NEED to know. I want to be clear that I am arguing that the community has a right to know, not that the whole affair should be broadcast on a big screen at city hall. What I would have liked to have seen is someone pose the question of "Okay you have a right to know and I'll concede to that, but really; why would you even care"? And if I say "Because I want to know if this negatively affected Police Operations at CPD in any way". Then I want to see someone say "Okay, fair enough, what if we can prove that it did not negatively impact Police operations at the CPD without taking away all dignity from the families that were affected by this; then why would you care"? At which point almost everyone has to say, "Then in that case, I would not care" (except the people that have it out for Law Enforcement or the complete perverts). Seems like a better approach than to try to defend not letting the community know about things that may have a negative impact on the officials that they (the public) pays to serve them...

And as far as Tom Dresner confessing, that does not absolve him any more than a serial killer confessing to killing someone absolves the serial killer of murder, does it?

But Don, you still avoided responding to my scenario? You still avoided the question of applying a different standard to Tom Dresner a Police Officer, than what you would to the guy that you would say brought misery on his family by speeding and getting "mouthy" with a Police Officer and getting locked up in jail for six months. You have not answered as to why there should be two different standards in these two cases..... You ALMOST, effectively avoided my question... LOL.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop December 31, 2010 | 9:11 p.m.

Ricky, the comments on the reporting are mostly being directed at Matt. You didn't publish it. Getting mouthy with a police officer is not a reason to tase them. They could be issued another citation. Both would be at fault. And I'd have sympathy for neither. But I've been stopped several times in my life. I've only found one guy that was ever less than professional...and he was a trainee. His FTO was standing behind him rolling his eyes.

I'll never forget the cop writing me a ticket that told me, "Don't worry. Just take the on line driver's ed and that will get rid of the ticket. That's what I had to do when I got a ticket last month." LOL. And I always thought cops didn't issue other cops tickets.

My folks taught me to show respect to police officers. And you are really stupid if you don't. I still have a hard time staying in the car and not getting out and walking back to the cop like I was taught to. More than that, greet them properly and you will likely get kind treatment in kind. Cops have to deal with the very worst in society, day in and day out. All day. Every day. You couldn't pay me enough money to be a cop. So I do cut them some slack to deal with situations we don't want to be involved in. Yes, we do hold them to a higher standard. And the Chief did just that. But again, I think a conscientious reporter could have published the problem without naming the names, and also lauded the Chief for taking the action. Again, the public is informed, and the families spared the humiliation. Hope this is all adequate an explanation.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 31, 2010 | 9:39 p.m.


We do disagree on this a little. But not to any significant point as far as I can tell... I think our different views on this are just based on life experiences and how that has shaped us both.

I simply think the CPD could have used a different tact that would have drawn less attention to the whole ordeal. I think that Matt did his job as he was supposed to. He reported on the story with as much detail as he could. That is his job. He did not endanger anyone by doing so. And any consequences that resulted in that article have to be placed squarely on the shoulders of Tom Dresner and Jessie Haden (a point that I am "beating to death" here).

Personally speaking, just from my experiences here in Columbia, MO.; I have never been dissatisfied with the contact I have had with local law enforcement. The CPD and the BCSD have always treated me very politely whenever I have had contact with them. Hey, maybe they are right and they really are just having problems with the REAL "bad guys"? Perhaps that is the truth in the matter, that the CPD is "getting it right" and these incidents we are seeing are a result of problems they are having with just "bad people"? But even if this is true, it does not negate the citizen's right to question what is going on in their government.

The disappointment to me and probably most other people is this. When we see Law Enforcement doing things that just don't seem right, we tend to think: "HEY! Don't tell me to behave and then you turn around and act like a fool"! That is why we are supposed to hold them to a higher standard, because if they are going to tell us to "behave", then they better be a shining example of how to "behave"....

My arguments here Don, are really not for me.. They are (believe it or not), not self serving in any way. They are for the rights of the my community more than anything else. And I am not trying to take on a cause; but when you boil it all down it comes to "right is right and wrong is wrong"....

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 1, 2011 | 6:27 p.m.

Don Milsop said...

"Paul challenged me to prove my accusation against Wallace and Jennings. Then when confronted with the truth, he just slinked away. Typical of a true leftist, and why they can't be trusted in either the media or government."

Some harsh words for someone who has been away from the e-world for a couple days. Now I'm wondering why I was here. One more thing is that the computer I'm on right now has NO SOUND. At some point I will probably view the statements and decide for myself whether what you said is being presented in the actual context. If that is the case, then I agree with you and Rick that they are NITWITS. As it stands at the moment I am still in disbelief. Reading lips has never been one of my talents, so I am presently unqualified to give a further opinion. However I should note that the fact that the two people are journalists and that they vote in no way qualifies them to speak for other journalists or people who vote similarly. That you made a case of this either shows the feebleness of your reasoning skills or your lack of ethics in debate. I'll leave it for you to decide.
And you should note that I may at any point "slink away" from the electronic world at the slightest whim for any reason I wish. I apologize for the disappointment this may cause you. Please do not think that this is representative of other "leftists". It would be wrong to generalize in this case. I only "slink" for myself. And what island are you on?

(Report Comment)
Yves Montclear January 1, 2011 | 7:38 p.m.

Paul 'Slinkey', that is a much better last name for you than Allaire.

Paul Slinkey wrote:
>>I only "slink" for myself.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 1, 2011 | 7:46 p.m.

So you intend to stay at your computer half a night so that you can get the last word in this (argument?)?


I may get bored and "slink" away without prior notice.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop January 2, 2011 | 4:46 a.m.

Paul, I'm not going to tell you which island I'm on.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 2, 2011 | 1:16 p.m.

Sigh, I suppose I'll just have to sic Julian Assange on you then. Or Rick. But you did mention being in Hawaii. I'm guessing you either were on vacation or just moved there recently. Otherwise you would care less about what is being said in this paper and much less about the CPD.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 2, 2011 | 2:04 p.m.

MyHives Aren'tClear wrote: "Paul 'Slinkey', that is a much better last name for you than Allaire."

MyHives; is that "Slinkey" or "Slinky"?

Sorry, I just had to have a little fun with your name.... LOL.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 2, 2011 | 3:05 p.m.

I have to tell you I was sort of tired of being all air. I probably let off too much steam sometimes. I suppose we all have people airing jokes about our names. I don't have the sound today, but I'm thinking these guys might have...

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 2, 2011 | 3:15 p.m.


It takes a pretty "gutsy" guy to make fun of other people's names when his own name is "GURLEY"... LOL.

Imagine going through the military with that name.....

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 2, 2011 | 3:26 p.m.

But if we were studying their facial expressions they were clearly poking fun at J.Carl Miller.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 13, 2011 | 3:07 p.m.

Mike Martin wrote : "Also, if Mr. Gurley passed his licensure exam, why isn't he listed at that website that shows state-licensed PI's? Dec. 23, 2010

Since Mike's implication is that I am not licensed, and he has put this out to everyone here; I feel like I should have an opportunity to set the record straight since his post could possibly negatively impact my business.

First, I'd like to ask Mike Martin to conduct that search for my name again, and then tell us all what he finds? Or, anyone here that is interested.

To elaborate further:

Mike Martin started his tyrade on how I am an unlicensed P.I. on Dec. 23, 2010. And to be fair, at that time I was in fact unlicensed due to a denial of licensure back in April of 2010 from the Missouri Board of Private Investigator Examiners. But there was one little thing that Mike Martin did not know. Nine days prior to his post the Administrative Hearing Commission (AHC) found that the Missouri Board of Private Investigator Examiners had no grounds to deny my license; I received the letter from the AHC on December 15, 2010.

As of yesterday, the Missouri Board of Private Investigator Examiners convened for a conference call and did the right thing and approved my license due to the findings at the AHC.

Had Mike Martin bothered to thoroughly research this prior to his post, he may have more carefully posted. It is a testament to poor research skills, and one can only wonder how accurate the information is on "The Columbia Heartbeat Blog" based on how willing he was to make the post he did with no real research whatsoever.

We knew from the beginning that the denial of my license was improper. We also knew that once the AHC ruled in my favor, it was only a matter of time before I would be licensed. The Missouri Board of Private Investigator Examiners would not blatantly ignore a court order. All and all, handling this situation through the legal remedies available to me worked for me. Putting faith in the legal process to remedy this situation worked for me. And I encourage anyone that has an issue similar to mine to handle it legally through the proper legal course of action. I am always available to anyone that has an issue similar to the one I had; and I am willing to help those that are having occupational licensing issues. And I know one HECK of a skilled attorney that can effectively get results in these types of situations.

But we still have MUCH more work to do on this issue. It is FAR from over. There are people that have to be held accountable for thier actions through proper legal recourse. And we are working on that now.

But as of right now, RMRI, Inc. is OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)

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