State Department Seeks Public Comment: Why Bother?

Oct 26, 2011, 16:10 ET from Ancient Coin Collectors Guild

GAINESVILLE, Mo., Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. State Department (DOS) is again asking for public comment on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) restricting cultural objects where the public is deliberately kept ignorant on any of the details of such a deal -- despite President Obama's much vaunted promises of greater transparency in government.

This time, the requesting nation is Bulgaria, and it comes even before final details have been revealed about the previous MoU with Greece.  Previous requests for public opinion seem to have had little effect on State as a rising tide of bilateral agreements fly in the face of tremendous public opposition.  These agreements have led to sharp criticism from collectors and a number of scholars because of their overreaching provisions.

Without any detailed information on how these restrictions might affect the lives and interests of Americans, the public is routinely invited to comment.  Even if one is clever enough to guess what sort of things will be included, and to present a good argument as to why they should not, past experience has shown that the public view will be ignored in any case. Like totalitarian states offering only one candidate in an election, DOS deliberations are not something most people would confuse with democracy.  State has boldly ignored the counsel of their own advisory committee and makes no apologies for that.

Are the rights of American citizens and their investment in liberty and freedom so eroded in today's world that a small cadre of "stewards" control even the simplest of pursuits that once belonged to the common man?  Those who see a trend of repression and oppression in government are increasingly concerned that their freedom is being traded as a quid pro quo to nationalist nations for short term policy favors.  The Ancient Coin Collectors Guild ( fears that deals have already been made and that invitations from the State Department for comment from the public are a meaningless facade.

The sleep of reason produces monsters. Without full knowledge there can be no reasoning and without reasoning there can be no justice.  There are still a few days to comment, for the record, and to show Washington that the People do object.

Read about the Bulgarian MoU here, and voice your concerns on this public submission form. Allow history to know what YOU think.

Contact: Wayne G. Sayles, 417-679-2142,

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.
Wayne G. Sayles

This release was issued through The Xpress Press News Service, merging e-mail and satellite distribution technologies to reach business analysts and media outlets worldwide. For more information, visit

SOURCE Ancient Coin Collectors Guild