I think I can make a good arguement that supressing criticism of our government helps the enemy more. It goes something like this…
Imagine yourself for a moment as a resident of Iraq. The very sort of person whose heart and mind our President says he is trying to reach by providing democracy to the region.
You see an army arrive to remove the dictator. “Yay!” you may say, or may not, it doesn’t matter. Time passes and disturbing news comes to your ears, such as torture and death at the prison. The rebuilding effort is rife with corruption. The American President is breaking laws about his own citizen’s individual rights and is unapologetic.
Luckily elections come and go without disaster. Democracy is coming! You aren’t sure what living in a democracy will be like. You observe the goings on in the United States and take them as examples of what life will be like in your new democracy. You see abuses of power with no consequences to the abusers.
Then you find out that the congress of the United States is going to investigate the source of abuses at the prison….
Scenario 1: The investigation is killed before it can do any real investigation.
Scenario 2: The investigation moves forward and the source of the orders to use torture is discovered and the guilty parties are prosecuted.
If you, as a citizen of Iraq, observed Scenario 2, you may conclude that democracy can work. Heart and mind won over. If you observed Scenario 1 you may wonder if anything has changed besides 100,000 less residents and a crumbling national infrastructure. Might as well join the resistance.
Be your self again. You may think that showing solidarity as a nation is important, and it certainly can be, but what we need to show the most is a healthy democracy, fully functional. Congress needs to do it’s job of oversight. If the congressional leadership continues to ignore it’s responsibility of oversight our democracy will appear, and actually it will be, sick.