A citizen looks at government secrecy

Today I want to make just a few observations about our American government and its overwhelming drive to make everything it does a secret.

It is a given that anytime people are given power they will tend to abuse it. The more power people are given the more they will be corrupted and abuse the power. This is wisdom of the ages and applies to everyone from local government to national government. It does not matter a whit what party they are in: this is a universal aspect of human nature — unchanging.

It is also a given that politicians have an inclination to lie. The administration of Bush the younger lied us into war against Iraq even as any curious adult could see that there was no WMD there or any need to fear Iraq. The country of Iraq had not attacked us, had not threatened to invade our shores, nor did they have the least ability to do so had they wanted to do so. The same is now happening with Iran as the politicians ignore CIA assessments and international bodies and claim Iran will soon have a bomb and blow up both Israel and Disney World. Lying by American politicians has become so pervasive, it is the rule rather than the exception. It is best to never believe a politician on anything unless you have real proof of what he says. I would not even believe one if he said the sun was in the sky at noon unless I looked out my window first.

For the above reasons and others, one should always oppose excessive government secrecy. Common sense tells us that government is entitled to some secrecy, primarily military in time of war. Recent governments, however, have gone overboard and promiscuously classify practically any piece of paper that comes across their desk. Usually the only thing they are protecting is our own government from embarrassment or possibly criminal prosecution.

As the government becomes ever more intrusive and spies on the citizenry in ways and in scope never dreamed possible just a few years ago, the government seeks to make every act it does secret. This extends down to the local level where cops have been smashing any citizen cameras that take images of them engaged in public duties and actions.

How to deal with all this is problematic. Work against any expansion of governmental powers on any front but especially on the surveillance front. Support in any way you can “whistle-blowers” who tell us of governmental misdeeds and failures.  Try to support an open and Classically Liberal society as we await that glorious day when our brothers and sisters can drop their childish need for armed goons to rule them and join we anarchists in a belief that voluntary cooperation is the route to the most human happiness.


5 thoughts on “A citizen looks at government secrecy

  1. Great post, Mark.

    State-sponsored war on the enemy of the state; the people. What a nice and logical place this planet is. Are we a failed species? Down here in Texas they are proving your words are true, more and more for every day that passes. On the political level, but certainly also on street level where mass infiltration of freedom movements have and are still taking place. The arrest the cop watchers. Watching the watchers.

    “It is also a given that politicians have an inclination to lie. The administration of Bush the younger lied us into war against Iraq even as any curious adult could see that there was no WMD there or any need to fear Iraq.”

    Back in Denmark in Scandinavia, then prime minister and the secretary of state played important roles in the global Iraq lie. A journalist proved – with documents obtained through the Danish freedom of information laws – that when the government made the case for war they already knew that WMD could not possibly be there. This solid evidence came out in a book, but the media was not very interested. War crimes and lying to parliament to go to war, not newsworthy. Journalists doesn’t understand the significance of the lawbreaking, even on a scale like this.
    And nobody was ever charged with anything. On the contrary, that former prime minister is now the head of NATO. Bombing Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan and wherever.

  2. What an excellent post. Your observation about Denmark was played out all over the Western World as we wanted to go to war with Iraq. The justification was bogus even if it had been true since another country in the middle east has hundreds of nukes and we did not invade them.

    By the way, you may be the first Salon refugee ever to read or post here as far as I know. Your virtual prize is in the virtual mail and on its way. 🙂

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