What is the secret about Government Secrecy?
What is government secrecy all about in the USA? We are supposed to be an open democratic society with the government working for the people but for some reason secrecy in public affairs seems to be of increasing importance in the way our government works. When President Obama talks about being the most transparent administration in history he actually means the exact opposite. When a terrorist attack occurs in Benghazi, Libya a false cover story is released to the media to hide what may be a major cover up. What is there to cover up in the most transparent administration in US history? When Obama Care is passed by congress Nancy Pelosi tells us that we have to wait to find out what is in the bill till after it passes and that turns out to be much longer wait till commissions are formed by the same people who wrote the details of the enabling law because the real intent and real aspects of the law were essentially being kept a secret. We did have clues about what social engineering was really involved when we found out that no new doctors or nurses were going to be hired but instead the Internal Revenue Service would be training and hiring a tens of thousands of new employees to supervise the program.
Government secrecy is growing in our lives with each successive administration in power because the number and size of all the government agencies is relentlessly growing. I have been kicked out of government planning offices and treated like I was a spy just for trying to find out in advance what new zoning rules may mean and how they will affect the local landscape. Why is that sort of thing top secret if the planning process is supposed to be a democratic exercise of consensus in a free and open society? Public Schools keep legitimate teacher complaints by the public and work grading off limits to public viewing. Secrecy tends to be the rule in our government and not the exception. Why?
The answer has to do with power and the value of information to those who hold power. Secrecy in our government has to do primarily with these factors as listed:
1. Screening off evidence of Incompetence of government agencies.
2. Government brokering of influence .
3. Lucrative government brokering of information.
4. Screening off the public's right to know that government agencies are over funded or are obsolete in their purpose or objectives.
5. Unacceptable wrong doing by employees.
6. Government that wants to be a cradle to grave controlling factor for every aspect of people's lives and the economy has to pretend that it never makes mistakes. Mistakes never happen and if they do a quiet legal settlement with no admission of guilt is what happens to claims against it. Important makers who make mandatory decisions for everyone else have to appear to be smarter, more competent than average especially if they are not.
7. Government propaganda has to be believable. Any questioning of the truth about propaganda naturally requires secrets being kept. Disinformation only works when there are secrets kept.
8. In foreign affairs government duplicity and secrecy are thought to be the proper manner of behavior. Not everyone agrees with this. Wars are the biggest excuse for need for secrecy for many obvious reasons.
9. Secrecy in government is often about protecting agency turf from other agencies and protecting budgeted funds or funds that bureaucrats hope to have budgeted.
10. Secrecy raises the self esteem of government officials and workers. It is similar to secret societies and religions having secrets only known the inner most circle of members.
11. Secrets are often kept to bait and to reward news reporters with and for no other reason.
12. Government secrets are also used as a weapon against others. This is why prosecuting attorneys too often keep case secrets out of view or below the surface from defending attorneys. Though it is supposed to be illegal does not mean it does not often happen.
13. Government agencies cultivate an us verses them attitude because they are fond of seeing themselves as nobility in our society.
14. Not all government secrets are true. Many government secrets are created to be false often because they desire to use false secrets to smear any challengers . False secrets are very common in police reports. The accused are not always permitted to see what secrets are being kept. Governments also keep other people's secrets the way J Edgar Hoover did to force them to cooperate.
Secrets are a big part of the way our government works. It was only recently revealed that it is completely legal for elected officials in Washington DC to not very secretly do the kind of insider trading for financial gain that is illegal for everyone else. There are senators and representatives who can get advance secrets of what drugs will pass the tests required by the FDA so they can cash in before the news is released to the public. Secrets secrets secrets....
Not always. Government in the USA has a Chinese communist/ Soviet attitude towards secrets when it comes to the general public rightly as private citizens having secrets. Government seems to believe it has to right to know everything about everybody. One can be convicted of lying to an agency such as Martha Stewart famously being convicted of lying to federal agents and really having committed no other crime than that. The East German Stazzi would have been proud of American government for becoming so much like they were. Government wants to know all your secrets even including your entire medical record even if you do not join a government run health care program! The government wants to know every aspect of your financial life. You really are permitted to have very few if any secrets . How is that a government by and for the people and how is it that we have laws like Roe verses Wade where privacy is supposed to be an issue when there really is no privacy anywhere in our society with government keeping tab on everything and everyone they possibly can?
Government gets more and more powerful thanks to secret keeping and secret revealing. When we have a president who says he intends to make the US government and his administration the most transparent in history he means the exact opposite. When it comes to transparency of the nation's private banks it means every aspect of your participation with those banks not the govenrnment's involvement which is still top secret.
Information kept secret is big business. The more secrets government keeps the more officials and bureaucrats can make by selling them for a price. I have found that local government agencies sell information to contractors in advance of telling the public they will have financial assessments assessed against them. Secrecy leads to a whole grey and black market in information sales graft and bribery. In our court houses across the nation secrecy is often used to force rivals into quick shake down settlements. Some say those are frivolous lawsuits...but not the lawyers.
Secrecy in our government is a culture of what maybe termed evil as opposed to innocence. We are moving to the east German government stazzi model where no one has any secrets except the government that has all the secrets. What can you do to stop this? Expose the government secrets and shame those responsible for keeping them even if you can't ever get them fired. Call your elected officials and tell them that you want every government official keeping secrets from the public put in jail where it the secrets are not of a national security issue. The danger of doing that is your elected officials will redefine all government secrets as national security issues and therefore national security issues. Yes of course where that secret new freeway exit is going to go and whose commercial land holdings will most benefit have to be kept as a national security issue because senators and congressmen, mayors and governors have to be able to get rich on the side in their profession. Tell them not any more.