The secret society

The Bush administration has extended secrecy to unprecedented levels, covering virtually every aspect of government and concealing documents and actions heretofore available to Congress and the public. The claim is made that this secrecy is needed as a matter of national defense on one hand, and in order to provide the President with a wide range of opinions on the other. The result is a dramatic loss of freedom and democracy.

The champion of secrecy is Dick Cheney, who seems to survive only in dark places with hidden agendas. His recent trip to attend the meeting of the super-secret Council for National Policy echoes his infamous energy policy meetings early in this administration. The CNP is a group of the richest, most powerful men of our nation, whose membership is secret and whose purpose is to discuss ways in which they can control the national agenda.

Of course we know that the administration has contended that virtually every discussion by any part of the federal apparatus should be withheld from the public. The argument given is that if those conversations were to be available to the public, it would suppress free and open debates on policy matters, depriving the President of those views.

More documents, including many thousands once declassified, have been classified secret by this administration on the basis that there disclosure would threaten national security. Even the existence of illegal surveillance is argued to be justifiably withheld from not only the public but courts themselves on this pretense. This administration has put forth the “state secret” argument in court and elsewhere more often than all the previous administrations combined. There is nothing to trivial for this band of pirates to hide from Congress and the people.

Since the ‘war on terror” is one that by definition will never end, we as a people need to address a very troubling reality – we are no longer a free nation and the voice of the people has been silenced.

First, the contention that the President will not get the best information and advice from his staff and administration officials if their discussions can be made public is deeply troubling. It means that those advising the President would not have the guts to tell him the truth without the cloak of secrecy. Are we such a spineless nation that we cannot openly discuss matters, even those of the greatest sensitivity, unless we can say one thing in private and then lie in public? That is the greatest insult possible.

As for the argument that national security requires greatly expanded secrecy, that is unalloyed bullshit. Yes, there are some matters directly related to intelligence gathering and troop deployments, etc. that may require secrecy. But if we are to have military policies controlled by Congress as is dictated by the Constitution we must have the greatest disclosure possible, not the least. We must be able to get sufficient information to make informed decisions. Else we should just close Congress and admit we are the dictatorship we have in fact become.

Secrecy is the enemy of democracy. It covers the kinds of evil perversity this administration has become known for. It conceals malfeasance more than it promotes security. Secrecy is the tool of despots and those who arrogate to themselves the power to make decisions.

The sad thing is that none of the Presidential hopefuls other than Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul have given any indication they would significantly scale back this hiding of the public’s business from the public. Changing the guard is not going to swing open the gates of liberty unless both the press and the public demand more openness.

If we keep closing the public out of all matters on the phony claim of secrecy we will have lost any hope of a free society.


  1. Soldat

    Other than Ron Paul they are all puppets of the Council on Foreign Relations, Kucinich may not be, but he is anti Second Amendment and that makes him unelectable.

    If we ever allow our guns to be taken away then we become subjects rather than citizens.

    “Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don’t.”

  2. SEAL

    Kucinich and Paul are not the only ones that: “have given any indication they would significantly scale back this hiding of the public’s business from the public.”

    Yesterday at DePaul University Obama said this in a speach to the students:

    “I will always tell the American people the truth. I will always tell you where I stand. It’s what I’m doing in this campaign. It’s what I’ll do as President. I’ll lead a new era of openness. I’ll give an annual “State of the World” address to the American people in which I lay out our national security policy. I’ll draw on the legacy of one our greatest Presidents — Franklin Roosevelt — and give regular “fireside webcasts,” and I’ll have members of my national security team do the same.

    I’ll turn the page on a growing empire of classified information, and restore the balance we’ve lost between the necessarily secret and the necessity of openness in a democratic society by creating a new National Declassification Center. We’ll protect sources and methods, but we won’t use sources and methods as pretexts to hide the truth. Our history doesn’t belong to Washington, it belongs to America.”

    He, also, has commited to ending the war and has told us how he will do it.

    People need to start listening to this guy. So far, he has made more overall sense than anyone else, including your two examples above. And, unlike Ron Paul, his record has been clear and consistant. Go read his entire speach.”

  3. kiki

    It is my fervent hope that, regardless of who gets elected in 2008, all this gets reversed. I agree that there is some need for secrecy in national defense, but bushco has gone overboard, as usual.

    This has nothing to do with the safety of our country but everything to do with the safety of the neocons’ backsides.If Pelosi is too gutless to demand impeachment, the next president must declassify everything practical to use as evidence in charging these people with treason and war crimes ( among other charges ) in a court of law.

    Whether it’s now or in 2009, dubya, darth and their evil minions MUST be held accountable and be made to pay for their crimes.

    Justice Brandeis said “Sunshine is the best disinfectant.” Let’s hold a magnifying glass over these miserable cockroaches.

  4. Caine

    I agree with your ideals kiki.

    However, I fear that the next president will do nothing to reverse any of the atrocities the Bush administration created. Why should they. They see that Bush got away with it, so why should they stop now. I fear it will only get worse. Especially if the next president is one of the forerunners today.

    Since Congress won’t enforce the constitution on this administration, I think our only hope would be a Kucinich or Paul administration. And the chances of either of them getting in office are minuscule! Then, if by some bizarre feat, they actually DID make it to office, it won’t be long until we will be burying them, just like we did JFK.

    Oh well. I hate being so pessimistic, but I like being realistic.

  5. kiki

    Caine, unfortunately in this case, being pessimistic IS being realistic.

    You are right-now that the powers of the “unitary executive” have been broadened, no politician would divest him/herself of them.

    With few execeptions, I’ve never known of a rich person who didn’t want more money. I think the hunger is even worse when it comes to power.

  6. Helen Rainier

    What I really am interested in finding out is WHO funded this trip of Cheney’s? Are the taxpayers shelling out for this or did the Council for National Policy pay for:

    1. Transportation
    2. Secret Service detail
    3. Any and all related travel expenses and/or per diem.

    This is clearly not “official business” since this Council has no official government standing as a federal agency.

    If the taxpayers are paying the bill, it is a bunch of BS and should be challenged by Congress or GAO or whatever agency the dollars come out of. Ultimately, though no matter what agency pays it (assuming it’s federal), it is We, the People who are being screwed yet again without even so much as a kiss.

  7. nuQler Ostrich

    Bush and Kerry,both of Skull & Bones.

    Clinton a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford.

    Edwards and Hillary, both of The Bilderbergers.

    The Globalist agenda being nmanifested right in front of our eyes.

    And what are you going to do? Vote?

    On an electronic machine with secret software?

    Only if we come out in great enough numbers for either Paul or Kucinich will there be any shred of hope.

    “A republic, if you can keep it.” — Benjamin Franklin

  8. nuQler Ostrich

    Oh, Ron Paul’s campaign donations topped $4M this quarter. Significantly more than Saint John.

    So why are they still referring to McCain as a “front-runner?”

  9. keith

    Because the totally corrupt, corporate conrolled mainstream media is scared to death that someone like Ron Paul might actually become President.

    He appears beholden to nobody but the voters.

  10. Dayahka

    Frankenbush is a monster, a mutant, and his policies reflect not stupidity nor intentional and rational evil (though they do bear resemblance to both), but psychopathology, craziness. This aberration will not be continued by any of the current crop of more “normal” people, no matter their political affiliation. So, I disagree with those who think that Bush’s policies will be continued. Bush has no sense of history, no sense of civilization, no respect for law or morality, and apparently considers himself above even the Constitution, maybe even the right hand of (an imaginary) god. He’s an insane and barbaric (and loathesome) person, and the worst thing to happen to humanity and America in a long time.

  11. SEAL

    Thank you Dayahka. Perfectly put.

    I wish people would pay more attention to Cheney, though. They are both equally responsible but with different motivations. Cheney believes in this very marrow that what he is doing is right. It isn’t about him or his ego. He seeks no glory. It’s about him making this nation and the world right.

    He and Rumsfeld have always had this concept. They go all the way back to the Nixon administration together and were absolutely livid with what was done to him. At that time, they vowed to work together to acheive the power to make the world over in their concept.

    If Bush had not alienated everyone exept his religious base, Cheney would have undoubtably wanted carry on his mission as the president or vice or cabinent member under a new puppet. As the alternative he is working to establish as many irreversible conditions as he can. Fortunately, he is so unpopular that his physical days in government will end in January 2009. But, without the right successors, his influence and control will continue.