Sean King

My photo
Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I found somebody (Glenn Greenwald) who thinks like I do regarding the latest WikiLeaks controversy. I'm particularly sympathetic to this point:

It is a "scandal" when the Government conceals things it is doing without any legitimate basis for that secrecy. Each and every document that is revealed by WikiLeaks which has been improperly classified -- whether because it's innocuous or because it is designed to hide wrongdoing -- is itself an improper act, a serious abuse of government secrecy powers. Because we're supposed to have an open government -- a democracy -- everything the Government does is presumptively public, and can be legitimately concealed only with compelling justifications. That's not just some lofty, abstract theory; it's central to having anything resembling "consent of the governed."

But we have completely abandoned that principle; we've reversed it. Now, everything the Government does is presumptively secret; only the most ceremonial and empty gestures are made public. That abuse of secrecy powers is vast, deliberate, pervasive, dangerous and destructive. That's the abuse that WikiLeaks is devoted to destroying, and which its harshest critics -- whether intended or not -- are helping to preserve. There are people who eagerly want that secrecy regime to continue: namely, (a) Washington politicians, Permanent State functionaries, and media figures whose status, power and sense of self-importance are established by their access and devotion to that world of secrecy, and (b) those who actually believe that -- despite (or because of) all the above acts -- the U.S. Government somehow uses this extreme secrecy for the Good.

I'm astounded at just how many of the "secret" documents are of the mundane variety, completely unrelated to issues of national security or diplomatic privilege. I can't help but think that many of these documents were classified simply to advance some insider's political agenda, to conceal the source and/or nature of the attacks against a political opponent, or to protect some favored vested interest. Such things should never have been secret in the first place! Why is there not a greater outcry about this?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would like to know why an American radio talk show host got banned from the U.K., especially since he is practically unknown as anyone there.

That has the fingerprints of the fed all over it. Might be payoff for somebody.

I side with your position in that freedom of speech and freedom of the internet is at stake.