It doesn't seem to occur to anyone to ask what the implications are that an occult intelligence bureaucracy funded at $52 billion a year by your and my tax dollars keeps our elected leaders in the dark about its activities. Juan Cole, Informed Comment (10/28/2013)
The architects of power in the United States must create a force that can be felt but not seen. Power remains strong when it remains in the dark; exposed to the sunlight it begins to evaporate. Samual Huntington
"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them . . ." —Patrick Henry
"...without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would _strongly_ recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States. Sincerely, Ladar Levison Owner and Operator, Lavabit LLC" (message announcing the closing of his email business.)
"...Secret executive agreements that make commitments of unknown magnitude; presidential warmaking and bombing hooded in secrecy; escalation by stealth in Vietnam in the teeth of bleak intelligence estimates not disclosed to the nation; “White House Horrors”—the words are those of John Mitchell, former partner and Attorney General of President Nixon—spreading a miasma of encroachments on individual rights. These events have confirmed Patrick Henry’s warning that secrecy In government is an “abomination”; it is a main instrument in the corruption and arrogation of power. If the nation has not relearned that lesson from the secret escalation in Vietnam, from the bold attempt to corrupt the electoral process that surfaced in Watergate, it is unteachable. ...Another lesson to be learned from the past forty years of implicit trust in the wisdom of the President is that he, no less than Congress, may prove sadly deficient in vision." From the conclusion of Executive Privilege, a Constitutional Myth by Raoul Berger (1974)
"Why did the presidents and their men get the Soviet economy so wrong, and why were they so confident that they were right ? They supposedly had access to the best intelligence of all about the Soviets, that is, secret intelligence. The problem with this intelligence, Moynihan began to suspect, was precisely that it was secret...Proceeding from these secret assessments of Soviet strength rather than from the openly available facts about the sorry state of the Soviet Union, the Carter and Reagan administrations went on history's greatest peacetime weapons spending spree, and in six years (1982-88) the United States transformed itself from the world's greatest creditor nation into the leading debtor "while we're not disintegrating" Moynihan wrote in 1990, "we clearly blew an extraordinary economic lead." From the introduction to Secrecy by Daniel Patrick Moynihan. 

Government relies upon a mix of carrots and sticks to control the press—promises of enhanced or special access, and threats of exclusion, even prosecution. There have been appeals to patriotism, efforts at suppression, self-censorship, propaganda, and intimidation. An administration that has been intent upon spreading democracy around the globe has shown little regard for transparency at home. It has secretly paid journalists to promote its agenda and planted stories in the Iraqi press. It has emasculated the Freedom of Information Act, reversing its presumption of openness. It has shut down access to all manner of records and even culled the past at the National Archives. Senior officials have felt free to belittle journalists who show the temerity to ask tough questions.


In May 2006, ABC News claimed that calls made by its reporters and others at the New York Times and Washington Post were being traced by the government in an effort to track down leaks of classified information. Many government sources, perhaps most, no longer feel comfortable speaking to reporters on the phone, especially when the subject is even remotely sensitive. Those kinds of worries on the part of reporters and sources alike have taken their toll on journalism and on what Americans may learn of their government.

“The administration wants journalism stopped,” Rep. James A. McDermott, a Washington Democrat, charged on the House floor on May 9, 2006. “It just gets in the way of the administration telling people only what they want them to know. .. . They know that secrecy is the fastest, most effective way to silence dissent.”

Such efforts to suppress news and keep secrets under wraps has severely tarnished America’s image abroad. Today, five journalists have been detained in American detention centers—four Iraqis are being held in Iraq and one Sudanese, an Al Jazeera cameraman, is at Guantánamo. None has been charged with a crime. The Committee to Protect Journalists says the United States now ranks sixth in the world for the number of reporters behind bars—a tie with the repressive regime of Myanmar (formerly Burma).

Many overseas news organizations and their audiences are convinced that the U.S. military deliberately targets foreign newsmen to suppress the news and keep a lid on information. In November 2001, the United States dropped two 500-pound bombs on Al Jazeera’s bureau in Kabul, Afghanistan. Five years later, the Pentagon still has not responded to the Committee to Protect Journalists’ call for an investigation into the strike.

On April 7, 2003, as Al Jazeera reporter Tariq Ayub was broadcasting live from the organization’s Baghdad bureau, a missile fired from a U.S. jet slammed into the building, killing him instantly. Nation of Secrets: Ted Gup

Secrecy continues to shield the NSA from uncomfortable questions about the growing role of the agency and its contractors in data mining and the burgeoning field of cybersecurity. The only way the American public ever learns what the NSA is doing to them is from whistleblowers, including, most recently, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked documents about the rise of the NSA's massive data-mining operations during the Obama administration. To keep the war on terror going, the government has tried to make sure that whistleblowers are isolated and ostracized." James Risen: Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War

ACLU Demands Secret Court Hand Over Crucial Rulings On Surveillance Law (10/22/2016)

The open source revolution is coming and it will conquer the 1% - ex CIA spy (6/19/2014)

The Terrible Toll of Secrecy (2/15/2014)

Secret Ops and Self-Government Don't Mix (12/23/2013)

James Clapper, EU Play-Acting and Political Priorities (7/3/2013)

The NSA's Intelligence-Industrial Complex (6/24/2013)

Glenn Greenwald on the High Cost of Government Secrecy (4/26/2013)

Obama's Crackdown on Whistleblowers (3/26/2013)

Death To Whistleblowers ? (3/14/2013)

Bradley Manning: A Tale of Liberty Lost in America (12/2/2012)

Wikileaks and Free Speech (8/21/2012)

The Pentagon's New Power Elite: A Secret War in 120 Countries (8/4/2011)

The National Security Complex and You (7/19/2012)

Assange Asks Ecuador For Asylum (6/19/2012)

Free Bradley Manning

Manning deserves Nobel Peace Prize

Eight Things You Need to Know About WikiLeaks (9/9/2011)

Punishing Whistleblowers who report waste (5/19/2011)

WikiLeaks: uses the internet to publish secret documents that someone thought should be made public. Why do we not know what our government is really doing ?

Having failed to learn lessons from history, we went to war in Iraq based on secret, twisted information. The same people, some felons, who justified the massive and dysfunctional arms buildup in the Reagan administration also were responsible for twisting 'intelligence' to justify the war in Iraq. Although media is complicit in keeping Americans ignorant about these facts, Congress, unwilling or unable to access classified information, failed in its oversight of the executive branch. Secrecy will likely be a fatal poison for the US Constitution.

People have a right to know what the law is. However, we now know that there is a body of secret law that richly illustrates US corruption.

Secret law should not be valid. Neither should secret trade agreements like the TPP.

Covert agencies with secret, undisclosed budgets continue to operate in ways that Americans would never approve. They are (and ought to be) unconstitutional.

An interview with Wikileak's Julian Assange (7/30/2010)

Secret Government (5/8/2008)

The Largest Covert Operation in CIA History

Secret spying on Americans.

Whistleblowers might, formerly, have provided corrections, but they are vigoriously prosecuted now and that is yet another reason why we can no longer have reliable journalism.

Save Tom Drake

Fisa Fiasco, Continued  

Fisa Fiasco, Continued

Firedoglake liveblogs the House debate. Read more »


Secrecy Report Card 2007

Abu Ghraib Files - Salon


Bush's Martial Law Plan Is So Shocking, Even Congress Can't See It --Executive uber alles as member of Homeland Security Committee barred from viewing post-terror attack provisions By Paul Joseph Watson 23 Jul 2007 President [sic] Bush's post-terror attack martial law plan is so shocking that even sitting members of Congress and Homeland Security officials are barred from viewing it, another example of executive uber alles and a chilling portent of what is to come as constant reminders of the inevitability of terror attacks reverberate... Since [Rep. Peter] DeFazio (D-OR) also sits on the Homeland Security Committee and has clearance to view classified material, the request would have appeared to be routine, but the Congressman was unceremoniously denied all access to view the documents, and the White House wouldn't even give an excuse as to why he was barred.

Bush Administration Ramps Up Secrecy

t r u t h o u t | 09.10.07
William Fisher reports for Truthout: "The Bush administration is continuing its campaign to keep the public in the dark about the federal government's policies and decisions and to suppress discussion of those policies, their underpinnings, and their implications. This is the conclusion reached in the latest annual 'report card' on government secrecy compiled by, a coalition of consumer and good government groups, librarians, environmentalists, labor leaders, journalists, and others who seek to promote greater transparency in public institutions."  


The Secret Government - the Constitution in Crisis

Secrecy (film 2008)

638 Ways To Kill Castro (a British film)    

Federal Government Sites


Aspen-Brown Report (pdf)

Democracy in the Dark: The Seduction of Government Secrecy: Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr.

This Machine Kills Secrets: Andy Greenberg

Top Secret America: The Rise of the National Security State: DanaPriest and William Arkin

Nation of Secrets: Ted Gup

Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers: Daniel Ellsberg

Lost History: Robert Parry

Government Secrecy: Decisions Without Democracy:  David Banisar (Download from the link.)

Secrecy: Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Ghost Plane: Stephen Grey

Secrets, Lies, and Democracy by Noam Chomsky.

The Secret Government: Constitution in Crisis. A PBS Documentary.

JFK speech on secrecy

Escalating secrecy wars. Punish leakers of classified documents severely, says CIA veteran

The Secret Government, the Constitution in Crisis: Bill Moyers

Secrets: On the Ethics of Concealment and Revelation: Sissela Bok

The Open Source Everything Manifesto: Robert David Steele See his video. or this link.

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