Sunday, August 27, 2006

Look Out! Here Comes Another Chair!

And another shrill columnist displays an unseemly passion against what the Emperor is doing to this country. Leonard Pitts, Jr. of the Miami Herald is the culprit this time, and his piece can be found in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

George W. Bush is the first Information Age president.

Like Kennedy, he arrived a little late; he was not in office when information access became the currency of daily life. Yet he was the first president to understand the potential and exploit the power of that development. Unfortunately, he does so to our detriment. While Kennedy used television to expand presidential influence, Bush has controlled information toward a more dubious end: the curtailment of that great threat to imperial power, the informed electorate.

On Monday, the Washington Post ran a fascinating story based on a report from the National Security Archive, a research library at George Washington University. According to the report, the Bush administration has been blacking out of previously public documents information on the nation's strategic military capabilities....

Now maybe you wonder what the problem is. This is sensitive information we're talking about, right? Can't have that falling into just anybody's hands, right?

The thing is, it's already in "anybody's" hands: It dates back half a century to the Cold War. We're talking about memos, charts and papers that have over the years been cited in open congressional hearings, reported in newspapers, used in history books. We're talking about information our government long ago deemed innocuous enough to provide even to its former enemy, the Soviet Union.

And now -- "now!" -- we're supposed to believe it's suddenly so sensitive it has to be classified Top Secret? Please.

...Anyone who doesn't see a pattern here has not been paying attention. From its 18-hour blackout of news that the vice president had shot a man, to its paying a newspaper columnist to write favorable pieces, to its habit of putting out video press releases disguised as TV news, to its penchant for stamping Top Secret on anything that doesn't move fast enough, this administration has repeatedly shown contempt for the right of the people to know what's going on. At a time when information is more readily available than ever, this government is working like 1952 to enforce ignorance.
[Emphasis added]

Mr. Pitts has pretty well nailed it. While he does not imply that there is something even more sinister going on (like hiding the number of missiles we actually have so that if more missiles are added in contravention of treaties we've signed, no one will know), he does quite properly come down hard on the intentional hiding of information from the citizens of this country. This is not the first time declassified or even unclassified information has be classified unnecessarily by the regime, and it is beginning to look like it won't be the last.

The effect is especially chilling now as the war drums are being re-tuned for what appears to be some kind of military effort against Iran. Yet a great segment of our population still don't get it. Mr. Pitts' concluding line stands as a strong warning to those who sheepfully go along with this regime:

It's not just information they're trying to control.



Post a Comment

<< Home