Monday, August 23, 2010http://alcuinbramerton.blogspot.com/2010/04/altnews4-httpalcuinbramerton.html
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Secrecy is a quietly growing manipulation of democratic polity which protects and empowers those who use it and weakens those for whom it is invoked to protect.
Secrecy hides the privilege, incompetence and deception of those who depend on it, and who would be disempowered without it. The very few legitimate uses of secrecy have served as the seed for unjustified covert expansion and illegitimate uses. There exists a vast global enterprise of governments, institutions, organizations, businesses and individuals who are systemically dependent on secrecy, or on the abuse of secrecy. Elite-controlled secrecy has evolved into an immensely valuable practice whose cost to the public, and whose benefits to its practitioners, are themselves concealed by secrecy.
Secrecy has led to a huge global nexus of underground criminal enterprises dealing with stolen, forged, faked, and planted "secret" information. This dark nexus involves governments, businesses, NGOs, institutions, religions and individuals. In all probability, the value of the international secrecy industry exceeds that of the illicit global drugs trade, with which it works closely to hide assets, procedures and operators who keep the secrets in emulation of the secretkeepers higher up the food chain.
Ex-secretkeepers are involved in this secret underground enterprise as beneficiaries, informants, facilitators of exchanges with the aboveground secretkeepers, and as spies for hire. Secrecy is the single most threatening practice operating against democracy and democratic procedures. There are no democracies or democratic institutions unsullied by secrecy.
Secrecy poses the greatest threat to the United States because it divides the population into two groups: those with access to secret information and those without such access. This asymmetrical access to information, vital to the United States if it is to become a mature functioning democracy, will eventually turn it into an autocracy run by an élite with privileged access to secret information. This élite will be protected by laws written to legitimate their privileged access to secrets and to punish those who dare to violate such laws, or even talk about such laws critically. The articulate critic will be labelled a terrorist and dealt with by terrorist legislation. The procedures used to silence the critic will themselves be secret because silencing the terrorist is a matter of national security. We don't want another 911, do we?
Those with access to genuine secret information cannot honestly partake in public discourse due to the requirement to lie and dissimulate about what actually is, or is not, secret information. They can only speak to one another in private. If they speak in public, they will find that they, or a close relation of theirs, will have a training accident, a house burndown, a fatal heart attack, a car crash, an aeroplane crash, a suicide event, or a short, but terminal, microbial illness.
Those citizens without privileged access to secret information cannot fully and accurately debate the core issues which affect the nation, including the very threat and coercion issues which are promulgated by the dark secretkeepers who are forbidden by law to disclose what they know. From such a seedbed of shadows and the rumour of shadows springs conspiracy theory. The dark secretkeepers poo-poo conspiracy theories by saying that they are just conspiracy theories and cannot, therefore, be true. The conspiracy theorist replies that they would say that, wouldn't they? In the matrix of information, disinformation and serial data error, the obverse becomes the reverse. And after a brief struggle, democratic polity dies in resigned confusion.
The cacophony of Chinese voices in Beijing questioning or mocking the credit-worthiness of the US is now deafening, from Premier Wen Jiabao on down.
US data show that China has cut its holdings of US Treasury debt by $100 billion over the past year to $844 billion. Net purchases of US debt by the big three (China, Japan, and the UK) have been sliding steadily for two years. Everyone knows that the US is politically, morally and financially bankrupt. It is seen internationally as a failed terrorist state heading for the knacker's yard.