The year secrecy jumped the shark

Electronic Frontier Foundation notes a few of the examples in which the Obama administration has pushed secrecy to absurd degrees in 2011:

  • Government report concludes the government classified 77 million documents in 2010, a 40% increase on the year before. The number of people with security clearances exceeded 4.2. million, more people than the city of Los Angeles.
  • Government tells Air Force families, including their kids, it’s illegal to read WikiLeaks. The month before, the Air Force barred its service members fighting abroad from reading the New York Times—the country’s Paper of Record.
  • Lawyers for Guantanamo detainees were barred from reading the WikiLeaks Guantanamo files, despite their contents being plastered on the front page of the New York Times.
  • President Obama refuses to say the words “drone” or “C.I.A” despite the C.I.A. drone program being on the front pages of the nation’s newspapers every day.
  • CIA refuses to release even a single passage from its center studying global warming, claiming it would damage national security. As Secrecy News’ Steven Aftergood said, “That’s a familiar song, and it became tiresome long ago.”
  • The CIA demands former FBI agent Ali Soufan censor his book criticizing the CIA’s post 9/11 interrogation tactics of terrorism suspects. Much of the material, according to the New York Times, “has previously been disclosed in open Congressional hearings, the report of the national commission on 9/11 and even the 2007 memoir of George J. Tenet, the former C.I.A. director.”
  • Department of Homeland Security has become so bloated with secrecy that even the “office’s budget, including how many employees and contractors it has, is classified,” according to the Center for Investigative reporting. Yet their intelligence reports “produce almost nothing you can’t find on Google,” said a former undersecretary.
  • Headline from the Wall Street Journal in September: “Anonymous US officials push open government.”
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2 thoughts on “The year secrecy jumped the shark

  1. pabelmont

    I dearly hope that the USA’s military empire and MIC are in decline, but I doubt it, and secrecy seems (by this report) to be ascendant in the extreme. The MIC is probably the biggest of the BIGs (like BIG-BANKs and BIG-OIL and BIG-ZION) which own and operate the USA’s government, seemingly beyond effective recall by the citizens.

    “Jumping the shark” is said (wiki) to mean beginning (and signaling) a decline.

  2. delia ruhe

    I am sorry for those Americans of conscience who will have to cast a vote for president in November. I am not sure what would be more dangerous: one of those clowns who are currently posturing as legitimate candidates, or a second term for the unpredictable, human rights violator, Zionist-pandering, corporation shill Obama. Unfortunately, whomever they vote for, my prime minister will follow him, even into hell.

    Happy New Year.

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