Top Secret / by kevin murray

Everybody hates how a good friend will keep a secret from us, so it isn't surprising that when our government does the same thing to us, in which a select elite knows privileged information, while most of the general public knows little or nothing about it, this doesn't seem to be fair or equable to a country which is a representative democracy,   After all, it is difficult to make any assessment, especially an assessment of a prudent nature, if the pertinent facts are not fully disclosed for peer review.  Our government makes a fundamental error when it errs on the side of a "need to know" disclosure routine, in which they, the government decides what will or will not be divulged to its own citizens.


When any government, runs on two separate paths, in which one path is one of transparency, knowledge, and openness; whereas the other path is one of deceit, secrecy, and double-speak, you are running a schizophrenic government.  Rather than our government creating more and more secrets each and every day, we should be instead taking steps in the direction of full disclosure and our government should welcome feedback and input from our general population.  It is far too easy and disingenuous to take the untenable position, that these secrets are being withheld from us for our own good, or the catch-all phrase that these secrets are mandated because divulgence of said information would compromise or embarrass us outside of this country. 


Perhaps we wouldn't have the need for so many secrets if our government wasn't involved in so many underhanded transactions of a questionable nature which do a grand disservice to our nation and its heritage.  Our people have a right to know about actions in which there could be a real potential of blowback which may not be seen instantly but in fact, could impact future generation of Americans; Americans that were never informed of these secret agendas, Americans that wouldn't have countenanced these secret double-dealings, and Americans that are forced to deal with the aftereffect of decisions made by an elite or secretive group that does not answer to the general public.


I, for one, want to know what our government is doing behind the scenes and believe that the best policy is one that relies far less on secrecy and far more on disclosure and fully formed vetting.   When any government has to constantly and consistently hide behind walls of secrecy, this threatens to tear down the very fabric of our representative democracy, and instead turn this country into a mockery and a sham of what it is suppose to be, which is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.


There are exigencies that necessitate state secrecy, that part is understood, but too often secrecy and lack of access to information is merely a smokescreen for actions taken or contemplated in which those that govern believe that they will not be able to make their case to the public, and thereby shut the door on the public being able to have their valuable say.   The default in all government actions should always be not on a "need to know" basis, but the very opposite which would be a "need to disclose".  A government that treats its citizens as a mandated part of governmental decisions and that is consequently well-informed and respected, will help to be that check and balance needed to minimize ill-reasoned government machinations.