The dangers of government secrecy

| March 30, 2012 | 1 Reply

Glenn Greenwald compares the danger of government secrecy with the dangers of excessive disclosure of government secrets:

The harms from excessive governmental secrecy vastly outweigh the harms from excessive disclosures; they’re not even in the same universe That’s why WikiLeaks is such a vital and important movement. It’s also why I have zero respect for those who so vehemently denounced WikiLeaks’ supposed disclosure recklessness without devoting even a fraction of the same rage to the obsessive, anti-democratic, dangerous government secrecy regime being not only maintained, but vigorously increased, even a full decade after the 9/11 attacks. Such critics have little interest in issues of transparency v. secrecy; their manifest agenda (like the often-overlapping American “terrorism expert” industry: more on them in the next couple days) is to serve the state, demonize its adversaries, and protect its interests. That’s what indiscriminate secrecy achieves, and it’s why such people are so rarely bothered by it.

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Category: Secrecy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich and his wife, Anne Jay, live in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where they are raising their two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Here is a recently-revealed real life example of the dangers of government secrecy:

    For years Polish officials and the public treated the idea that the CIA ran a prison in Poland as absurd and highly unlikely – even after the United Nations and the Council of Europe said they had evidence of its existence. Polish officials repeatedly rebuffed international calls for serious investigations. The idea slowly only began to get serious consideration after Polish prosecutors opened an investigation into the matter in 2008.

    A new breakthrough came Tuesday when a leading newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza, reported that prosecutors have charged a former spy chief, Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, for his role in allowing the site. Siemiatkowski was reportedly charged with depriving prisoners of war of their freedom and allowing corporal punishment.

    Siemiatkowski has refused to comment, telling The Associated Press he was bound by secrecy laws on the matter. But he did not deny the report.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/31/cia-secret-prison-polish-_n_1393385.html

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