Exclusive: The Obama administration is under fire for its secret policy of using drone strikes to kill alleged al-Qaeda terrorists, including Americans. But the public suspicion is heightened by frustration over decades of excessive government secrecy and deception, says Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
The United States is a nation foundering in a vast sea of secrets, with government officials showing little regard for the damage that is done to a democratic Republic by withholding millions upon millions of documents from the people.
Some of these excessive secrets relate to current events, such as the unwillingness of the Obama administration to explain its legal reasoning for drone strikes against suspected al-Qaeda terrorists. While there may be some legitimate operational secrets involved, great harm is inflicted on the public trust from refusing to release the parameters and rationale for the program.
The not-unreasonable assumption among many Americans is simply that there is no legal coherence to the policy, at least not one that can be defended in the court of public opinion. Many Americans thus conclude that the government is arrogant, a judgment that runs parallel to an opinion held by many people in Yemen and other countries where drone strikes have occurred.
This image of a hubristic United States has its own negative consequences. It feeds not only anti-Americanism abroad but a sense of alienation at home. Many Americans see democracy as not only short-circuited by all the manipulative political techniques bought by billionaires but by an intentional starving of an informed electorate denied factual sustenance by the government. ...................(more)