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The American Way of Secrecy (Francis Fukuyama indicts Bush?)

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:56 PM
Original message
The American Way of Secrecy (Francis Fukuyama indicts Bush?)
Essay

The American Way of Secrecy

By FRANCIS FUKUYAMA
Published: October 8, 2006

Snip...

Shils had no more ardent disciple than Moynihan, who wrote an introduction to a 1996 reissue of The Torment of Secrecy. Moynihan used his perch on the Senate Intelligence Committee to make a sustained attack on the governments penchant for secrecy, and for his fellow Americans willingness to tolerate restrictions on their liberties in the name of security. In his book Secrecy: The American Experience, published in 1998, he argued that secrecy enables a constitutionally weak executive to bypass the legislature in making decisions that the legislature will not support when things go wrong.

Moynihan pointed out that the Venona intercepts of decrypted Soviet communications from the late 1940s, declassified only after the cold war ended, showed without a doubt that there had been a major Soviet spy network in the United States. The intercepts proved that Julius Rosenberg was guilty of atomic espionage, and that Whittaker Chamberss charges that Alger Hiss was a Soviet agent were correct. Defense of Hiss had of course become a cause clbre among the liberal intelligentsia of the 1950s. And yet security officials within the government all along had conclusive evidence of his spying, and of the true scope of the Soviet conspiracy. But they failed to reveal what they knew, even to President Truman. This failure, Moynihan said, allowed the public imagination to supplement real knowledge with destructive fantasies, which in turn called into being a generation of anti-anti-Communists. This is a polarization with which we are still living today.

Snip...

All new threats entail huge uncertainties. Then, as now, there was a pronounced tendency to assume the worst, and for the government to claim enormous discretion in protecting the American public. The Bush administration has consistently argued that it needs to be protected from Congressional oversight and media scrutiny. An example is the National Security Agencys warrantless surveillance of telephone traffic into and out of the United States. Rather than going to Congress and trying to negotiate changes to the law that regulates such activities, the administration simply grabbed that authority for itself, saying, in effect, Trust us: if you knew what we know about the threat, youd be perfectly happy to have us do what were doing. In other areas, like the holding of prisoners in Guantnamo and interrogation methods used there and in the Middle East, one can only quote Moynihan on an earlier era: As fears of Communist conspiracies and German subversion mounted, it was the U.S. governments conduct that approached the illegal.

Even if we do not at this juncture know the full scope of the threat we face from jihadist terrorism, it is certainly large enough to justify many changes in the way we conduct our lives, both at home and abroad. But the American government does have a track record in dealing with similar problems in the past, one suggesting that all American institutions Congress, the courts, the news media need to do their jobs in scrutinizing official behavior, and not take the easy way out of deferring to the executive. Past experience also suggests that the government would do far better to make public what it knows, as well as the limits of that knowledge, if we are to arrive at a balanced view of the challenges we face today.

more...



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DrDebug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. If Francis Fukuyama doesn't like secrecy then why is he a PNAC member?
His signature is both on the letter send to Bill Clinton demanding an invasion of Iraq and the statements of principles. And he also signed the letter to George W. Bush demanding an invasion of Iraq on September 20, 2001.*

Did Mr. Fukuyama forget that he was part of the group who pushed for the illegal war against Iraq? It sounds a bit like he is trying to clear his name and suddenly pretends to be anti-Bush even though Mr. Fukuyama was a member of a semi-secret group who formed the policies which are currently in place.

* Source: http://zfacts.com/p/236.html
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Mist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Apparently Fukuyama's conscience prodded him a bit earlier this
year, and he decided he wasn't okay with the neo-conservatives. (Leaves him an out to think of himself as a "true conservative.") Yeah, he took a while to wake up...

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. It almost reads
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 06:53 PM by ProSense
as if he's trying to explain what caused Bush to do the things he has done! That theory wouldn't hold water because most of what happened was driven by the Bush cabal's plotting before 9/11. Bush used the tragedy as an excuse to carry out his nefarious plot!
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
3. Tell us another story, Uncle Francis! Please!
Tell us the one about the End of History - that's my favoritist!!!
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orwell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. He and the rest...
...of his Neocon ilk are working on it.

It's only a big red pushbutton away...
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orwell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
4. The key line...
"Even if we do not at this juncture know the full scope of the threat we face from jihadist terrorism, it is certainly large enough to justify many changes in the way we conduct our lives, both at home and abroad.

There you have it my friends. The key to the whole psychotic Neocon mindset. Even though we have decimated millions of lives post WWII it is us who is threatened. Methinks Mssr. Fuckyousama is a wee bit paranoid. I would like to see how his worldview changes after a nice waterboarding session in some far off CIA dungeon.

We have met the enemy, and he is us...
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