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View Diary: Senate Staffers Told To Pretend Classified Documents Not Widely Available On The Web (73 comments)

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  •  Yes, these issues already seem to be too (12+ / 0-)

    complicated for effective social policy deliberations.  I like your "cats out of the bag" metaphor Lafeminista.  

    Having to devote substantial fractions of our already inadequate collective neurons to remembering which of the many cats we see roaming around we can talk about and which ones we are supposed to pretend to be invisible is too much to ask in a fragile democracy.

    We risk getting into a situation where the people who know the most about our national security policy issues are unable to participate in public discussion in meaningful ways.

    I understand why the Senate Security Office officials feel compelled to issue such a reminder, however, given the need for a high level reevaluation of the degree of secrecy and the many trade-offs between national security and constitutional rights and freedoms President Obama should issue a directive freeing those bound by security oaths to discuss these documents already so conspicuously released.

    After such a long series of such extensive releases all professionals bound by security oaths risk their security clearances, employability, and professional reputations by making any public comment at all an these vital issues.  If we are to achieve a better balance between national security, individual rights, and free speech in a fragile democracy our citizens need to feel confident of our ability to discuss social policy without fear of catastrophic consequences of making an innocent error.

    Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. The only way we can preserve some fraction of our democracy and original constitutional in this age of vast and extensive hyper-computerized information and communication is to assure the increasingly large fraction of our population constrained by secrecy oaths that they can discuss core issues involved without fear of retaliation for innocent reference to widely publicized examples they may have extensive knowledge of.  

    We need more limits of the current rapidly escalating magnitude of secrecy and the imbalance it has introduced to our constitution balance of freedoms and responsibilities.

    Benjamin Franklin warned that those that will sacrifice a "little bit of freedom" to obtain greater security will end up with neither.  I fear we have already passed several grey, yellow, and red lines in the sand with insufficient political processes to rebalance our system.

    Thanks to eXtina and Lafeminsta for advancing these vital discussions.  


    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 11:02:44 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  You got the quote backwards! It's not a "little (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina, Karl Rover, Rick Aucoin, HoundDog

      bit of freedom" in exchange for security. The meaning is the reverse. It's a lot of freedom in exchange for a little bit of security. My guess is that Ben would be fine with exchanging a little bit of freedom for a commensurate (or better) increase in security.

      The quote:

      "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
      The question presented to us is whether the PRISM system represent merely an acceptable exchange/pilferage of a "little bit of freedom" or an egregious sale/theft of "Essential Liberty".

      -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

      by JPax on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 02:42:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is beginning to remind me (4+ / 0-)

      of a Victorian farce.  Something by Oscar Wilde, or perhaps George Bernard Shaw, full of hypocrisy and deceit in support of class privilege and appearances.

      •  Did one of these fellows write the Problems With (0+ / 0-)

        Being Earnest?  I sort of enjoyed some of those manic exuberant Victorian farces - and their modern day Monty Python style updates.

        "Our constitutional freedoms are not dead, just resting, pining for the Fjords."

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 04:06:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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