Your Right To The Truth Is Not Official
By Kenneth Lipp
A massive, well-laundered surveillance presence has become the growing norm in western society. The decade since 9/11 has been punctuated by a conflict between concurrently intensifying demands. The world seems to be seizing with agitation, and the insulation provided US citizens is beginning to decompose. We see homes lost and jobs disappear, and sweeping suspension of Constitutional liberties only compound the real systemic problem: private property and an ethic that relies on self-interest to establish sound social order.
A Democratic government should be unfailingly deferential in response to public inquiry. A population must have license of critical inspection without possibility of waiver, disinheritance, or statutory seizure, in order to self-govern as an informed electorate. To indict or adjourn must always be the aggrieved citizen’s prerogative, there is no mercy rule to protect a government or its agent it from inquisition. The Freedom of Information Act codified this principle of government accountability, the general presumption of mandatory disclosure.
By Executive Orders, both recently issued and collected over decades, there are 9 discretionary exemptions to presumption for circumstances to default in favor of a Government Agency, over the question of releasing documents pursuant to the FOIA. These exemptions are unimpeachable ad hoc. Even in cases where information is determined to have no danger of interfering with operations, ultimately what is left is an instrument of popular protection with every edge blunted by Executive arbitration.
We are being told by an Agency ostensibly in existence at the Public’s pleasure in their interest , that we will need to accept a perilous silence without more than their word; in a climate of shotgun political assassination, Pop Media Corporate Terrorism, and a Bureaucratic PR State.
Because, we are also being told, there are new threats from without of cyberdooms, sitting in our own desk chairs. They say China has a “Cyber Army” with high virtual lethality, as do Muslims, and they’ll of course remind us of how we’ve all seen what happens when those savage rabble-rousers Anonymous and company get hold of some data. They’ll tell us that hackers are terrorists, and that’s as far as they’ll go, which is usually plenty.
There would be no notice at all of the need for scrutiny if not generated by public alarm at corrupt oversight — alarm in the wake of a specific revelation of this agency’s ethical turpitude and/or negligence when unmonitored. In the wake of concrete proof of malice and dishonest dealings, the debate we accept is whether we ought to even be aware of any of their actions at all, let alone seek redress as an institutional victim; for the protection of property and personal liberty, it has been decreed that the public is too dangerous to have a clue.
Our need for protection from the truth is so great, even the Bankers having their hands where they want them yet again is considered preferable to our total incompetence with diagrammatic thought. Our inconvenient questions are just the least vexing of combatants. Prominent on the list of get-out-jail-frees: Documents which would reveal “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential.”
5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(4)
Documents which are related to specified reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of agencies which regulate financial institutions.
5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(8)
They tell us that faith in them is wise and necessary, they and their corporate, I mean community partners, will always have our best interests in mind. And then they tell the man at the Memory Hole (You) that They can’t be wrong, it’s impossible, things just aren’t like that. The US is at war with Terrorism. The US has always been at war with Terrorism.
“FOUO material will be destroyed when no longer needed. (Destruction may be accomplished by a) “Hard Copy” materials will be destroyed by shredding, burning, pulping, pulverizing, such as to assure destruction beyond recognition and reconstruction. After destruction, materials may be disposed of with normal waste. (b) Electronic storage media shall be sanitized appropriately by overwriting or degaussing. Contact local IT security personnel for additional guidance. (c) Paper products containing FOUO information will not be disposed of in regular trash or recycling receptacles unless the materials have first been destroyed as specified above.” MD 11042.)
Don’t humor their waste of time money with the Hearings, ad nauseum. That’s an Inquisition in the Round. A CEO and a Senator can’t be adversaries –like a hybrid reflection – they are more Amphibian.
Your rights are less than abstractions.
I’ ll drive the point in just a minute further, so there’s no mistake about who’s who.
Exemption number 9 to our fairy-tale-anyway “right to the truth:”
“Documents which would reveal oil well data.” 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(9).
“Similar slits existed in thousands or tens of thousands throughout the building, not only in every room but at short intervals in every corridor. For some reason they w.“.“ere nicknamed memory holes. When one knew that any document was due for destruction, or even when one saw a scrap of waste paper lying about, it was an automatic action to lift the flap of the nearest memory hole and drop it in, whereupon it would be whirled away on a current of warm air to the enormous furnaces which
were hidden somewhere in the recesses of the building.”
George Orwell, 1984, Part 1 Chapter 4
If it can be destroyed by the truth, it should be.
Editor’s Note: Kenneth Lipp is a researcher in both primate and human genetics, and writes regularly on issues of public health and international health care policy. He has published research on telomere attrition and cellular aging in various peer-reviewed publications, and is an avid advocate of human rights.