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Sunday Morning Book Thread 12-06-2020 | Main | First-World Problems...Part שלושים ושבע
December 06, 2020

Declassify! All Of It!

We are supposed to live in a free society (don't laugh!), and the default among our representatives should be that information is to be widely disseminated among the people for purposes of transparency and accountability. Before something is classified (made secret) there should be a careful examination of who and what is being protected. Embarrassing or career-ending information about government officials is exactly the kind of information that needs to be accessible. In fact, the default should be that everything is free unless a compelling argument is made to classify.

Obviously military and technological information should be closely held. There is a small benefit but a huge risk to our society and to the country's political discourse were our war plans to be made public. And that can be extrapolated to other information by any competent arbiter.

But the pay-offs made by Congress to the victims of the vile and illegal behavior of our representatives? That should be plastered on billboards across America. And the way our government spends our money? Absolutely. Absent a clear national security risk, the spending habits of every department, from the lowliest tech to the various secretaries should be public.

A Declass Act

Joe Biden and his handlers have established the “Office of the President-Elect,” but at this writing Donald J. Trump remains president of the United States, the most powerful man in the world. The president commands extensive powers of declassification, but other powerful people want to keep such material secret for reasons that have nothing to do with national security. President Trump should make those matters a priority, starting with the mighty National Institutes of Health, which “invests about $41.7 billion in annual medical research for the American people.”
We have it exactly backward. Any serious attempt to claw back the government from the Deep StateTM must include complete transparency in our spending. Every penny spent should be public, so our representatives can be called on the carpet for the profligacy with our money, and their currently invisible attempts to enrich themselves.

Perhaps in this magical future we could create some sort of mechanism through which people could investigate how the government spends our money and report back to the people. We could protect them by law from government interference in their work, dependent only on their impartiality. Obviously those who are partisan would not be protected, but one can certainly imagine an honorable trade springing up around those legal protections. People who are respected for their work in the public interest!

Yeah...sounds pretty stupid. Never mind.

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posted by CBD at 12:00 PM

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