Tag Archives: state secrets privilege

Governmental Secrecy: Shield for Tyranny, Incompetence, and Corruption

Guest Blogged by Stephen H. Unger

An essential pillar of democracy is openness. There is no way that people can meaningfully participate in government, even if only by voting for representatives, if they do not have access to accurate information related to government operations. This was well understood by the founders of the US and embedded in the Bill of Rights. Conversely, a salient characteristic of undemocratic systems of all types, such as Czarist Russia, the Soviet Union, and Nazi Germany is a high degree of governmental secrecy.

The standard excuse for the suppression of governmental information is national security. In practice, it is improperly used in most situations, i.e., there is no legitimate reason for keeping secret the great majority of information classified secret by the government. Secrecy is used to conceal abuse of power, illegality, corruption, incompetence, and waste. A common instance of misuse of secrecy is when government officials make statements to reporters on controversial matters under the condition that they not be identified in the published stories. Below, I discuss how secrecy is being misused in the US. But first, consider when secrecy does make sense.
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Newly Released FBI Documents Support Explosive Claims by Former FBI Translator Sibel Edmonds

Official Documents Confirm Major Criminal Investigations of Turkish Operatives in Chicago

By Boiling Frogs

Recently released FBI documents prove the existence of highly sensitive National Security and criminal investigations of “Turkish Activities” in Chicago prior to September 11, 2001. These documents add further support to many of the allegations that former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds has claimed, in public and in Congress, since 2002. The documents were released under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request into an organization called the Turkish American Cultural Alliance (TACA), an organization repeatedly named by Ms. Edmonds as being complicit in the crimes that she became aware of when she was a translator at the FBI.

The documents released under FOIA are almost completely redacted, but they do support many of Edmonds’ claims, Continue reading

CIA Warns Obama Not to Investigate War Crimes of Previous Administration

Abu Ghraib photo

Abu Ghraib photo

By Rady Ananda

Seven former Central Intelligence Agency directors released a letter today warning President Obama to rein in Attorney General Eric Holder. The CIA does not want torture investigated, saying the case was already opened and shut by the previous attorney general. You know, the one who thinks the U.S. Constitution and Geneva Conventions are “quaint.”   Continue reading

‘Explosive’ Sibel Edmonds Cover Story at ‘The American Conservative’

sibel edmonds TAC CoverBy Brad Friedman

4,000 word exclusive interview with ‘the gagged FBI whistleblower on espionage, al-Qaeda, and secrets for sale’…

The American Conservative magazine breaks a 4,000 word interview with former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, by former CIA agent Phil Giraldi.

Here’s the teaser from TAC:

There’s a new issue of The American Conservative going to press today, and it includes a story that will make more than a few congressmen and foreign lobbyists intensely uncomfortable: an in-depth interview between Phil Giraldi and FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. She tells us exactly how Turkish intelligence have penetrated national secrets, suborned government officials, and blackmailed Congress. It’s going to be explosive.

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Can a Court Grant Access to Classified Info?

classifiedInfo hides gov crimeBy Steven Aftergood

In an electrifying decision on August 26, the US District Court (DC) ruled against the government, saying that counsel have a “need to know” and that they may have access to the classified information that their clients already possess.

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