The Government's One-Way Mirror

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One of the
hallmarks of an authoritarian government is its fixation on hiding
everything it does behind a wall of secrecy while simultaneously
monitoring, invading and collecting files on everything its citizenry
does. Based on the Francis Bacon aphorism that "knowledge is
power," this is the extreme imbalance that renders the ruling
class omnipotent and citizens powerless.

In The Washington
Post today, Dana Priest and William Arkin continue their "Top
Secret America" series by describing
how America’s vast and growing Surveillance State now encompasses

state and local law enforcement agencies, collecting and storing
always-growing amounts of information about even the most innocuous
activities undertaken by citizens suspected of no wrongdoing. As
was true of the first several installments of their "Top Secret
America," there aren’t any particularly new revelations for
those paying
attention
to such
matters
, but the picture it paints – and the fact that
it is presented in an establishment organ such as The Washington
Post – is nonetheless valuable.

Read
the rest of the article

December
21, 2010

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