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Secrecy Versus Democracy

By John Scales Avery

28 June, 2013

Can a government, many of whose operations are secret, be a democracy? Obveously this is impossible. The recent attempts of the United States to arrest whistleblower Edward Snowdon call attention to the glaring contradiction between secrecy and democracy.

In a democracy, the power of judging and controling governmental policy is supposed to be in the hands of the people. It is completely clear that if the people do not know what their government is doing, then they cannot judge or control governmental policy, and democracy has been abolished. There has always been a glaring contradiction between democracy and secret branches of the government, such as the CIA, which conducts its assassinations and its dirty wars in South America without any public knowledge or control.

The gross, wholesale electronic spying on citizens revealed by Snowdon seems to be specifically aimed at eliminating democracy. It is aimed at instilling universal fear and conformiity, fear of blackmail and fear of being out of step, so that the public will not dare to oppose whatever the government does, no matter how criminal or unconstitutional.

Henry Kissinger famously remarked: “The illegal we do at once. The unconstitutional takes a little longer”. Well, Henry, that may have been true in your time, but today the unconstitutional does not take long at all.

The Magna Carta is trashed. No one dares to speak up. Habeus Corpus is trashed. No one dares to speak up. The United Nations Charter is trashed. No one dares to speak up. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is trashed. No one dares to speak up. The Fourth Ammendment to the US Constitution is trashed. No one dares to speak up. The President claims the right to kill both US and foreign citizens, at his own whim. No one dares to speak up.

But perhaps this is unjust. Perhaps some people would dare to protest, except that they cannot get their protests published in the manistream media. We must remember that the media are owned by the same corporate oligarchs who own the government.

George Orwell, you should be living today! We need your voice today! After Snowdon's revilations, the sale of Orwell's “1984” soared. It is now on the bestseller list. Sadly, Orwell's distopian prophesy has proved to be accurate in every detail.

What is the excuse for for the massive spying reported by Snowdon, spying not only on US citizens but also on the citizens of other countries throughout the world? “We want to protect you from terrorism.”, the government answers. But terrorism is not a real threat, it is an invented one. It was invented by the military-industrial complex because, at the end of the Cold War, this enormous money-making conglomerate lacked enemies.

Globally, the number of people killed by terrorism is vanishingnly small compared to the number of children who die from starvation every year. It is even vanishingly small compared with the number of people who are killed in automobile accidents. It is certainly small compared with the number of people killed in wars aimed at gaining western hegemony over oil-rich regions of the world.

In order to make the American people really fear terrorism, and in order to make them willing to give up their civil liberties, a big event was needed, something like the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

There is strong evidence, avalilable on the Internet for anyone who wishes to look at it, that the US government knew well in advance that the 9/11 attacks would take place, and that government agents made the disaster worse than it otherwise would have been by planting explosives in the buildings of the World Trade Center. For example, CIA insider Susan Lindauer has testified that the US government knew about the planned attacks as early as April, 2001. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTOVvHPpIDI, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ioh9jGAk-g8 Other experts have testified that explosives must have been used to bring the buildings down http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgUvOnlErn4 . Numerous samples of the dust from the disaster were collected by people in New York City, and chemical analysis of the dust has shown the presence of nanothermite, a compound that produces intense heat. Pools of recently-melted steel were found in the ruins of the buildings before these were sealed off from the public. An ordinary fire does not produce temperatures high enough to melt steel.

Thus it seems probable that the US government participated in the 9/11 attacks, and used them in much the same way that the Nazis used the Reichstag fire, to abridge civil liberties and to justify a foreign invasion. Soon afterward, the Patriot Act was passed. It's Orwellian name is easily understood by anyone who has read “1984”.

But in Shelly's words, “We are many; they are few!” The people who want democracy greatly outnumber those who profit from maintaining a government based on secrecy and fear. Let us “rise like lions after slumbers, in unvanquishable numbers”. Let us abolish governmental secrecy and reclaim our democracy.

John Avery received a B.Sc. in theoretical physics from MIT and an M.Sc. from the University of Chicago. He later studied theoretical chemistry at the University of London, and was awarded a Ph.D. there in 1965. He is now Lektor Emeritus, Associate Professor, at the Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen. Fellowships, memberships in societies: Since 1990 he has been the Contact Person in Denmark for Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. In 1995, this group received the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts. He was the Member of the Danish Peace Commission of 1998. Technical Advisor, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe (1988- 1997). Chairman of the Danish Peace Academy, April 2004. http://www.fredsakademiet.dk/ordbog/aord/a220.htm. He can be reached at avery.john.s@gmail.com





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