Follow Countercurrents on Twitter 

Why Subscribe ?

Popularise CC

Join News Letter

Editor's Picks

Press Releases

Action Alert

Feed Burner

Read CC In Your
Own Language

Bradley Manning

India Burning

Mumbai Terror

Financial Crisis


AfPak War

Peak Oil



Alternative Energy

Climate Change

US Imperialism

US Elections


Latin America









Book Review

Gujarat Pogrom

Kandhamal Violence



India Elections



Submission Policy

About CC


Fair Use Notice

Contact Us

Search Our Archive

Subscribe To Our
News Letter

Our Site


Name: E-mail:


Printer Friendly Version

The National Security State, Secrecy,
And The Miss America Pageant

By Jay Clark

23 January, 2011

There is no end of bloody mischief done in direct violation of constitutional principles, which mischief has been perpetrated in the name of “national security” and its magic wand—the cult of secrecy. Secrecy has always been around and used by those who for obvious reasons prefer to operate in the dark. However, shunning the light of public scrutiny became an official American policy with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947—an Act that violates both the spirit and the letter of the Constitution and the transparency that is essential to a healthy Republic. And in the darkness that it created its progeny have mushroomed into something that is both monstrous and seemingly unstoppable—at least by ordinary political and legal means. I wonder how many history teachers discuss the National Security Act in the context of the clear language and intent of the Founders?

If we define the word “American” by what is found in the Declaration and the Constitution, what is “American” about censoring the details of foreign wars, i.e., images of dead or casketed American soldiers, the number of civilian dead (men, women, and children), and the gross strategic and diplomatic failures of our military leaders—such as their willful failure to acknowledge and cultivate the early overtures of Iraqi military leaders who were willing to use their suddenly unemployed troops to help with our publicly stated intention of “stabilizing” their country, a so-called “postwar” Iraq?

Perhaps, given our official commitment to secrecy, we should consider the possibility that our real intentions in Iraq are neither “freedom” nor “stabilization.” Certainly this line of thought is justified by the fact that those “intentions” have not been accomplished despite the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars, the wrecking of our own economy, and hundreds of thousands dead!

And this is before we look at the murderous acts of our own troops which have been covered up, and with absolute impunity, by high-ranking military officers. And, while these murderers and the Pentagon officers who protected them go free, the one (one!) solitary and low ranking soldier who followed his conscience and informed the world of these crimes, Pvt. Manning, is arrested and held without charges in conditions similar to solitary confinement! What is “American” about this?

The answer: Nothing! His treatment is both a violation of American principles and a travesty of justice! And yet our so-called “free press” stupidly aping the rhetoric of the pentagon, and in a fit of gross unthinking negligence[1], can only talk about how this one lowly private and a man of conscience has somehow (and by telling the truth!) put our country “in danger”—a country that, I remind you, has both a body and a spirit!” But remembering this fact, a fact that our press is more than willing to forget, namely that our country has both a body and a spirit, just how has one soldier endangered our nation—especially when his reputed act, telling the truth, is measured against the gross overarching fact that two presidents have put a hundred thousand of our soldiers directly into harms way by sending them into two absolutely unnecessary and therefore immoral wars? And here we are, as yet, only talking about physical life. What happens when we factor in the spiritual dimension, a concern for the soul? I mean, it is one thing to place a soldier into physical danger, which he expects; it is another thing altogether to send him with his consent into an immoral war and in the process (because of that consent) damage his very soul! Why do you think so many of our soldiers come home disturbed and sometimes suicidal? This does not happen in a vacuum.

If Pvt. Manning is the only man of conscience and the solitary defender of constitutional principles in this whole affair, as I believe he is, then he is not a traitor but a patriot and hero—unless of course things have digressed so far that, with the help of the official press, murderers and liars have now become our new “American heroes.” And yet, when murderers and their protectors are neither arrested, tried, convicted, nor punished, and without due process men of conscience are punished, aren't we forced to conclude that the American sense of right and wrong has become completely inverted and in fact Orwellian—what was good is now bad, and telling the truth a heinous crime?

However, in retrospect, perhaps I am the one who is misguided. After all just yesterday, while riveted to their television sets, didn’t the American public learn from a 17-year-old Nebraska beauty queen that “security trumps the public's right to know?”[2] I mean, who am I to question that? Who am I to question pageant officials who, in flight from universal principles, honor the contradictory notions of a mere child who believes that security is more important than the very Truth it would secure? In the past we all agreed, at lest publicly, that it was “better to be dead than Red”—the soul being more important than the body. And yet today it seems that we prefer the judgment of a bikini clad Cornhusker who would sacrifice the corn to save the husk, the soul to save the body, and indeed, place the ”security” of our troops before the Constitution those troops are sworn to defend and without which they are sure to sink, quickly, into mere thuggery. Tragically they already have, and yet the official media will neither discuss this mindset of our troops nor its obvious political and educational causes.

Clearly we are today neither an educated nor an informed public. If we were, secrecy and deceit would not be so effective as tools to control us. And, unfortunately, our situation is rapidly getting worse! In fact the assault upon our Constitution that has been building since the passing of the National Security Act has now moved into a new phase where secrecy is no longer its central method.[3] With the advent of the so-called “War on Terror,” as bogus as the “Cold War,” the “War on Drugs,” and all the other “lions, and tigers, and bears” that the official media sells the public, we have entered a new phase of an ongoing program of official deceit. Since the public schools no longer teach Americans to think for themselves, and the “free press” has become de facto a “government information office,” i.e., an official press, the intentions of those who would circumvent the Constitution are far more overt—they no longer hide their intentions because, sadly, they don’t need to hide them. In other words, they often state quite clearly just what their intentions are. For example, officials and media pundits are already stating openly that the “war on terror” is so “different” from previous conflicts that fighting it is as much a job for our police as it is for the military. In this way the legal line drawn by the doctrine of posse comitatus is being gradually eroded. Can you count the number of times you have heard from media pundits the following totally bogus and metaphysically impossible claim: “The world is new since 9/11”? Why do you think that mantram is being repeated on every T.V. and radio channel ad nauseam? And, when you link this with the growing militarism of our police forces—assault rifles, swat teams, and a militaristic authoritarian mindset—it is easy to see that the line drawn by the posse comitatus law has already been crossed. Remember New Orleans?

This current danger to our Constitution is explicit in the recent words of Michael Chertoff which telegraphed the frank intentions of Homeland Security with the following: “Legal principles,” he said, using code language for the Constitution, “have not kept up with the challenges” of terrorism. He then exhorted our legislature to pass new laws to address terrorism. Well, they already have. It is called the “Patriot Act,” a totally unconstitutional document that ICE, the military, federal police, county sheriffs, and even your own local police departments have begun to honor. And they are not finished.

In conclusion, we already have a Police State where the Constitution is no longer the Law of the Land but is used as a mask, a mere curtain behind which Chertoff and other puppets of industrial greed control our movements and the suicidal direction of our once great republic. In short, our “resolve” is being tested. I wonder if we still have the knowledge, the will, and the spirit to meet that test.

© J. Warren Clark, educator and Viet Nam era veteran

[1] Of course if support for official government secrecy, and not a free and informed citizenry, is what the corporate press actually serves, then we can not speak of their behavior as “negligent.” Negligence is bad enough, but this other possibility is far far darker and, it seems to me, far more likely. Once informed, and the evidence is overwhelming, I think we are forced to conclude that our so-called “free press” is merely the official news arm and agent of a fascist government.

[2] Teresa Scanlan, Miss Nebraska, Associated Press, 1-17-2011

[3] Mind you, as long as the human soul has internal access to universal principles and is therefore capable of awakening, secrecy will always be a valuable tool in the arsenal of tyranny. Nevertheless we have in fact moved to a new phase.

Professor Clark, philosopher, teacher, and poet, is currently the Headmaster at the Gateway Preparatory Academy, an educational division of St. Paul’s Cultural and Educational center. He can be reached at [email protected]



Comments are not moderated. Please be responsible and civil in your postings and stay within the topic discussed in the article too. If you find inappropriate comments, just Flag (Report) them and they will move into moderation que.