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Is The Government Keeping Too Many Secrets?

News 2010/07/19 17:00:00
Related Topics: Capitol, War
Yes. If the government is protecting us, things should stay secret.
No. If we don't know what government is doing, how will we know if they are succeeding or failing?
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The balance between an open and transparent government has long been at war with those who believe that in order to protect the country some things need to remain secret.

This tension has only increased since 2001, as the Washington Post reports. According to the Post:

- Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.

- An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.

- In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings - about 17 million square feet of space.


But with all these myriad connections across the globe is the country safer? Retired Army Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, who reviewed the tracking the Defense Department uses for sensitive programs, told the Post, it was unclear:

"I'm not aware of any agency with the authority, responsibility or a process in place to coordinate all these interagency and commercial activities," he said to the Post. "The complexity of this system defies description."



Does the government need to keep secrets?

Read More: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-amer...

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  • oldsalt 2010/07/20 16:36:02
    Yes. If the government is protecting us, things should stay secret.
    oldsalt
    Some things must be kept secret so the bad guys won't know what we know about them or what some of our weapons capabilities are. Wh defeated both the Japanese & the Nazis in WWII because we had broken their secret codes. We even assasinated the top Jap admiral because our code breakers had broken his itinerary in a military aircraft & our figh ter planes intercepted him & shot him down..
  • leth 2010/07/20 05:05:03
    No. If we don't know what government is doing, how will we know if they are s...
    leth
    Yes. If the government is protecting us, things should stay secret. Yes. If the government is protecting us, things should stay secret.
  • Amyers 2010/07/20 04:30:40
    No. If we don't know what government is doing, how will we know if they are s...
    Amyers
    I don't trust those greedy politicians one bit!
  • lalouisiane 2010/07/19 19:45:02
    No. If we don't know what government is doing, how will we know if they are s...
    lalouisiane
    But... but... what about the transparency Obama promised?
  • don 2010/07/19 19:33:35
    No. If we don't know what government is doing, how will we know if they are s...
    don
    Well the obvious needs to be kept secret, such as, nuclear bomb codes, military technology, ect., but there are many secrets that need to have some light shed on them. I think it is pretty obvious that financial institutions and corporations have been calling the shots in Washington for some time without the best interests of the people in mind. I'd like to know why our government does not control our money supply, and please tell me why we need the federal reserve. Since the current fed was implemented in 1913 there is a positive correlation between its years in service and the national debt. Also the private banking sector who spearheaded the campaign for the current banking system was Senator Nelson Aldrich, whom had close ties to wealthy bankers like J.D. Rockerfeller (Aldrich's son-in-law) and J.P. Morgan who, by the way, was an agent for the mega-wealthy Rothschild clan, which would leave me to believe that our central bank was created by foreign powers, but you can make your own assumptions.
  • Axl Snaks 2010/07/19 19:29:18
  • Clarissa the Porcelain Liberal 2010/07/19 19:26:28
    No. If we don't know what government is doing, how will we know if they are s...
    Clarissa the Porcelain Liberal
    The government has always kept secrets from the people. This is nothing new to me.
  • ZY 2010/07/19 18:50:19
    Yes. If the government is protecting us, things should stay secret.
    ZY
    Hells yeah the gov't needs to keep secrets!
  • Kane Fernau 2010/07/19 18:42:13
    No. If we don't know what government is doing, how will we know if they are s...
    Kane Fernau
    We aren't supposed to question the Ruling Class!! http://www.gallup.com/poll/14...
  • thnk4yrslf 2010/07/19 18:41:20
    Yes. If the government is protecting us, things should stay secret.
    thnk4yrslf
    There are somethings that need to be kept secret such as nuclear bomb codes and new military technologies. However some of the things the government keeps secret are just ridiculous. We the people do not need the government telling us what we need and not need to know. If the government would be completely honest and truthful with us then we would no longer have to deal with the conspiracy theorists they hate so much.
  • BornToBeWild 2010/07/19 18:35:00
    No. If we don't know what government is doing, how will we know if they are s...
    BornToBeWild
    government has way too many secrets that places higher risks to our NATIONAL SECURITY and now they are fighting to drop and open up our securities already in place for our protection....many things are DIRTY in Washington!
  • Master 2010/07/19 18:20:53
    No. If we don't know what government is doing, how will we know if they are s...
    Master
    I have always said that the government should only keep secrets that are truly a matter of national security. Anything beyond that means they are doing something wrong and would be shamed if it were known. As it is, the NSA has recorded the voices of 98% of American citizens via the telephone network. If that's what we know about, what don't we know about? Rumors have circulated for decades that the ECHELON system records and stores all international phone calls (which would be very easy to do, when they pass through government-operated satellites), or perhaps even all telephone calls. We may never know, as the running joke in the intelligence community is that NSA stands for "Never Say Anything."
  • ChrisK1969 2010/07/19 18:15:22
  • jackolantyrn356 2010/07/19 18:03:44
    Yes. If the government is protecting us, things should stay secret.
    jackolantyrn356
    The biggest secret is when Obama is going to try to create and present his Marxist Brigade......... I mean his Security Citizens Brigade. I mean the Citizen Police Force. I mean the SA / Brown Shirts which will quickly be caughtup into the BlackShirts (SS) ..... Thos incharge of the executoion murders in the Concentration Camps.
  • thnk4yrslf jackola... 2010/07/19 18:42:26
    thnk4yrslf
    Do you really believe this or are you being sarcastic?
  • littlebuffalo55TBA 2010/07/19 18:02:14 (edited)
    No. If we don't know what government is doing, how will we know if they are s...
    littlebuffalo55TBA
    +1
    To a point we should be aware of what our government is doing as far as securing the nation. But in that there are things such as stealth & surveillence techniques & technology that need to remain secret.

    I think more telling is the lack of co-operation in this massive web. Let's not forget that the identified suspect in the Times Square incident basically went no further than 25 miles from there and walked right past TSA into the secure area of an international terminal and boarded an aircraft that left the gate and was heading to the runway to leave the country.
  • beachbum 2010/07/19 17:48:23
    No. If we don't know what government is doing, how will we know if they are s...
    beachbum
    +1
    Some things should be kept secret, but way to many things are kept from taxpayers until it is to late..........for the campaign promise of the most transparent admin, this one certainly is not. I do, realize, that all admins have had their secrets, but what is now going on behind closed doors to destroy this country has reached new heights, or perhaps new lows. With each admin, the secrets, the bureacuracy has grown and grown.
  • Bre 2010/07/19 17:43:05
    No. If we don't know what government is doing, how will we know if they are s...
    Bre
    We need to know whats really going on so we can better understand our strength, and maybe our weaknesses
  • littleb... Bre 2010/07/19 17:44:58
    littlebuffalo55TBA
    To a point, beyond that would you want us telegraphing out punches to a potential enemy?
  • Cogs littleb... 2010/07/19 18:07:47
    Cogs
    It's funny how conservatives claim they want "small government", but at the same time, they love widespread government secrecy and rampant militarism.
  • littleb... Cogs 2010/07/19 18:15:43
    littlebuffalo55TBA
    Funny....as in? I'd like you to look at both of my posts here and tell me what in anything I said leads you to a conclusion that I am for "widespread government secrecy" or "rampant militarism?
  • Cogs littleb... 2010/07/19 19:08:21
    Cogs
    I don't mean you in particular, though this line of thinking can end up being abused pretty easily:

    "...would you want us telegraphing out punches to a potential enemy?"
  • littleb... Cogs 2010/07/19 19:23:37
    littlebuffalo55TBA
    Oh I agree it can and has been abused! But at the very sametime there are things in technologies, information gathering and the stratagies employed that are better left secret!

    All my point is, is that there is a right way & a wrong way to let the citizens know what is being done. I mean come on you'd have been comfy if Eisenhower had told the Germans it was Normandy and not Calais because the average Taxpayor had a right to know?
  • Cogs littleb... 2010/07/19 19:40:19 (edited)
    Cogs
    Of course not, but it should be rather distressing to see such a large expansion of the military-industrial complex happening in secret.

    Also, something to keep in mind with that Hitler comparison - Germany was a Great Power with other Great Powers as allies. Al Queda contains about 500-1000 people. How much of the federal budget do you think we should spend against them?
    Whatever it takes? And who should be deciding what that actual amount is? Are they spending it wisely, or is taxpayer money being wasted on unnecessarily complex and redundant contractor work?
  • littleb... Cogs 2010/07/19 19:53:52 (edited)
    littlebuffalo55TBA
    +1
    If you read what I said before you'd see I am in total agreement! I'm a Conservative Libritarian not a Facist!

    I agree these thingas should be questioned! But, I also know that Congress is about 600 combined and look at the influence they have. So, if you ask me, if I think Aymen al Zawahiri is a worthy target worth considerable effort I say "Yes"! Do I think Saddam Hussein deserved a swift a$$kicking? Again "Yes"! Do I think the stratagies or cost or loss of the average guys right to privacy is the right price? Once again, I agree that the people to whom this government is responsable to US need to ask & have those questions answered!
  • Bre littleb... 2010/08/24 23:15:56
    Bre
    +1
    Ok, you have a point...
  • captkirk999 2010/07/19 17:41:47
    No. If we don't know what government is doing, how will we know if they are s...
    captkirk999
    Our government should not keep secrets like HAARP or the school of Americas
  • ObumbaIsASnake 2010/07/19 17:41:41
    Yes. If the government is protecting us, things should stay secret.
    ObumbaIsASnake
    Stupid people don't need to know everything we do to keep stupid people safe.
  • prometheus 2010/07/19 17:37:36 (edited)
    No. If we don't know what government is doing, how will we know if they are s...
    prometheus
    I have mixed feelings about the 2options.
    Perhaps we should eliminate some organizations, since they failed to warn us ahead of time about the Fort Hood killings and the Christmas Day bomb attempt.
    It seems that the secret organizations are growing. Not all of the secret organizations have to do with counterterrorism. :/
  • salamen... prometheus 2010/07/19 19:13:27
    salamengkero
    How could the government warn against the Fort Hood killings or the Christmas Day attempt?
  • prometheus salamen... 2010/07/19 19:20:39
    prometheus
    http://projects.washingtonpos...

    read the article, it will answer your question.
  • salamen... prometheus 2010/07/19 19:26:32
    salamengkero
    Still don't see how the government would have had warning about what happened at Fort Hood. You never know how one individual would react to xenophobic bias. Counter-intelligence groups focus on group or cell activities and communication. It is a lot harder to track just one individual acting on his or her own accord.
  • prometheus salamen... 2010/07/19 19:33:16
    prometheus
    Exactly cause the govt has other things to keep track on. Did you read every single page in the link that I posted?
  • salamen... prometheus 2010/07/19 19:39:51
    salamengkero
    Yea, but still don't see how you think they could have had warning about Fort Hood?
  • prometheus salamen... 2010/07/19 19:43:13
    prometheus
    The govt keep track on everyone, they go through emails, anything.
  • Honwe74 2010/07/19 17:37:18
    No. If we don't know what government is doing, how will we know if they are s...
    Honwe74
    l know this is crazy talk wanting us to actually know what goes on in our government but hey i can dream cant I
  • kevracer 2010/07/19 17:28:34
    Yes. If the government is protecting us, things should stay secret.
    kevracer
    +1
    the public has too much information already
  • prometheus kevracer 2010/07/19 17:34:32
    prometheus
    Like what.
  • kevracer prometheus 2010/07/19 18:03:35
    kevracer
    +1
    The public now can access of pages and pages of government activity; as a country, we are nearing information overload
  • prometheus kevracer 2010/07/19 18:35:18
    prometheus
    But they cant access any sector in the govt like CIA or NSA?

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