U.S. Seeks Silence on CIA Prisons

U.S. Seeks Silence on CIA Prisons – washingtonpost.com

I was out last night in Adams Morgan – had an amazing dinner at Pasta Mia and then finished off the night at Left Bank with some martinis.

It was at Left Bank that the conversation turned political.

While the tone remained collegial and the conversation reflected our great American tradition of sharing and trying on different ideas, I was blown away by what I was hearing from one of my fellow partiers – that we basically have to trust our government to do the right thing; there are scary people out there and if we have to give up some of our “rights” (quotation marks theirs) in order to secure the nation, so be it.

Have we decided to ignore the lessons of history and the warnings of totalitarianism found in such books as 1984, Gulag and Mein Kampf?

One of the key differences between Totalitarian States and Democracies is that Totalitarians seek to limit the people’s information about the government and maximize the government’s information about the people while Democracies seek to maximize the people’s information about their government and minimize the government’s information about their people.

How many rights are we going to give up, give away, suspend, or even believe we never had in the first place? It’s a very old idea – but if we are not willing to fight for our freedoms, maybe we don’t deserve them.

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5 Responses to “U.S. Seeks Silence on CIA Prisons”

  1. Logipundit Says:

    Agreed…to the extent that I don’t believe that non-citizens should be afforded the same legal rights as citizens (yeah, I’m just a damned nativist zenophobe).

    I believe that prisons and interrogations have their place, though, and so does classified information for national security purposes. Are you arguing that details of interrogations of foreign nationals should be displayed for all the world to see?

  2. DC Offline Says:

    You mean like the nuclear bomb information that our government posted on the internet a couple of weeks ago? ;).

    No, I’m arguing for due process for these people – secret prisons go against every value our country was founded on.

  3. Logipundit Says:

    How would you define due process for enemy combatants? And I ask this sincerely.

    What values does interrogating enemy combatants go against, and how does keeping their existence secret from other enemy combatants go against those values? Again, serious question.

  4. scottie Says:

    nice post hemati

    you got it pegged properly, it is a choice

    i have had several conversations with friends and i got the same sentiment you are describing

    it is laziness that citizens are willing to trust their government to do the right thing

    the best way to check the powers of a government which is out of control is to have an informed citizenry which is organized

    on the issue of national security and classified info, i disagree with butch a little

    if national security is indeed the issue, i can understand the need for classified info

    but many times national security is quoted and the information is hidden from the citizenry for other reasons

    for example, the virginia department of transportation videos of the AA flight flying into the Pentagon

    release those tapes
    no reason to hide them
    national security has nothin to do with the reason they continue to be hidden from us

    release the files on the JFK assassination
    nobody takes the Warren Report seriously
    it has been 43 years
    americans should know who killed JFK and why (something RFK and JFK jr both said they would share with the american people before their deaths)

    these are just a few examples

    there should be a minimization of government secrets in a free and open democratically-principled society

    the torture scandals in gitmo and abu ghraib have run counter to the message the US has spread regarding the war on terror

    info received under torture is not reliable, so the law of diminishing returns should apply here

    “Those who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security.” Ben Franklin

  5. JohnnyB Says:

    I don’t give a whit about the liberty of enemy combatants. I doubt Ben Franklin felt the redcoats should be given the same treatment as American citizens. Find me the quote where he says that.


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