Saturday, December 17, 2011

The single biggest threat to democracy

The single biggest threat to democracy in the United States is not the corporate and government propaganda. It's not the corrupt revolving door between government and industry. It's not the mockracy where the bipartisan government always has just enough votes to pass a bill in the house or senate. See this. It's not the corporate lobbyists. It's not our unjust legal system. See this. It's not the corrupt supreme court. It's not the shredding of the Constitution. It's not the loss of civil liberties and the impending police state. It's not the deregulation or overregulation. It's not the inequality of income, wealth and education including unprecedented extreme poverty in the richest country in the world. See this and this. It's not deficits, debt or taxation. It's not globalization or the environment. Have you guessed yet? It's government secrecy. The systematic shutting down of information from the government will be the undoing of the United States as a democracy while shadowy governmental, quasi-governmental and non-governmental organizations operate the government from behind the scenes.

If the "facts" are not public, one no longer needs to "spin" them. The debate then changes to what are the facts and the public suffers from the lack of information.


The CIA is a quasi-governmental organization. It operates above the law. It is not accountable to congress. It operates or oversees 'black sites' outside of the US where inmates are tortured. The CIA gets involved in overthrowing governments, assassinations, drug trafficking, censorship and who knows what else as there is no governmental oversight by the US government. The CIA is still withholding JFK documents and it requesting to continue to withhold the JFK documents after the 50 year hold on classified documents expires. The CIA routinely denies freedom of information requests and doesn't get audited.

What the CIA is to international affairs, the FBI is to domestic affairs. Operations shrouded in secrecy. Files are kept on anyone who might step in their way. For ETC, see this.

The Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve is a quasi-governmental organization but its true loyalties lie mostly with US financial institutions. The Fed stopped reporting M3 (the largest measure of the money supply) in 2006 and any statistics that would allow one to calculate M3 including large-denomination time deposits, repurchase agreements and Eurodollar. The Fed refuses Freedom of Information Act requests and is (and has always been) exempt from audit. During the financial crisis, the Fed provided at least $29.6 trillion of emergency assistance over 3 years to domestic as well as foreign banks. (source).

The military

The actual cost of the US military is shrouded in secrecy. It is estimated that the true military spending is over $1.2 trillion. (source) In regards to general secrecy of the US military there are black ops, black sites, black projects, black budgets and secret commando raids (source).

Super PACs

Thanks to the Citizen's United Supreme Court decision, super PACs have no limits on spending and do not have to disclose who and where the contributions came from - including foreign sources.

Classified information

16 million documents each year are classified top secret each year. (source).  77 million documents each year are classified.( Source).


Because so much of what the government does is now classified secret, there will be people working hard to release the truth to the public. "...these leaks have achieved enormous good and little harm.", wrote Glenn Greenwald. (source). The government, for its part, has been aggressively chasing and punishing whistleblowers. See this.

The Bradley Manning case epitomizes our current plight in America. Torture isn't about exerting physical pain but about breaking one's mind. Generally the best way to do that is to withhold sensory stimulus to the brain. They kept Bradley in isolation without clothes as a means purely to torture/break him. Keeping him in jail without starting the trial proceedings for 17 months is a clear denial of habeas corpus. When Obama stated his "guilt" in public, it again infringed on his rights. Follow Bradley Manning's trial here: Bradley Manning Support Network.

The Internet

The US government is on their third attempt to pass an Internet censorship bill. The government really really wants control over the Internet for obvious reasons. The House Judiciary Committee on SOPA (Stop Online Privacy Act) adjourned the committee due censorship issues. However, the Protect IP Act is up for a vote in the Senate. First, see why this bill is a bad idea (Protect IP Breaks the Internet):

Second, call your senator and tell him or her that if he or she votes for this bill, he or she will lose your vote (due diligence). Third, share or forward this article or write your own and spread the word that if this bill becomes law that you will never vote Republican nor Democrat again, period. The Internet is the last bastion of free speech and free information. Protect it.