The military's very bad transparency and accountability
Now that WikiLeaks has gotten a lot of publicity, I have an excellent opportunity to showcase how horrifying some of the activities considered by whoever exactly it is that does them to be “national security” that protects our freedoms. I must stress the whoever because if you have a reason to ask, you won’t find out; It’s a matter of national security.
The most immediately relevant example is a 32-page report [PDF] on how to destroy WikiLeaks that was subsequently leaked to WikiLeaks, a “security” breach that obviously constitutes a threat to national security itself. I’ll post some excerpts to show the logic that goes into protecting our freedoms.
The first example pretty much speaks for itself.
The next concerns a report on an incident that violated the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The nation’s protectors went on to clarify that, due to an executive order and an amendment inserted into the Senate resolution approving the CWC which, “[S]tated United States‘
interpretation of how RCAs [Riot Control Agents–the chemical in question] might be used for specific defensive purposes.”
In a similar vein, after blocking a provision that would have bombed aerial bombardment of civilians from being inserted into the Geneva Conventions, former British Prime Minister Lloyd George remarked that he was reserving Britain’s “right to bomb niggers.” Many in the Pentagon must be very grateful at the moment for his pioneering work.
The document goes on to ask if the activities performed by WikiLikeaks is “Free Speech or Illegal Speech?” It might be useful to recall the recent 5-4 Supreme Court decision about what’s considered free speech for this last excerpt.
I feel safer with the random guys on the internet from Iceland.