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Government transparency: Where do you draw the line?

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posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 07:14 AM
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Looking at the wikileaks threads, both here and just about anywhere else that allows public comment, it seems that a huge number of people want total transparency from their governments and feel have a right to know everything. Personally I find this view to be extremely naïve and I’m shocked that so many genuinely think this.

So how far does ATS think transparency should go?

For example in armed conflicts should we know military plans?

What about less clear cut examples where life may not be directly on the line? For example should the details of trade negotiations be public knowledge regardless of whether it gives competitors an advantage?




posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 07:19 AM
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How far?... based on who it effects. in other words a "need to know" basis.
...and perhaps... perhaps, all depending on the circumstances a "want to know" really, really, really, really, really, really bad basis.
edit on 30-11-2010 by ChaosMagician because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 07:32 AM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
Looking at the wikileaks threads, both here and just about anywhere else that allows public comment, it seems that a huge number of people want total transparency from their governments and feel have a right to know everything. Personally I find this view to be extremely naïve and I’m shocked that so many genuinely think this.

So how far does ATS think transparency should go?

For example in armed conflicts should we know military plans?

What about less clear cut examples where life may not be directly on the line? For example should the details of trade negotiations be public knowledge regardless of whether it gives competitors an advantage?


Total and complete 100% transparency would end 90% of the problems on this planet - if not all.

The maxim 'information is power' is more true than ever these days.

Put all, and I mean all, the info in the public domain and pretty much all wars would stop, all corruption would end, the people would have the information they need to choose leaders with the right kind of qualities, the vipers and their crimes would have nowhere to hide.

Of course, it's a pointless argument because it isn't going to happen.



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 07:55 AM
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reply to post by wcitizen
 


But isn’t that idealistic? It’s like saying if everyone destroyed their weapons there’d be no more war, it might be true but the reality just isn’t like that.

You might be right if it applied to the entire world but do you realistically believe that China, Russia, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Israel etc are going to go along with this transparency drive?

Ultimately you have control, as limited as it may be, over your own government; you can’t decide that the world will be transparent only your own country. Would you want your country to become totally open given the practicalities of the real world?

But assuming you could have total transparency among governments what about non state actors such as businesses and terrorist groups who may be acting against the interests of the people; do you think you could investigate these without having some secrets?

Even in the benign cases like trade negotiations, if you can’t keep negotiations confidential then how are you to avoid competitors undercutting you? And how would total transparency affect the frankness of diplomats, advisers and politicians. If everyone’s communications will always be made public what affect would this have on people’s willingness to discuss difficult truths?



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 08:01 AM
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Would transparency eliminate lies?
Would transparency eliminate corruption?
Would transparency eliminate created and manipulated conflicts?
Would transparency eliminate created poverty?
Would transparency eliminate rotten evil story telling lazy backstabbing sociopathic bastards from gaining power and control and causing more harm than any natural disaster ?
Would transparency eliminate apathy?
Would transparency eliminate shadow governments and restore a more direct representation of mankind?

Would transparency create and promote an environment more conducive towards peace, prosperity?
For more than just the 'select' that currently manufacture, distribute, and benefit from their created lies, conflicts, conditions and profits?

It leaves me wondering.



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 08:06 AM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
reply to post by wcitizen
 


But isn’t that idealistic? It’s like saying if everyone destroyed their weapons there’d be no more war, it might be true but the reality just isn’t like that.



Of course it's idealistic. Idealism is used all the time...idealism is what fuels the NWO agenda .... the concept of true democracy is also based on flawed idealism. TPTB feed us flawed but seductive idealism all the time.

I was simply answering the question about transparency. And I did say it wouldn't happen...because I'm aware it is unrealistic. But I think nevertheless it's valuable to reflect on what effects total transparency could have on this world.




You might be right if it applied to the entire world but do you realistically believe that China, Russia, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Israel etc are going to go along with this transparency drive?



That's why I said in my post that it isn't going to happen. Those in power have too much invested in doing things in secret, and hiding the truth from the people. Is it possible? In theory, yes.




Ultimately you have control, as limited as it may be, over your own government; you can’t decide that the world will be transparent only your own country. Would you want your country to become totally open given the practicalities of the real world?



I have great faith that the vast majority of people in the world want fairness, honesty and peace. That is why I said total transparency - across the board. The question in the OP was about government transparency generally, it didn't specify US transparency, and that's what I responded to.




But assuming you could have total transparency among governments what about non state actors such as businesses and terrorist groups who may be acting against the interests of the people; do you think you could investigate these without having some secrets?


Across the board transparency - everywhere. If governments were to set the example, the rest would have to follow, a lack of transparency would not be sustainable or supported by the people.



Even in the benign cases like trade negotiations, if you can’t keep negotiations confidential then how are you to avoid competitors undercutting you? And how would total transparency affect the frankness of diplomats, advisers and politicians. If everyone’s communications will always be made public what affect would this have on people’s willingness to discuss difficult truths?



But that's still to think inside the box. Different systems, different, open, transparent ways of making decisions would emerge. Competition isn't intrinsically necessary, it is the current system which makes it seem necessary.

.
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posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 08:19 AM
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I think the fear of forced transparency is a good thing because it will force governments and corporations to divulge their dirty secrets big and small so as to avoid having to have it outed for them. If they genuinely fear that their secrets will be revealed and they will not be able to control the timing of those events they might just open up and start providing true transparency. The problem with governments and big corporations keeping secrets is that they generally will use this to cover their butts when they screw up. This can do serious harm.

For instance if the truth of the matter were divulged and the so called evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were allowed to be independently verified the Iraq war likely would not have happened and we would still have the trillions that it is costing us at present. The US would not have as high of a debt and 100,000+ Iraqis would not have been murdered or displaced and their nation would not be polluted with tons of depleted uranium.

Transparency is come. It is here and the governments and big corporations are going to have to adjust.



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 08:30 AM
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It's important to really consider what the implications are for a country of a lack of transparency:

"If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us." ~ George H.W. Bush to journalist Sarah McClendon.

"It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." — Henry Ford

"By this means government may secretly and unobserved, confiscate the wealth of the people,
and not one man in a million will detect the theft." — John Maynard Keynes (the father of 'Keynesian Economics' which our nation now endures) in his book "THE ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES
OF THE PEACE" (1920).

by the central power of leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. This is well known among our principal men now engaged in forming an imperialism of capitalism to govern the world. By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd."--
Taken from the Civil Servants' Year Book, "The Organizer" January 1934



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 08:33 AM
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Originally posted by wcitizen
It's important to really consider what the implications are for a country of a lack of transparency:

"If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us." ~ George H.W. Bush to journalist Sarah McClendon.

"It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." — Henry Ford

"By this means government may secretly and unobserved, confiscate the wealth of the people,
and not one man in a million will detect the theft." — John Maynard Keynes (the father of 'Keynesian Economics' which our nation now endures) in his book "THE ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES
OF THE PEACE" (1920).

by the central power of leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. This is well known among our principal men now engaged in forming an imperialism of capitalism to govern the world. By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd."--
Taken from the Civil Servants' Year Book, "The Organizer" January 1934


Just a few fine examples of the perfect picture to illustrate the need !



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 08:34 AM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
Looking at the wikileaks threads, both here and just about anywhere else that allows public comment, it seems that a huge number of people want total transparency from their governments and feel have a right to know everything. Personally I find this view to be extremely naïve and I’m shocked that so many genuinely think this.

So how far does ATS think transparency should go?

For example in armed conflicts should we know military plans?

What about less clear cut examples where life may not be directly on the line? For example should the details of trade negotiations be public knowledge regardless of whether it gives competitors an advantage?


I think that you hold that point of view because you are still thinking within the context of the present 'matrix' that we have been conditioned to believe in.

You call some people's thinking naive. No offense meant here, but I would call your thinking blinkered.



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 08:36 AM
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lets switch your question to ask why does the government need transparency? When you switch the question you find that the government no longer works for the people, thus you have your answer



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 08:50 AM
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Originally posted by allprowolfy
lets switch your question to ask why does the government need transparency? When you switch the question you find that the government no longer works for the people, thus you have your answer


Nice thinking - and another question could be why do the people need the government to be transparent? Thus you have another answer...puz puz, lol!



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 08:58 AM
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reply to post by wcitizen
 


Well let’s put idealism aside and keep this within the confines of the real world and in relation to that which you have some control over, i.e. your own government.


Across the board transparency - everywhere. If governments were to set the example, the rest would have to follow

...

Different systems, different, open, transparent ways of making decisions would emerge. Competition isn't intrinsically necessary, it is the current system which makes it seem necessary.


But this is just more idealism. Why would business suddenly become more honest, how would the investigation of terrorist organisations or other criminals be possible in a totally transparent system? It’s no good to say “something” would turn up to allow it, you have to say what.

reply to post by wayouttheredude
 



For instance if the truth of the matter were divulged and the so called evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were allowed to be independently verified the Iraq war likely would not have happened and we would still have the trillions that it is costing us at present.


Alternatively if the Western Allies couldn’t keep secrets D-Day would never have happened and the side that played the dirtiest game would have won. It’s all well and good to pick out the cases where openness would have avoided harm but you must also deal with the cases that would cause harm as well. The same goes for Wcitizen’s quotes.

To clarify I’m not arguing for total secrecy as some seem to think but I do think that some secrets are necessary. The current system where we have a delicate balance between those trying to keep things secret and the whistle blowers trying to bring to light that which is in the public interest is the best model; this is neither total transparency nor total secrecy.



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 09:11 AM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


We're living into he reign of lies and deception.

The Stock exchange is the temple of "lies and deception".
The foreign diplomacy is "lies and deception"
The wars are born on and feed "lies and deception"
Everyone may realize how much "lies and deception" are necessary to one's image.

Democracy itself is "lies and deception" before an election,and other "lies and deception" after ...

Our system is so founded on "lies and deception" that unveiling the truth is described by the those in power as a CRIME. The biggest one.

This sucks.

IMO it's not a crime to thinck about a society founded on TRUTH and TRANSPARENCY.
Is it one to thinck about how things should be ?
Rather than being ready to accept the things as they shouldn't ?



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 09:11 AM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
reply to post by wcitizen
 


Well let’s put idealism aside and keep this within the confines of the real world and in relation to that which you have some control over, i.e. your own government.


Across the board transparency - everywhere. If governments were to set the example, the rest would have to follow

...

Different systems, different, open, transparent ways of making decisions would emerge. Competition isn't intrinsically necessary, it is the current system which makes it seem necessary.


But this is just more idealism. Why would business suddenly become more honest, how would the investigation of terrorist organisations or other criminals be possible in a totally transparent system? It’s no good to say “something” would turn up to allow it, you have to say what.

reply to post by wayouttheredude
 



For instance if the truth of the matter were divulged and the so called evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were allowed to be independently verified the Iraq war likely would not have happened and we would still have the trillions that it is costing us at present.


Alternatively if the Western Allies couldn’t keep secrets D-Day would never have happened and the side that played the dirtiest game would have won. It’s all well and good to pick out the cases where openness would have avoided harm but you must also deal with the cases that would cause harm as well. The same goes for Wcitizen’s quotes.

To clarify I’m not arguing for total secrecy as some seem to think but I do think that some secrets are necessary. The current system where we have a delicate balance between those trying to keep things secret and the whistle blowers trying to bring to light that which is in the public interest is the best model; this is neither total transparency nor total secrecy.




I don't really want to get into this discussion because it requires infinite specifics - and because of this statement you made:

"The current system where we have a delicate balance between those trying to keep things secret and the whistle blowers trying to bring to light that which is in the public interest is the best model; this is neither total transparency nor total secrecy."

because it frankly makes me want to despair.

Doesn't it bother you that the government is secretly planning to totally impoverish and subjugate the American people?

Doesn't it bother you that the US is killing hundreds of thousands in illegal wars?

Doesn't it bother you that many of the details of 9/11 are still being suppressed?

Did you read the quotes I posted? Don't those statements really bother you?

How can it be acceptable that your country accepts a President who has hidden the details of his past?

Doesn't it bother you that details of crimes committed by the Government are kept secret and in some cases made available to the public only 60 years later?

Do you believe in accountability? If so, how can you have accountability without transparency?

Doesn't it bother you that you state you think it's ok to rely on whistleblowers putting themselves at risk to get the truth out? I find that really incredible.

But, as I've already said, it seems to me your thinking is based on the terms laid down by the matrix which you still believe in...that really makes a discussion about this a bit of a non starter between you and I.

I believe the matrix needs to be dismantled and a completely different set of terms needs to be adopted...terms of integrity, honesy and transparency, you want to preserve it.










edit on 30-11-2010 by wcitizen because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 09:24 AM
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reply to post by orkson
 


With respect I don’t think you’re dealing with the subject of the thread. So you think that everything is lies and deception, but what does that have to do with total transparency.

Total transparency means criminal investigations being completely out in the open whether that prejudices it or not, it means the effective destruction of any intelligence services, it means no one in power can share a frank opinion. It doesn’t mean that just the bad things come out; I’m sure you’re a very honest person but do you tell everyone your PIN number, your insurance details, etc? There are practical limits to what you would tell people, can you think of no such practical limits for governments?



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 09:46 AM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
reply to post by wcitizen



Across the board transparency - everywhere. If governments were to set the example, the rest would have to follow

...

Different systems, different, open, transparent ways of making decisions would emerge. Competition isn't intrinsically necessary, it is the current system which makes it seem necessary.


But this is just more idealism. Why would business suddenly become more honest, how would the investigation of terrorist organisations or other criminals be possible in a totally transparent system? It’s no good to say “something” would turn up to allow it, you have to say what.



Look, I've already said - yes, it is idealism. You seem to think idealism is rubbish. I have a different view. You might as well say that there's no point in aspiring to anything better or different, because such things always start with an ideal of something better.




For instance if the truth of the matter were divulged and the so called evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were allowed to be independently verified the Iraq war likely would not have happened and we would still have the trillions that it is costing us at present.

Alternatively if the Western Allies couldn’t keep secrets D-Day would never have happened and the side that played the dirtiest game would have won. It’s all well and good to pick out the cases where openness would have avoided harm but you must also deal with the cases that would cause harm as well.
.


Well, I believe that transparency would have prevented WWII from happening at in the first place, so for me your argument about D-Day is irrelevant.


edit on 30-11-2010 by wcitizen because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
reply to post by orkson
 


With respect I don’t think you’re dealing with the subject of the thread. So you think that everything is lies and deception, but what does that have to do with total transparency.

Total transparency means criminal investigations being completely out in the open whether that prejudices it or not, it means the effective destruction of any intelligence services, it means no one in power can share a frank opinion.


What is wrong with people who are paid to represent the people sharing their frank opinions with the people?




It doesn’t mean that just the bad things come out; I’m sure you’re a very honest person but do you tell everyone your PIN number, your insurance details, etc? There are practical limits to what you would tell people, can you think of no such practical limits for governments?


This is frankly silly, the transparency being discussed here is government transparency - not personal details, PIN numbers, etc.


edit on 30-11-2010 by wcitizen because: (no reason given)

edit on 30-11-2010 by wcitizen because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 10:00 AM
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reply to post by wcitizen
 


Again you’re cherry picking things and not tackling the subject in its complex entirety.

Of course when my government (btw I’m British not American) does something illegal or seriously questionable then I want that to come out (although there is a moral discussion to be had there); however a totally open government won’t just expose these but will expose everything.

For every war that occurs due to lies there is another that is avoided because of delicate behind the scenes negotiation. You can’t only consider one side of the coin.


Doesn't it bother you that you state you think it's ok to rely on whistleblowers putting themselves at risk to get the truth out?


Why should it? It’s not perfect but it works better than any other system I can think of.


But, as I've already said, it seems to me your thinking is based on the terms laid down by the matrix which you still believe in...that really makes a discussion about this a bit of a non starter between you and I.

I believe the matrix needs to be dismantled and a completely different set of terms needs to be adopted...terms of integrity, honesy and transparency, you want to preserve it.


Good luck but you’re going against fundamental facts of human nature.



posted on Nov, 30 2010 @ 10:05 AM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
reply to post by wcitizen
 


Again you’re cherry picking things and not tackling the subject in its complex entirety.

Of course when my government (btw I’m British not American) does something illegal or seriously questionable then I want that to come out (although there is a moral discussion to be had there); however a totally open government won’t just expose these but will expose everything.

For every war that occurs due to lies there is another that is avoided because of delicate behind the scenes negotiation. You can’t only consider one side of the coin.


Doesn't it bother you that you state you think it's ok to rely on whistleblowers putting themselves at risk to get the truth out?


Why should it? It’s not perfect but it works better than any other system I can think of.


But, as I've already said, it seems to me your thinking is based on the terms laid down by the matrix which you still believe in...that really makes a discussion about this a bit of a non starter between you and I.

I believe the matrix needs to be dismantled and a completely different set of terms needs to be adopted...terms of integrity, honesy and transparency, you want to preserve it.


Good luck but you’re going against fundamental facts of human nature.


No, actually, I believe the current matrix goes against human nature, and what we need is something which accords with it.

As long as you aren't aware you are in a matrix, you won't be able to see outside of it...and that's why we can't have a profitable discussion about this.

Good luck to you too.



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