SECRET LAW AND THE THREAT TO DEMOCRATIC AND ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNMENT

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posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 02:47 PM
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This 179 page document from 2008 concerning the UNITED STATES SENATE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION, COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY invites obvious discussion.


More than any other administration in recent history, has a penchant for secrecy. To an unprecedented de- gree, it has invoked executive privilege to thwart congressional oversight and the state secrets privilege to shut down lawsuits.



In 1971, the Court of Appeals, District of Columbia, addressed the problem of such secret laws stating this: ‘‘To prevent the devel- opment of secret law within an administrative agency, we must re- quire the agency to disclose orders and interpretations which it ac- tually applies in cases before it.’’
Despite this widely understood description of secret law, every branch of the Federal Government has at times been accused of making secret law that falls outside this definition.



In general, executive branch law that is not made public, generally public, is not made generally public for one of two reasons. Either that’s because it threatens harm to the national security of the country—that’s essentially the classification issue—or because it involves confidential advice, legal or otherwise, provided to the President about how to discharge his constitutional responsibilities. - Bradford A Berenson


I have not read it in its entirely as I have other research obligations in progress that require my focus but its there for any one to look into.


www.gpo.gov




posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 03:24 PM
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There should be no such thing as "secret laws" in our society. The very thought of such should be repugnant to all Americans.



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by DarthMuerte
 


last guy who said that got a bullet in his brain and i believe DHS has ordered a crap ton of bullets. see the relation here?



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 01:17 PM
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Case in point.




+ White House secret interpretation of how laws are applied. 2011

www.fas.org...
edit on 25-4-2013 by METACOMET because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 02:43 PM
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When a government, or an organisation in a nation, usurps the power of the people to decide thier own fate, to have a hand in the construction of the laws by which they live, the only result is tyranny. When individuals within a state decide that the law as vetted by the representatives of the people, is not equal to the task before them, the correct response is to re-evaluate the task, not re-write the law without the permission and oversight of those who are expected to live by them.

Nor is it appropriate, no matter what the reasoning, to excuse such an act by providing a scapegoat. Wether that be international terrorism, organised criminal enterprise, fears of revolution from within for any reason, under any banner, there can be no justification for such an act.

Why, you might ask, is it so wrong for people who consider themselves to be better informed about the threats which face a nation, to assume such control over a people, even in the best possible intent? If I wanted to spout cliche, I could say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I could say that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. However, there is a larger, far more fundamental problem with the idea of taking the power from the people.

Governance in the western world is based on permission. It has evolved over centuries (yes, even the governance of the U.S. which had the expirience of the nationalities which helped build it in its infant days to draw inspiration from) from a time when the mass of people were ruled over by monarchs, born to the role, to rule by the people, for the people. The reason that these departures have been made, away from super-centralised executive power, toward distributed responsibility, and distributed power, is that the people who lived under centralised rule, were being oppressed, and eventually threw the shackles of that rule from about thier shoulders, and the nations which did so flourished in many important ways since that change.

People were free to make thier own choices about how to live thier lives in a way that they had not been before. That is why moments like the Industrial Revolution are revered and reviled in such measure as they are. The Industrial Revolution changed the world, made it smaller, made travel easier, made commerce work harder and faster, thus increasing prosperity for those who were active in its birth. But it also made slaves and victims of vast swathes of people, and left behind yet more. The reason that this was reviled, was that it returned people to a place in thier heads and hearts, where they felt like the efforts of the past, to throw off the yoke of oppression, had been usurped by kings made by money, rather than by birth.

Every effort to take the power away from the people, reminds us of the efforts of our ancestors to take for themselves and thier offspring, and thier children, and thier children's children, the power over thier own lives, to prevent oppression of the many by the few. The sacrifices of lives, the shedding of blood, the sweat of a billion brows and more throughout time, all aimed toward freedom, personal, and universal. Therefore, to assault for any reason the power of the people to decide thier fate, to oversee the actions of their governments, is to assault the foundations on which that nation stands.

Therefore, no matter how well intentioned, no such activity can be valid. No matter the threat percieved, no matter the reasoning, because it is anathemic to the very construction of a system of government based on voting, on that single ideal of democracy. In fact, nothing could be more likely to bring such a nation to its knees. Not war, not famine, not flood, nor quake. The perversion of freedom and transparency in government is such a threat to the way of life in a nation which elects its leaders democratically, that one might as well plant a WMD under each and every town, city, village and isolated cabin community. The devastation which results will be as severe, although at least the nuclear option would be faster, and kinder.



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 06:33 PM
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There are many goings on within the US government that make my blood boil, and this is definitely one of those happenings. It is unDemocratic at the very least to be able to worm your way out of something by citing "confidentiality" or "national security," both of which are highly open to interpretation. There are two options in my opinion to fix this for the time being, things that could be implemented now. The better option would be a restructuring of the checks and balances system, along with other aspects of the government, but here are the two short-term solutions.

A) disregard these national security claims, even in lawsuits, and hope that security is not compromised to any significant degree. What so many do not realize is that this claim of national security is often times less about protecting the nation and more about keeping information away from the citizens of the nation. This is because if the info got out, the public would want blood, because a lot of this secret information is only secret because it is illegal, or documents mishandling of events, etc. The dirty laundry of the government basically. That plus the fact that the government has technologies and other things that it wants to keep for the military, plain and simple. Why else would so much material, like Tesla's material, scientific documents from WWII Germany, etc all STILL be classified?

B) the other option is to create different groups with the clearances to hear this sensitive information and make a ruling. Even in lawsuits these groups could make a decision, without disclosing to the public the sensitive material that supposedly must be protected. And on these committees there will be people who can prosecute those in the government who did things they were not supposed to do. There should also be a strict method of keeping logs in all government organizations, and these groups must be given all related information. If they know there are documents missing, people go to the chopping block. There should be absolutely zero room for negotiations with something like this. There is too much at stake. The people are supposed to run the country, yet they do not, especially when the government does not have to tell them anything. The government only tells a small part of different things, which is ridiculous. And it is mostly because what they are doing is not legal, or not moral, etc.



posted on Apr, 25 2013 @ 06:42 PM
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In my opinion, this is the start and the end to "said secret." We are born and are documented by the paperwork the delivering doctor must sign, and then given a number: we call it a social security number. Just think about even the label we apply to this number, in light of what a lot of folks now realize....social and security in our current situation usually equates to an insecurity, as what we are told is generally the opposite of what is and continues to be.

Once you've realized that, I think, everything that follows and does follow is no longer a secret, anymore than it was designed to keep our society secure, in any way.



posted on Apr, 26 2013 @ 10:23 AM
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True Britt and Jiggy Potamus, you have said it well. in fact all the comments above me are relevant and true.





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