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Secrecy: The Movie

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posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 10:32 PM
This looks like it will be a must see movie for all ATSers.
I would be very interested to see just how accurate the information is and if the those being interviewed tell it how it is or if they are standardised prepared answers?

In a single recent year the U.S. classified about five times the number of pages added to the Library of Congress. We live in a world where the production of secret knowledge dwarfs the production of open knowledge. Depending on whom you ask, government secrecy is either the key to victory in our struggle against terrorism, or our Achilles heel. But is so much secrecy a bad thing?

Secrecy saves: counter-terrorist intelligence officers recall with fury how a newspaper article describing National Security Agency abilities directly led to the loss of information that could have avoided the terrorist killing of 241 soldiers in Beirut late in October 1983. Secrecy guards against wanton nuclear proliferation, against the spread of biological and chemical weapons. Secrecy is central to our ability to wage an effective war against terrorism.

Secrecy corrupts. From extraordinary rendition to warrant-less wiretaps and Abu Ghraib, we have learned that, under the veil of classification, even our leaders can give in to dangerous impulses. Secrecy increasingly hides national policy, impedes coordination among agencies, bloats budgets and obscures foreign accords; secrecy throws into the dark our system of justice and derails the balance of power between the executive branch and the rest of government.

This film is about the vast, invisible world of government secrecy. By focusing on classified secrets, the government's ability to put information out of sight if it would harm national security, Secrecy explores the tensions between our safety as a nation, and our ability to function as a democracy.

But who to interview? From the beginning, we aimed to show a world of secrecy as seen by those in it, not by pundits celebrating or castigating from their perches. Nor did we want famous former heads of agencies or high-ranking politicians who had already spoken so frequently on issues of public policy that they were likely to quote themselves—or return to justify actions they had taken. Instead, we wanted to get a sense of how more usual people moved in the shadow world, agents and analysts, for example. One of the former agents served in many postings across the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia, including years as CIA Station Chief in Jerusalem. Our other Agency interlocutor worked both in the Intelligence and Operations Directorates; inter alia, he helped run a group on "Foreign Denial and Deception" (a fabulous title that means denying information to other intelligence services and deceiving them). He also takes very hard-line stance on press leaks. Finally, from the National Security Agency, we found the National Security Agency (NSA)'s long-time head of information security, a guardian of the secrets of the most secretive of government agencies—they make the CIA look open.

Of course they will not be 'exposing' any major conspiracies or revealing any top secret data, but more the processes and thinking behind the secrecy policies.

Secrecy: The Movie

posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 10:42 PM
Agreed. This is an important time for all to understand what is/has happened to "their" government.


posted on Sep, 4 2008 @ 10:42 PM
[edit on 4-9-2008 by ColoradoJens]

posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 12:42 AM
reply to post by ColoradoJens

Exactly. Even though it is US based, I am sure we will all benefit from the info world wide.

Here is a little more about it.

Bit by bit, we began to find ways to get at this epoch struggle over secrecy—what the stakes were, how to make the secrecy wars visible, how to shuttle between the political and the personal. But we knew that the film couldn't work as we wanted it to, if it did not find a way to get at how the rubber met the road—how these positions, passionately held as they were, played out in the broader world.

So we chose two remarkable and hugely influential Supreme Court cases—and followed what they meant for the structure of secrecy. One case launched secrecy as the in early years of the Cold War, the other is urgently contemporary, still being fought as and it shapes and reshapes boundaries between the President, the law, and secrecy. We ended up wending both of these cases through the film; they take battles over secrecy and give them a human, personal dimension.

Throughout the long process of making this film, we've intentionally not proceeded as if the issue of national security secrecy could be tied "solved" with an easy set of steps. We see the issues of secrecy as tough, among the hardest we face as we, and not just in the United States, struggle to bolster democracy in a time of great fear.

I hope it makes it way here to Australia at some point.

For those interested (and those in the US), here are some upcoming screenings with a feww opportunies to 'meet' the makers of the film...
If anyone has seen it or knows any more about it, please provide some feed back.

September 5, 2008
Big Sky Film Series – Missoula, MT

September 5-11, 2008
Gene Siskel Film Center – Chicago, IL
Peter Galison in person Sept 5 @ 8pm

September 12-18, 2008
Cinema Village – New York, NY
Peter Galison & Robb Moss in person Sept 12 (show time TBA)

September 8-14, 2008 State Theatre – Traverse City, MI

September 19-25, 2008
Brattle Theatre – Cambridge, MA
Peter Galison & Robb Moss in person Sept 19 (show time TBA)

September 26, 28, 29, 2008
Palace Theater – Hilo, HI

October 3-6, 2008
The Times Cinema – Milwaukee, WI

October 10-16, 2008
Northwest Film Forum – Seattle, WA
Robb Moss in person Oct 10

October 14-16, 2008
AFI Silver – Silver Spring, MD
Peter Galison & Robb Moss in person Oct 14 (show time TBA)

October 17-23, 2008
Laemmle's Music Hall – Los Angeles, CA

October 21, 22, 29 2008
Alamo Ritz – Austin, TX

October 22, and 24-30, 2008
Denver Film Society – Denver, CO

October 24-30, 2008
Landmark's Opera Plaza – San Francisco, CA
Robb Moss in person Oct 24 (show time TBA)

October 26-28, 2008
Guild Cinema – Albuquerque, NM

November 1, 2008
Wexner Center for the Arts – Columbus, OH
Robb Moss in person Nov 1 (show time TBA)

November 6-12, 2008
Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center – Lincoln, NE

November 7, 2008
Honolulu Academy of the Arts – Honolulu, HI

January 8-9, 2009
Webster University Film Series – St. Louis, MO

posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 10:43 AM
Please keep ATS informed of any other media like this, if you can. As a filmmaker, I can tell you there are dozens of excellent films like this that typically are shown at filmfests or at house cinemas - as an example, I had a film in the ROME INTERNATIONAL film fest - HA! Rome GA! Anyway, I went from NY to this tiny town in Georgia, stayed at the holiday inn and ate at the fast food joints etc etc... Turns out I saw one of the best documentaries on the build up to the war I have even seen, in a "theater" inside a roller-rink. It is amazing the level of professionalism and dedication to the truth that MANY world citizens show. It is easy to dismiss anything in our oversaturated propaganda world, but hopefully one will have enough fortitude to dig through the crap and realize yes, something is wrong and yes, I can be a part of the solution. Thanks again and good post.


[edit on 5-9-2008 by ColoradoJens]

posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 07:17 PM
Thanks for that. Yes. I have often found that some of the best works (documentary style) are usually only shown in smal 'art house' type teatres so much of the public miss out. Maybe gores Innacurate Truth should have stayed art house

This one will be in NY next week. If you get a chance to see it let me know. Looking forward to the feedback

Thanks again

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