Thursday, July 26, 2007

Unnecessary Secrecy

Lenin, in a post on the vague kinds of information the public receives with respect to risk:
A ubiquitous public understanding of risks and how to handle them is fatal to power, because the sources of these risks are quite commonly embedded in our social structure. In the United States, for example, an exercise called Dark Winter was run in June 2001 by the John Hopkins Centre for Civilian Biodefense. It involved several senior national politicians and former security and intelligence directors. Its findings were perfectly predictable: one was that the political leadership was fairly clueless about how to handle such things as bioattacks; another was that America's healthcare system didn't have the capacity to deal with such eventualities; another was that the response of ordinary people would be key. The latter is very often the case: the response of passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 was in some ways a model in disaster-prevention - they stopped the attackers from finding a much better target than a field in Pennsylvania by collectively discussing the situation and then acting decisively. But the broader point is that to understand the risks we live with is not merely to have a handle on the failings of a particular administration. It is to strip away the mostly unnecessary secrecy of official deliberations and planning. This would render us both more effective at dealing with problems and less susceptible to scaremongering. It is also to understand properly the nature of the social world that we are reproducing (and may choose to stop reproducing at some point).

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lenin actually buys the official 911 Conspiracy version of events? God help us.

July 26, 2007 10:01 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Sigh.

July 26, 2007 10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sigh is right. See if you see any problem with the flight 93 official version & this news footage here at the scene of the crime. "How little debris is visible...just a large crater in the ground...tiny, tiny bits of debris...nothing larger than a phonebook. Just a large gouge in the earth...nothing that you could distinguish that a plane had crashed there." Fascinatingly, the 911 Commission tells us that they recovered 2 terrorist passports from this scene. They must be so evil that their passports are indestructible.
Paul Craig Roberts Paul Craig Roberts was the Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury under the Reagan aministration & the mastermind behind the economic policy that became known as Reaganomics. As he tells us
...The combination of oddities within 911 become inexplicable, a statistical impossibility.
Powerfully constructed buildings collapse when there is no source of the required energy to do the job. A large 757 hits the Pentagon but leaves a small hole, and there is no sign of wings, engines, tail or fuselage. Every air control and military procedure fails, and hijacked airliners are not intercepted by jet fighters. The alleged hijackers' names apparently are not on the passenger lists, and some of the alleged hijackers have been found alive and well in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Thomas R. Olmstead used the Freedom of Information Act to get a copy of the autopsy list of American Airlines flight 77, and he reports that there are no Arabic names on the list."

But as Marshall McLuhan wrote, "Only puny secrets need protection. Big discoveries are protected by public
incredulity."

July 26, 2007 12:42 PM  
Blogger Ellis said...

A yawn might be even better than a sigh.

July 28, 2007 6:30 AM  

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