The great Glenn Greenwald riffs on the many lies about government transparency. (HT Warren Smith) Here’s my favorite paragraph (original emphasis):
The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know virtually everything about what they do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called private individuals.
Sheldon Richman Sheldon’s spot-on conclusion:
If the politicians’ only response to revelations that they’re violating our privacy is to ask for trust, then we already have problems.
Repeat after me: Government is power. Government is not to be trusted. Ever. Even if you believe that some government is and will always be necessary, that ‘necessary’ piece of government should always be regarded as a prudent lion tamer regards the big carnivorous cats that are ‘necessary’ for him to make a living. To imagine that seemingly subdued purring lions can be trusted to be dealt with in any ways that do not include the use of strong cages, leashes, ceaseless and deep suspicion, and escape hatches is the height of romantic absurdity – wishful thinking of the most extreme and inexcusable sort. Government is by its very nature a dangerous, untrustworthy, dishonest, arrogant, slippery entity – characteristics that are by no means reduced anywhere near to insignificance by a wide franchise, regular elections, and sturdy ink-on-parchment documents called “constitutions.”
Unless you are a high-ranking government official, government - no government – is ever “Us.” It is always “Them.” And They are not to be trusted. Ever.