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Should the government be allowed to keep secrets?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Atlas14, Mar 13, 2012.

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Should it be legal for federal government to keep secrets from the people?

  1. Yes

    70.0%
  2. No

    22.0%
  3. Other

    8.0%
  1. Atlas14

    Atlas14 "Sophomoric Troll Master"

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    The question is simple. Should it be legal for federal government to keep secrets from the people? This does not include confidential information such as social security information, medical history, etc. I'm asking if secrets such as who we assassinated today, weapons trade deals, the infinite conflicts and "missions" our military members and CIA members are involved in that we have absolutely no flipping idea about should all be kept secret from us.

    The reason I'm asking is because it is my opinion that close to 99% of our national security issues originate from the actions being kept secret, whereas the government tells us that we are somehow being kept "safe" from these secrets. I'm not even flipping sure what the heck that means, but it sure doesn't agree with logic. It only seems reasonable that some random joe over in the Middle East would have motivation to want to attack me over here if the government somehow pissed this dude and his buddies off majorly. I'm guessing it's not because I have the freedom to sit on a couch in my front yard eating dangerously cheesy Cheetos.

    If the government wasn't allowed to keep secrets, our voters would actually have access to valuable information that would enable them to vote for candidates that could better represent the people and the nation. It would encourage a system of honesty, among other benefits.

    I don't want to hear how the operations and abilities of the U.S. military will be "hurt" if there were to be no more secrets. As far as I'm concerned, and the reason I'm posing the question in the first place, is because they are part of the problem. They are directly contributing to making this nation unsafe by creating enemies each and every day, while killing primarily only those that some rich white guy (not me, the people) has decided is threatening.

    How is this a "government for the people, by the people" if we aren't even allowed free access to information that would make us, you know, actual informed voters?
     
  2. AlpsStranger

    AlpsStranger Jump jump on the tiger!

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    All warfare is based on deception. ~ Sun Tzu

    I'm far from a military fanboy, but there are simple realities to running a state. Saying that we can't have national secrets is very naive.

    You may not want to hear it, but it is the most valid counterpoint. If this discussion can't be based on that then expect 100% agreement. You win the rigged discussion I guess.
     
  3. Mr. Dictator

    Mr. Dictator A Chain-Smoking Fox

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    If I can keep secrets from them.
     
  4. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    Didn't we have a thread like this quite recently?
     
  5. Joecoolyo

    Joecoolyo 99% Lightspeed

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    Yeah, we did.

    I for one don't want everyone to know my social security number, nor any of the rest of my information.
     
  6. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Governments will keep secrets even if they're not "allowed" to. It's probably good that they do, it keeps us (Canada in this case) more competitive in the world.

    In the specific case of secret CIA missions, those guys have screwed up more for you guys than you probably realize. But what are you gonna do?
     
  7. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Yes. But it should be minimized as far as possible.
     
  8. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    I for one don't want nuclear bomb plans all over the internet
     
  9. kochman

    kochman Chieftain

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    Almost identical repeat thread...
     
  10. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Trekkie At Large

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    Naturally the government should be able to keep some matters secret, but secrecy can be easily abused -- and will be. No one with great power should be able to operate without some oversight.
     
  11. madviking

    madviking north american scum

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    No in the loosest sense possible.
     
  12. Save_Ferris

    Save_Ferris Admiring Myself

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    If it's for the greater good, then yes.
     
  13. Silurian

    Silurian Warlord

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    We should keep the existence of the recent thread secret.;)
     
  14. BasketCase

    BasketCase Username sez it all

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    Bear with me for a second; even though the above "isn't included" I still need to bring it up.

    The reason you (not just Atlas, but all of you) keep your SSN's secret (and if you're not, you should be!) is not because you are dishonest, but because there are other people out there who are. There are a select few people who will grab your SSN and misuse it if you don't keep it secret.

    There are many things known to governments (aside from SSN's and medical histories and such) that would be misused by dishonest people.

    Are you familiar with the counterintelligence tactic known as the "honeypot"? False info, leaked intentionally, to mislead the Other Side. Even if one isn't allowed to keep secrets, it's still easy to hide the truth (and your OP question wasn't really specific about whether governments are allowed to lie, or merely prohibited from hiding the truth).
     
  15. danjuno

    danjuno Chieftain

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    If they keep out of my business, I'll keep out of theirs.

    Needless to say, those with power will abuse it, but you'll never escape that, unless you believe in Utopias.
     
  16. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    Well the timing is important, but I propose the governments cannot keep secrets for longer than a generation. Or less.
     
  17. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    There are some secrets which would result in dead people if told. Therefore, yes, the government must keep some things secret.
     
  18. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    names of bit part informants etc, of course should be withheld in the same vein as social security numbers etc. Don't compromise privacy of individuals. But state actions and policy etc are different. Secret military projects or surveillance or behind-close-door energy policy discussions or other crazy things need to be public. Thankfully a lot of this stuff is attainable.
     
  19. Verarde

    Verarde Pondering Wearing A Hat

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    My view as well. If certain things are said by every government, there would be a lot more wars going on.
     

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