Saturday, November 06, 2004

The road now traveled

In an interview aired on NPR's "On The Media" this weekend, Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy commented that "If the First Amendment had been a ballot proposal this week, it wouldn't have passed."

Sad, but true.

The American people (59,459,765 anyway) have just chosen four more years of the most secretive executive branch in history. President Bush has given fewer news conferences than any other modern president. He has extended the classification time on decades-old documents scheduled to become declassified. Many documents have been arbitrarily classified in violation of the government's own proceedures. For example, the investigation into the prisoner torture at the Abu Ghraib prison was classified despite containing no national security information - the only apparent reason for the classification was to avoid further embarassment to the administration.

So this is what the American people have chosen. Government secrecy instead of freedoms of press and speech. Religious fundamentalism over religious freedom. Nationalism, unilateralism, pick your -ism. This is the road down which we are now traveling.

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