From my days in the Army Security Agency in Vietnam, a branch of the National Security Agency, I learned one clear lesson: “Top Secret” keeps everyone involved, except the very few at the top, completely in the dark.
In such a classified world it is essential that each cog in the wheel be kept completely ignorant of the workings of the other cogs and wheels. Only the “masters” of the system get to see the big plan. Assigning all communications, memos and briefs as “Top Secret” is the perfect way to run a dictatorship.
No one squawks when all they can see is one small piece of the pie being baked. If the pie happens to be a naked grab for power at the cost of liberty, and freedom from government intrusion and intimidation, the cogs never know, until the pie is baked.
Thank goodness that there are men and women with courage and scruples at the top who will “squawk” when the see such a pie being baked. And thank goodness there are reporters and newspapers with the courage to expose such poisonous pies to the people.
The very nature of government is power and control. In times of great fear and trembling and fear mongering to hand over individual power to the state for the sake of “national security” seems prudent. Yet, once taken up, those holding the reins seldom relinquish their new power. It is as if the lust for power, like any dark addiction, only breeds more lust.
To prosecute the “squawkers,” to kill the messengers of such ill tidings, is not the choice of a free people.
Dr. JOHN BOMAR, a veteran of the Vietnam War, is a Catholic Lay Minister in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org