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27 Mar, 2015

Scott Horton: How to Rein in a Secretive Shadow Government Is Our National Security Crisis

Mark Karlin: Many book dedications are to relatives or friends of the author. You dedicate your book to Andrei Sakharov. Why so?

Scott Horton: Andrei Sakharov was one of the most important and underappreciated thinkers of the last century. He also saw the problem I am writing about – the threat that secrecy presents to human happiness and progress – with exceptional clarity and had innovative ideas about how to cope with it. Sakharov recognized that the Soviet Union rested on a colossal false premise – it was not so much socialism (though Sakharov was certainly a critic of socialism) as it was the obsession with secrecy, which obstructed the search for truth, avoided the exposure of mistakes, and led to the rise of powerful bureaucratic elites who were at once incompetent and prone to violence.

Sakharov understood that the Soviet Union carried in itself the seeds to its own destruction, and he realized that above all things, corralling secrecy was essential to overcome the worst of the Soviet legacy.

Sakharov also recognized that while a comparatively small number of secrets were legitimate, the people who had access to those secrets also had a duty to insure that the public appreciated the threats and problems those secrets implied. That indeed was the consideration that led this exceptionally thoughtful and private man to become one of the most important dissidents in human history.

Read the rest: http://www.truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/29636-scott-horton-how-to-rein-in-a-secretive-shadow-government-is-our-national-security-crisis