November 16, 2008 – Is a government of secrets what the founders of this nation had in mind?
By The Cerebral Aesthetic Vagabond
Who knew that when one of our more colorful presidents introduced the phrase “Don’t ask, don’t tell” into our lexicon he was erecting a future guidepost for government. As gays pushed their way out of the closet over the last three decades, the government, aided and abetted by that new mantra, elbowed its way into the closet, seeking to shield itself from the scrutiny of the very people it serves. Or is it the other way around today?
Most recently, the Federal Reserve (a chameleon-like organization that can assume the appearance of a government department or a private firm, depending on which is more convenient at any given time) and the Treasury Department are doing their bang up best to take the secrecy prize this year.
First this tag team, using the threats of stock market crashes and martial law in the streets, cajoled Congress into passing the infamous “bailout bill” (actually the second, 451-page, “economic patriot act” bailout bill), which turned out to be a theatrical diversion anyway because the two financial organizations had been bailing out companies to a far greater extent on the side, secretly, and without the aid of any bailout bill.
Then they performed the old bait-and-switch maneuver in deciding to spend the bailout money in a totally different manner than proffered to Congress. Oddly enough, the stock market didn’t crash due to a lack of these bailout funds.
And then, despite a perfunctory promise of “transparency” in order to secure passage of the bailout bill, the Fed and the Treasury have been remarkably reticent, to say the least, about how they are spending trillions of taxpayer dollars. Private citizens and Congress itself have implored the duo to reveal how they are spending our money, but to no avail. The secrecy is so brazen and the suspicion of malfeasance is so strong that an insider company, Bloomberg, was moved to file suit in Federal Court to force the Federal Reserve to disclose how the money is being spent. You know there’s a problem when one insider organization has to sue another to ferret out the truth!
The President’s Working Group on Financial Markets (PPT), in which the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department are key participants, was established by President Reagan following the 1987 stock market crash to ensure that such a crash would never occur again. While preventing stock market crashes may have been a noble goal, as has been noted thousands of times in the historical record, once people are given power they cannot help but abuse it.
Consequently, the PPT today engages in the daily manipulation of all markets, globally: stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities, precious metals, and even real estate. As Chris Powell, of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA), succinctly asks, what do we have today, Markets, or just interventions? And these manipulations (interventions) are not solely intended to prevent chaos, if at all, but to generate profits for politically-connected insiders.
Curiously, the Fed and Treasury apparently forget all about their own PPT when raising the specter of a stock market crash should Congress fail to pass the bailout bill. Hmm ... that performance reminds me of one by a president who incessantly harped about some still undiscovered WMDs.
Of course, this is all speculation on my part – albeit, amply backed up by circumstantial evidence – because the government won’t tell us what the PPT is doing, when it’s doing it or why. If this is a legitimate function of government, then why can’t its workings be publicly divulged? Why should only a few insiders benefit from foreknowledge of which direction the PPT is planning to move the markets? This is a government of the people, by the people and for the people, darn it!
Is it any wonder with all this secrecy in the financial markets that people no longer have any confidence in them? A lack of confidence is a serious problem in an economy and financial system that have devolved into a confidence game, like those of the U.S.
One thing that might help restore confidence in the financial markets would be a fair and independent audit of the gold reserves the U.S. supposedly has in storage. According to the GATA, the U.S. gold reserves have not been audited since 1955 (come on, surely we can afford to audit these reserves more frequently than twice a century), and there’s every reason to believe that the approximately 8,000 tons of gold the government claims to hold is simply no longer there, which would certainly explain why it has successfully resisted demands for such audits. It’s been speculated that this gold has been sold and leased (indirectly sold) in order to help balance the government’s budget and suppress gold prices (and boost the value of the U.S. dollar, the sole “product” of the Federal Reserve). The government could easily quell all this consternation and enhance confidence in the U.S. dollar and the U.S. financial system by simply submitting to such an audit. Is the quantity of gold in the reserves a matter of national security? Certainly, the absence of said gold would be a matter of national security!
These lessons in secrecy are not lost on our new president-elect, who has chosen to ignore the little matter of his eligibility to actually be the President of the United States, before even becoming the President of the United States! Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution reads,
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
I assume that natural born means born within the territorial boundaries of the United States. It’s my belief that our president-elect was born in Kenya, which, according to my limited geographical knowledge is not, nor ever has been within the territorial boundaries of the United States. I have no proof that the president-elect was born in Kenya, but there is circumstantial evidence to that effect, not the least of which is the president-elect’s own failure to offer any evidence to the contrary. In fact, all records pertaining to the president-elect in both Hawaii and Kenya have been sealed. What records in Kenya could possibly have any relevance to the president-elect of the United States? I can think of only one such record: proof that the president-elect was born there and not here.
Yes, the president-elect did graciously offer us a digitized copy of a Certification of Live Birth, which is not the same thing as an original birth certificate. For starters, this Certification of Live Birth, official though it may be, is obviously printed on a laser printer, which technology did not exist in 1961. So there must be an original birth certificate somewhere. Why not present that original birth certificate and allow a document expert to attest to its authenticity? Is that too much to ask of a man who purports to represent 300 million people?
I really couldn’t care less who is the president (unless it’s Ron Paul); I simply don’t understand why the president-elect needs to keep his birth certificate a secret. The trend of the last four presidents has been toward increasing secrecy, but it does not bode well that the incoming president is embracing a policy of secrecy before even being sworn into office!
What are chemtrails? Countless people, including myself, have asked that question but have been answered with nothing but deafening silence from the powers-that-be. I see these chemtrails all the time, even out here in the remoteness of rural Kentucky, seemingly with no rhyme or reason, although they often appear just before it’s forecast to rain, as if the rain is expected to wash the chemicals down to ground level.
It has been claimed that these chemtrails are to combat global warming, but then I would expect to see them laid down with some regularity and over vast areas. Instead these chemtrails seem to appear in a wide range of sizes and patterns and at sporadic intervals, as if whenever the government has the funds, manpower or equipment available, or perhaps just when the pharmaceutical companies need some new customers complaining of respiratory ailments. I’m of the opinion that these chemtrails are of a nefarious nature, but unfortunately all we can do is speculate about what they are and why they are being disbursed upon us.
Would it be so difficult, so alarming to the public for the government to give us a simple explanation? This is a government that has adroitly exploited a fearful public. I would think telling that same public that they were facing global warming-induced incineration within forty-five years would scare the living daylights out of them. Imagine the opportunities availed by harnessing that fear!
While it’s busy explaining to us what chemtrails are, maybe the government can tell us, too, why a toxic chemical, fluoride, is increasingly being added to our public water supplies. I’m no conspiracy theorist (oh, wait, I am!), but it seems that if one wanted to degrade the health of a population, filling the air and water with poisons would be a good start. The next logical course of action would be to poison food as well, by contaminating it with, oh, I don’t know, maybe Chinese melamine, for starters. Or maybe just destroy the nutritional value of food by, say, irradiating it.
But again, all I can do is speculate. The government has yet to offer a credible justification for adding fluoride to our water. In fact, more studies show that the substance is harmful than show that it’s beneficial, so it seems sensible to err on the side of caution by not adding the stuff to our water. If people want to ingest fluoride, surely some enterprising pharmaceutical company can produce a fluoride supplement pill for them. After all, mercury injections are available for the asking. (You still gotta pay for them, however.)
What is the purpose of all these FEMA concentration camps that Halliburton was hired to build, supposedly to cope with “an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs”? I seriously doubt that they are intended to house a surge of illegal immigrants in luxurious splendor because we’re already facing a surge of illegal immigrants, thanks in part to the economy-destroying NAFTA, yet the concentration camps remain devoid of illegal immigrants. I’m more interested in those ominous “new programs.” Could someone in the government please tell us what “new programs” are being rapidly developed? Perhaps reeducation camps for “dissidents,” big-mouthed bloggers and 9/11 skeptics?
Speaking of 9/11, which represents the mother lode of government secrets, is it asking too much to see a single video of an airplane crashing into the Pentagon? Were there no video cameras in the vicinity of the Pentagon? Would airing such a video of the exterior of the Pentagon undermine national security so much that the government cannot take the risk? Just one video is all I ask. At this point I’d even settle for a good quality, computer-generated video.
When the people and its congressional representatives do have the temerity to ask questions of our government, it often simply refuses to answer. Even the landmark Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) has failed to sufficiently loosen the lips of our government. According to the Freedom Of Information Act Annual Report, Fiscal Year 2007 (PDF), of the 4,792 requests for information processed, a generous 437 (less than 10%) were fully satisfied; 929 were partially satisfied; and 3,426 (over 70%) were rejected. In addition, the department began the year 2007 with a backlog of 3,799 pending requests and ended the year with 4,085 pending requests; the backlog increased. The department complains, “The Department has begun to experience serious workforce challenges,” citing all kinds of reasons why it cannot seem to hire enough personnel to process requests in a timely manner. One would think this was a huge department with enormous staffing requirements. So how many people work in the FOIA department? 104.25. (Don’t ask me what 0.25 of a person looks like, ‘cause I don’t tell. Besides, one quarter of a person sounds pretty gross. Is that the top quarter, the bottom quarter or one of the middle quarters?) A hundred people? And they’re having difficulty staffing the department? This is the federal government, which currently employs several million people! If it wanted to adequately staff the FOIA department, it could do so with a few clicks on a computer keyboard, and the additional salaries wouldn’t even amount to a perceptible blip in the government’s annual budget deficit. If, instead, the government wishes to retain its secrets, what better way than to minimize the number of people authorized to divulge them?
Who was it, again, who said, “The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings”? Oh, yeah, it was President John F. Kennedy, in 1961, and sad to say, official secrecy, beginning with the investigation of President Kennedy’s own death, has only become more endemic and more brazen.