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Secret courts create self-deception | 310 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Secret court judges upset
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 30 2013 @ 08:54 AM EDT
That doesn't say more than: If you need an insincere person get a patriot. He
will always say the state is always right.
"Die Partai is immer recht" quate from the DDR party song Die Partai,
Die Partai, Die Parai.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Secret courts create self-deception
Authored by: jbb on Sunday, June 30 2013 @ 03:23 PM EDT
Lies we tell ourselves.

This one (that the court is not part of the government) goes right along with the lie that corporate campaign contributions are not bribes. The sad part is that even though all branches of our government have been throughly corrupted, the people who are neck deep in the corruption are blind to it. This is why institutionalized secret courts are so dangerous. It's not because the people running them are bad human beings; it's because all human beings are prone to self-deception. We all play the hero in the stories we tell ourselves. When we do things in secret it lets our self-told stories dominate our reality. By bringing the light of day to these secret proceedings, Snowden has offered these judges the gift of self-reflection.

The judges' protests about how their secret court is perceived highlights the extreme danger these courts pose to the public. The problem is not that the public perception is skewed, the problem is the court's self-perception is skewed by the secrecy. Here's an example from the article:

"The court is a neutral party, not a collaborator or arm of the government," said one government official close to the court.
Such obvious self-contradicting insanity is not limited to anonymous government sources. The director of the NSA told the people of the United States of America that he has no knowledge of or interest in WikiLeaks. No sane person would try to foist such an obvious lie, cloaked as an admission of total incompetence, on the public they are supposed to be answering to. Institutionalized secret courts inevitably leads to this kind of self-serving self-deception. This is why the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees us the right to a "speedy and public trial". Courts that are secret will always diverge from the common public consensus reality. This is also why these issues are so contentious. Realities are in conflict.

Many of the greatest human institutions: democracy, our legal system, the methods of science including peer review and open publication; are tools to help protect ourselves from distorted realities caused by self-deception. If institutionalized secret courts actually worked without spiralling down into a separate reality fueled by self-deception then we wouldn't need these other great institutions. There would be no need for peer review in science or for free and fair elections in government.

Just like secrecy and self-deception fuel corruption in government, they fuel dysfunction in families. The first rule of every dysfunctional family is to keep it secret. What happens in the family stays in the family. Secrets and dysfunction are two sides of the same coin. Dysfunctional relationships cannot thrive in the light of day. They must be kept secret to survive. Likewise, keeping things dark and secret breeds dysfunction and what is called dysfunction in family situations is called corruption in governments.

This is why the US government is so intent on punishing Snowden and all whistle blowers. From the government's perspective, they have violated the primary rule of dysfunctional families: keep the dysfunction (corruption) inside the family. In the eyes of the president, in the eyes of these secret courts, even in the eyes of most members of Congress; Snowden is guilty of aiding and abetting the enemy because the government perceives the people of the United States of America as the enemy.

Of course that doesn't make sense. That's why they feel the need to keep so much of what they do secret. By keeping it secret, the obvious contradictions in their reality need not be faced or corrected. I imagine the release of these secrets is actually physically painful to them because it forces them to re-evaluate their reality. As Don Marquis said:

If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you;
But if you really make them think, they'll hate you.
The biggest revelations by far that have resulted from the NSA leaks have not been about the massive data collection by the NSA. The biggest revelations have been that all these emperors in the corrupt corporate government and the corrupt corporate media have no clothes. Their relentless pursuit to persecute the leaker and to smear him and everyone else associated with bringing their secrets to the light of day shows off their true colors and exposes their self-delusion and warped reality to the rest of humanity.

Our job is to remind ourselves that there are more contexts
than the one we’re in now — the one that we think is reality.
-- Alan Kay

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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