Power and Obfuscation

I wrote yesterday about the evils of the National Defense Authorization Act. Much ado has been made of the indefinite detention provisions in the bill, and rightly so. I find  myself wondering however if this entire spectacle was not carefully choreographed to divert attention from a not-quite-as-onerous but still very dangerous provision of the bill.
This provision: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c112:1:./temp/~c112pKVoM5:e357685: prevents the Department of Defense from collecting information on which political campaigns defense contractors contribute to. It does not prevent other agencies from doing so, but it is one more road to uncovering these activities that has been closed off.
It isn’t the end of the world. Journalists and other interested parties will still have other avenues  to explore in digging up this information. We lose, however, more than just a passive source of information. We lose the possibility of a whistle blower making us aware of a Congressman’s back room deal with a contractor in their district.
Power corrupts, if you believe Lord Acton. The increased ability to do what you want, when you want, is a temptation that I do not think any of us can honestly profess we would be able to resist. The harsh light of truth is one of the only defenses we have against it and the NDAA is taking a small part of this defense away.
This is why we need to better arm ourselves, not with guns, knives and bombs, but with knowledge. Sign up for newsletters from every party, go right to the AP website, and read as many blogs, from as many different points of view as you can. Don’t just do this to understand the other, although that is always a noble cause, but so you know what is going on around you, and you have a better chance of shining the light of truth on those that rely on shadows.


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