30 January 2013
Stealing Secrets Series:
Stealing secrets is huge business worldwide, not only by government spies
but by other government agencies, corporations, non-profits, religious and
educational institutions, mercenaries, hackers, informants, private
investigators, lawyers, architects (mea maxima culpa), doctors, therapists,
professionals of all stripes, and innumerable individuals usually not suspect.
Alex Gibney's inadvertently self-confessional documentary "We Steal Secrets
- The WikiLeaks Story," deftly portrays, and itself demonstrates, a small
sampling of the burgeoning business and has been pilloried by WikiLeaks and
it followers as if stealing secrets is not exactly what WikiLeaks does and
promotes others to do under guise of public service, the very same disguise
worn by official spies and others claiming to serve the public by prying
into private and privileged stashes. Not incidentally another of Gibney's
films, "Mea Maxima Culpa," is self-confessionally titled.
Come on now, all disclosure sites steal secrets, Cryptome steals secrets,
Gibney steals secrets , journalists, writers, documentarians, filmmakers,
artists and scholars and freedom of information activists steal secrets,
every web site operator steals secrets -- don't believe log files are never
kept. Privacy policies were invented and ingeniously legally-laundered to
steal users' secrets.
Anybody or institution which denies stealing secrets is lying -- a habitual
and ancient tradition. Journalists are taught in universities to steal secrets
by lying, flattery and promises. So too priests and psychiatrists and "helping"
professions. Data gathering is stealing secrets, bigger the data bigger the
theft -- and bigger the lying about it.
The Internal Revenue Service is the greatest thief of secrets in the United
States, uniquely privileged and empowered by law to gather the most intimate
information about tax payers, tax avoiders, births and deaths, jobs and
expenditures, relatives and write-offs. If you want to experience
near-waterboarding try an IRS audit, then expect several more dousings for
lying. And IRS is able to do all this far beyond what spies and corporations
can legally and illegally do. If you believe IRS data remains secret, well,
think again about what IRS employees, temps and frequent turnovers, variable
contractors, hackers, leakers and dot-connectors know about you you thought
was kept secret.
Second in this thieving capability is the Justice Department. Competing and
always winning for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on for capability, is the military
and national security agencies, armed magnificently with weapons and presidential
orders to assure information stealing dominance.
No institution benefits more from stealing of secrets than legislatures,
judges, justice and law enforcement systems, military and elected leaders
which pass laws and enforce them to generate funding for government, and
erect prisons, punishments and military action for violators of official
This is true for every government in the world no matter democratic, socialist,
communist, tyranny, despot or religious-faith based. And with governments
are those privileged by government exceptionalism, religions topmost for
willing complicity of covert exploitation of belief in separation of church
and state, but not far behind are those given special protection to
steal secrets by hook and crook, the dealers in information, name your favorite
In response to this preferred and promoted model any sensible person steals
secrets, promises to keep secrets, promotes others to do the same and
sanctimoniously denies doing this.
Hey, it's patriotic, heroic, award-winning, acclaimed,
family-protective and profitable, and best, backed by the history of
Secrets were invented and inflated in importance to be stolen, not that many
are worth the effort, the mostly worthless sells as well as the over-celebrated