Thursday, October 15, 2009

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What does the usage of “confirm nor deny” by government officials and corporations in the face of questioning regarding eavesdropping, wiretapping, torture, and similar national security related information tell us about the way the secret is situated with regard to the truth in our democracy? When figures such as Alberto Gonzales and companies like AT&T were questioned about wiretapping and warrant-less surveillance, the parties refused to comment, and were unable to “confirm nor deny” any allegations present. They event went so far as to defend the programs legality, while simultaneously refusing to directly confirm its existence. In this example could it be said that the truth is subject to the power of the state while the state is subject to the power of law in that it is forced to acknowledge a truths being? That the state has the capacity to maintain secrets does not give it the power to lie. In acknowledging the truth (even if it means redefining things like terrorism/enhanced interrogation techniques/enemy non-combatants) it seems the state is inclined to follow the parameters of law knowing, as Paglen notes, that secrets are bound to fail.

What connections do truth, deception, and misinformation have within the texts of this week? How does Foucault’s ideas of power align with the relationship between law and state secrets?


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