Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Inconvenient Logic: What Have You Got to Hide?

When it was discovered that the Bush administration was using warrantless searches against Americans civil libertarians complained. Those who excuse every increase in State power screamed at us: "What have you got to hide? If you are innocent you have nothing to fear."

When we learned that Homeland Security agents were going into public libraries to check up on what people were reading the civil libertarians again complained. And once again we were told that if we had done nothing wrong we would have nothing to fear.

The Homeland Gestapo now has scanners which basically take nude photos of every passenger. Civil libertarians shrieked but the authoritarians among us were adamant that this too was necessary. And, of course, if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear.

For those unwilling to be scanned in such a revealing manner the government makes sure it punishes those who resist by a new "enhanced" pat-down which includes government agents touching the genitals of resisters. Sure those crazy libertarian-inclined types were horrified. But yet again, it was made clear that if we have nothing to hide, we have nothing to fear. Only the guilty fear revelations, the innocent can have their entire life, or their genitals, open for inspection.

Now the people at Wikileaks has open for public scrutiny a slew of diplomatic reports and correspondence.

Have you noticed what we are not hearing from the authoritarians? None of them are saying, if the government has nothing to hide it has nothing to fear. None of them are saying that only the guilty need secrecy and darkness. I wonder why that is.