[ExI] sugar industry corruption

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 16 18:16:15 UTC 2016

On Sep 16, 2016, at 10:47 AM, William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Well BillW, you know the cure for having not looked into it, ja?  So do we.
> spike
> Let's get our issue straight here.  Take the Freedom of Information Act Lyndon Johnson signed.  I see big problems with it re the press.  If the public, including the press, cannot access gov. actions then what good is the freedom of the press?  
> Again, I have not looked into it in detail, but here is a problem:  the Bush administration, as have numerous others, I suppose, put the lid on sensitive information by declaring it a secret (just researching secrecy would take all my time for weeks, likely).  The press howled about the abuse but I never saw anything further about it (following such things is not exactly a hobby of mine, and some of you may know about it).
> Clearly, subsequent administrations of different political party, could reclassify such things as  would embarrass former gov. officials, and maybe that has been done.
> What other freedoms is the press missing?  What can we do about it?

So you basically view everything in this area as fine, maybe with a few exceptions -- minor ones that can easily be seen as sort of accounting errors? Reporters being threatened, fined, or jailed is a tiny problem for freedom of the press? The fact that tv stations can lose their license is a minor matter, too, I guess. When one reporter is punished, what do think happens to the rest? Will they all be eager to go to court (you ever been to court? not a fun way to spend your day, is it?), pay a fine, or end up in a cage? Unlikely. It can have a chilling effect on others, especially when much of the public might side with the government.

And government control of information -- not only classified stuff, but the press pooling* done with the first Persian Gulf War (under Bush the Elder) -- is nothing, right? 

It could be that RSF's evaluation method is questionable, that maybe the US doesn't rank as low as they believe. I like to believe some of this stuff overreports US malfeasance and underreports foreign ditto. That still wouldn't erase the very real issues -- issues actual libertarians should care about.

Also, government classifying stuff as national security started long before Bush. It's a means of avoiding scrutiny. And this stuff goes on in similar fashion in other parts of government. I recall a municipal council meeting where the council went into 'executive session' to clear the public and reporter from the room. Who knows what they discussed, but the point seemed clear: they didn't want the public or the press to know about it. 


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* The Pentagon learned one lesson from the Vietnam War: Don't give the press a free hand to report on a conflict or you lose the ability to shape the narrative.
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