Monday, July 25, 2011

Do You Want to Know a Secret?

“Do you want to know a secret? Do you promise not to tell? Closer.”
Just take 60 seconds right now and think of what secrets you are keeping. Are they about you? Are they about someone else? About something that happened?
Why are you keeping it a secret? Why do you decide to reveal a secret?
Do we keep secrets because we’re ashamed of something? Because we’re protecting someone? To retain power? Have power over someone? If someone asks you if you want to know a secret, do you automatically say yes?
The lines from the Beatles’ song refers to having kept a secret about loving someone and now telling the person. Paul McCartney and John Lennon were talking about a romantic feeling that many of us have experienced. We have a great feeling of love for a person but we don’t share it right away perhaps because we don’t want to be rejected and the feeling in the meantime is delicious. Keeping this secret doesn’t seem to hurt anyone.
But what about political secrets? Is Bradley Manning being tortured by the US government? If so, why? Why do we not know this? The face of the US must be saved? At any cost? Why did the US government not tell us the real reason they illegally invaded Iraq? We could go on and on with the secrets.
Has Momar Gadhafy been murdering his people? Why is the US concerned with this situation, the situation in Egypt, in Iraq, Afghanastan, and not in Gaza, not in the Congo, not in many other countries around the world? Not poverty and suffering in our own country.
Now, Wiki Leaks is outing all the governments. What a relief. We can now be more informed citizens.
I began writing about Wiki Leaks and how it makes me think about the nature of and process of, and purposes of keeping and revealing secrets. The shame, the fear, the joy, the deliciousness, the sense of power that motivates us to keep them. Political and personal secrets, the aspect of protection of whom from what? Not being able to be informed citizens when governments keep secrets from us.
But I told myself, “You’ve written about that before. Government doesn’t want us to be informed citizens. Informed citizens are death to government.”
Unable to write what I wanted, I tore it up the paper.
Then Tunisia happened, Egypt. The earthquake in Japan, the tsunami, the destruction, the loss of life, the radiation. Libya, Bahrain, Yemen. And all those unnamed and unacknowledged disasters all over our world.
I am stunned. I turned the news off. Each day I try to listen to a little. I can’t. What’s happening?
We are more than the “citizens of the world” that Virginia Woolf identified herself as. We are all one. You are I and I am you and we are all together. How to think together, work together. What shall we do?
Why was the IAEA’s 2008 report that Japan’s safety measures for nuclear plants was lacking not revealed. Does it have to do with the face of Japan? How Japan wants to be seen, including being seen financially viable?
What about Raymond Davis the so-called American “diplomat” who killed two Pakistanis in Lahore? First, the US government said he was a diplomat, then a private citizen, then a “diplomatic functionary”, a security contractor from a Florida based firm, connections to Blackwater? Why was he in Mozang, Lahore?
Yes, this is all old news. But what ever happened to all these events? Anything? We can simply substitute names and places for the present. Now we have an horrendous incident of mass murder in Norway. It’s impossible to keep up with the secrets and the disturbing news of our world.
I hammer on this theme: we are citizens. We need to know the facts of what our governments are doing so that we can decide what we want them to do in this so-called democracy. Since Wiki Leaks has begun revealing governments’ secrets, it seems more and more everything the U.S. Government says is a sham, a public relations opportunity.
It seems as if all the people at the top levels of political power are basically in cahoots financially and deal behind each other’s backs and under the table to acquire as much power as possible while neglecting the populace, our health and well-being. Spending billions of dollars on war and slashing funding for entitlements and education. No one mentions these two elements in the same sentence, as if there is no causal relationship. The U.S. Government, my government, drops the iron curtain that separates the two, implying an absence of relationship. It can make you crazy. Our world is like a large scale 1950’s Hollywood “shoot-em up.” White hats and black hats. Except now it looks like nobody wins.

Power of secrets? Who has the power? Teller? Keeper?