Thursday, July 05, 2007

Freedom of Info. Act: a good idea in principle

""""We ultimately got our wish in the Freedom of Information Act, signed by a reluctant President Johnson on Independence Day 1966, and first implemented 40 years ago today. FOIA is essentially democracy's x-ray. It's the only way that the American people can look into the black-box of government policy making and make sure the government is doing what it says it's doing or should be doing."""

Like the ACLU itself, the FOIA seems rather significant, at least in principle, but it obviously has not done much in terms of preventing political skullduggery--whether that of links oder rechts. And the "scope" of the FOIA remains a slightly unclear (though most likely 1000s of pages of legalese outline the specifics of the Act): does it apply across the board to all politicians working for the federal government (and the Peoples, supposedly)-- Or only the intelligence-related--CIA, FBI, etc.? Perhaps the FOIA could be enforced in other countries as well--implementing a FOIA in Russia or China, or islamic states as well seems like an ethical course of action, if slightly utopian. (anyone who has read a bit of bio. on Bertrand Russell will recall that the aged Russell initiated a Tribunal which would putatively enforce FOIA-like policies across the globe--an intellectual's World Court if you will---during the height of 'Nam. Chomsky, then still quite a sharp-witted gent, was in agreement)

Additionally, it seems reasonable that the FOIA would require monitoring of communications of elected and/or public officials, at all levels (even State--county? local?). Proposition 59, in California, was supposed to allow the public access to political communications of elected official, but does not seem to be having much effect either. Keeping King Arnold on a wire 24/7--i.e., monitoring ALL of his communications, whether spoken, e-mailed, phoned, or written--- is not such a bad idea (and keep Feds, State and County officials on a wire, as well as Pelosicrats, or the wannabe-Bukharins who control most of Blogland, for that matter).

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