This may only be about one thing; however in this rare occasion I think Mitt actually made a reasonable request although most people won’t think it is reasonable at first.
By now you have probably heard that Mitt Romney has responded to a request for his tax returns by saying the following:
The response to this from most sources on the so-called left, including Rachel Maddow and the Daily KO has been has been mostly ridicule implying that this is an unreasonable request. Rachel responded by saying sarcastically “really” and then going on to question how this is even connected. Jed Lewison at the Daily KO responded by saying that: “If that were the policy, it wouldn't result in more transparency, it would simply mean that presidents would no longer have meaningful conversations with foreign leaders, because no foreign leader in their right mind would agree to such terms.”
This is simply not true especially when you’re dealing with a country as powerful as the USA. No country in the world would hesitate to deal with the USA if the USA adopts a reasonable position. By repeating the assumption that foreign policy should be kept secret over and over again they’re using propaganda to convince the public that when they make decisions about who to vote for they should just assume that they shouldn’t be entitled to the information they need to make important decisions because this is so important that we can trust our leaders to do what is right.
There is just one problem with this assumption.
It is dead wrong!
Our leaders lie to us about one foreign policy decision after another and it almost always turns out that we go to war based on lies.
One of the biggest and most recent examples of this is Downing Street Memo which, combined with an enormous amount of other evidence indicates that we started the second Iraq War based on lies. This probably isn’t the exception it is almost certainly the rule and in most cases the public probably never finds out about it; nor is anything new. The following excerpt from the Nixon Administration indicates how little our leaders have truly been about the well being of the public except those with a significant amount of political power.
By talking so lightly about how “Small nations object to having their fate decided by larger ones.” And how “we wouldn’t want to anger Albania.” They clearly demonstrate the attitude that many of the most powerful people have towards those that don’t know what is going on. Many people including Robert Dallek have stated or implied that Nixon was the exception when it comes to this kind of attitude; however I have no doubt that a closer look at the history of foreign policy will indicate that the biggest thing if not the only things that makes him an exception is the fact that he did a worse job hiding his beliefs; made tapes of them; and got caught in a very public manner.
On top of that there is of course the Pentagon Papers and other reports from Vietnam and many other conflicts to indicate that these wars were also fought based on lies. The past behavior of the government clearly should indicate that the most powerful people in our country clearly can’t be trusted in these decision as much as most of us would like to believe.
There isn’t a country in the world that can provide a real military threat to the USA; in fact the greatest threat to the USA clearly seems to be from within and this is partly a result of the secrecy that our leaders continue to do things including foreign policy.
This discussion of course arose as a result of Barack Obama’s recent statement which was overheard on the mike, “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” This statement was followed up by a friendly pat on the hand and a response from Dmitry Medvedev, “I understand.”
It is hard to imagine how or why Barack Obama made this “blunder” in front of an open mike; presidents including Barack Obama clearly had plenty of opportunity to learn from open mike mistakes; regardless of why he made this mistake this should initiate an important discussion about whether or not the public should have the information they need to make decisions about the leaders they choose to conduct foreign policy.
This discussion should not be used to repeat the false assumption that the public should be kept in the dark about many of the most important decision including foreign policy based on the assumption that secrecy increases security.
Clearly the obsession with secrecy on this subject hasn’t increased security at all; in fact it has done the opposite!
This doesn’t mean that Mitt Romney is right about many if any other issues; nor does it mean that he can be trusted to release his transcripts of conversations with foreign leaders if he were to become president one way or another.
Let’s face it Mitt Romney Flip Flops on everything; clearly we can expect that he is only making this request for the short term benefit of his campaign even if it backfires. Once he gets in office he can be expected to be as secretive as Obama if not much worse.
However, Rachel Maddow was right that when she claimed that Mitt Romney lies all the time. (minimum XI part series; early parts don’t link to later parts so additional segments may not be reflected in this link.) this is clearly enough evidence to indicate that he can’t be trusted to be president even if he did say the right thing for the wrong reasons.
Barack Obama has his history of lying as well; however he usually does a better job at appearing to be sincere without actually being sincere. Clearly neither of these two candidates should be considered serious contenders; unfortunately the Mass Media continues to try to tell the public that these are the only viable candidates.
This is a lie, or implied lie on the part of the Mass Media.
They’re hoping that the public won’t notice that there are many other candidates for presidential offices including some that will have national access to the ballot. Under these circumstances the claim that you would be throwing away your vote unless you chose from the candidates presented as “viable” by the Mass Media is a lie; in fact the opposite is true.
In order to be considered “viable” by the Mass media they have to collect an enormous amount of campaign contributions from the corporations adopt the ideologies of the political elite and abandon the best interests of the majority.
Fortunately the public has other options. Vote Smart has provided a list of many other candidates that are running for president for people to choose from. Both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney “refused to tell citizens where he (they) stand(s) on any of the issues addressed in the 2012 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.” This should be enough to disqualify them both. In order to qualify for high office the candidate should be willing to answer question from the public or the closest thing available to direct question. Vote Smart may not be perfect but they’re more sincere than the Mass Media and the candidates.
At least one of the candidates from that list has agreed to answer those questions and, as far as I can tell Jill Stein has a much more reasonable position on these issues. The following is what she wrote about foreign policy:
This doesn’t indicate whether or not she believes that foreign policy should be done in complete secrecy; however if she is sincere about it then I don’t see why she would need to do much if any business in secrecy.
Clearly Jill Stein deserves a closer look; other candidates on the list from Vote Smart may also deserve a closer look but restricting choices to those that the Mass media tell you are viable due to the fact that they collected a massive amount of bribes, thinly disguised as campaign contributions, from the corporations would be throwing away your vote.