Thursday, February 16, 2006

Government secrecy – it's despicable

It is always enlightening to draw parallels between what is happening in the US and here in Australia, when our governments are behaving badly.

There has been growing criticism of the White House's initial secrecy over VP Dick Chenney shooting (!!!) his hunting pal full of buck-shot, and other secretive behaviour. In response to White House secrecy, editor Jacob Weisberg writes:
For the right to elect leaders to have meaning, citizens have to be able to find out what the people they elect actually do in office. Similarly, the right to criticize the government presumes having something to criticize other than government secrecy.
In Australia, not only are government minister's refusing to answer a Senate Estimates committee questions about the AWB kickbacks to Saddam Hussein, the Howard government had the audacity to also gag public servants from answering questions by the Senate committee on the issue earlier this week and again today.

As the Labor Senator said (or was that Daffy Duck?), that's despicable.

And when you actually have to say, 'There's no cover-up,' does that mean there may actually be a cover-up? I think that the Howard government's been taking lessons from Sir Humphrey in Yes Minister... (for more of an idea of what I mean, Wikipedia has a string of quotes from the series.)


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