At possibly the most poignant time in the last 30 years, the man who valiantly did battle with the US intelligence octopus in the 1970s, Otis Pike, has died. All liberty-minded Americans should be celebrating his character and accomplishments, but there is a pervasive and undeserved lull. Mark Ames of Pando.com writes:
Pike asked questions never asked or answered since the start of the Cold War: What was America’s intelligence budget? What was the purpose of the CIA, NSA and other intelligence agencies and programs? Were they succeeding by their own standards? Were taxpayers getting their money’s worth? Were they making America safer?…The problem was that Pike asked the right questions—and that led him to some very wrong answers, as far as the powers that be were concerned.
…Today, there’s an underlying assumption that exposing dark government secrets is somehow transformative in itself, even without a wider politics to frame it. It’s hard to know where that silly assumption comes from: a vestigial Freudian faith in the transformative power of dark secrets brought to light? Are we really that foolish?
What we have instead: No hearings, no politics, no frame to make sense of this or to transform our lives for the better. Instead, we have the language of public relations and marketing, the rush to frame the story, feeding the outrage monkey and nothing to show for it.