Blog Post 1: Secrecy and National Security

From my understanding of what “Home on the Range” says about the “national security state,” it is the component of secrecy the national government can keep over citizens in the name of security. When discussing nuclear testing in Nevada and the lack of communication with citizens, Corry says, “Myron Glazer and Pennia Glazer argue the military and government officials’ suppression of accurate information in such cases is a fundamental condition of the national security state.” The national security state is seen in the lack of communication with Nevada and Utah sheep owners. The sheep owners were communicating with the government about their concerns for their animals and themselves to receive nothing from the government. Those people didn’t even receive reparations after the incident. The national security state does exist today even though the Cold War has ended. The government acted in its best interest when doing nuclear testing in Nevada and Utah. If it meant sheep dying and unwell farmers, the government was willing to take that risk for the overall well-being of national security. Is it right that the government did what it did? Absolutely not. The government continues to do what it thinks is best for most people, even if that means harming others in the process. The culture of secrecy grows out of the Cold War. The nation’s want for imperial power brought enemies, and with enemies came threats to national security. The need for national security was met through “the CIA and other secret bureaucracies” (Dean). Although citizens were not aware of the organization initially, “a culture of anticommunism justified and propelled the growth of this massive institutionalization of militarized secrecy.” (Dean). 

The Dean article made me think of “The Crucible. I read the play back in high school English while learning about the red scare in history class. Reading about a historical event happening nearly three centuries earlier was fascinating. It’s easy to look at the witchcraft trial and scoff at the accusations people make. I remember thinking how crazy and far-fetched the witchcraft trials seemed. But then, I learned about the red scare. Obviously, communism was a great scare for the United States. It was so prevalent that secret bureaucracies were made in the hope of protecting national security. The Cold War was a period filled with fear over communism. The Dean article made me think about the mass hysteria that still happens today and how the government is connected with it. The secrecy of our government is almost played into when theories were created. Looking back at Covid, elaborate theories were made up, thinking that the government was hiding information from people about Covid. I also thought about all the movies developed around the idea of the government hiding information from citizens. One of my favorites is the National Treasure movie. In those movies, there are entire storylines of how our government has a book of secrets dating back to George Washington. Overall, I think the Cold War really sparked the culture of secrecy and it’s anticommunism.

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