Culture of Secrecy

The national security state is made up of “bureaucracies designed to provide the executive branch with intelligence concerning the intentions and capabilities of actual or potential enemies and to provide the capacity to wage covert campaigns against those deemed to pose” (Robert Dean). These bureaucracies played a huge role in creating a “culture of secrecy” during the Cold War era. During the Cold War, the government hid many of its activities from the American people, therefore causing a culture of secrecy. The article discussed how the government was trying to overthrow third-world governments, made plans to assassinate leaders, and started experimenting with “no-touch” torture techniques, and the list could continue. During the Cold War, there were missions and letters that were very well hidden from the American people. I believe the “culture of secrecy” is about how the government was involved in these foreign policy matters but kept them a secret from its people. In the other article, we see how the national security state played a role in rural Nevada/Utah regarding the Cold War nuclear build-up. At first, there were not many too many concerns about the area being used as a testing site, but the government withheld information which caused suspicion with the national security state. They kept what was happening in this very top secret, and in the article, it says, “Secrecy [becomes] a crucial component of many decisions and even well-informed residents [are] unable to learn much detail about activities in their own communities” (Fox). Then, it was noticed that the livestock in the area was dying off, and there would be clouds and sparks of light in the area. The people did not know exactly what was happening on the test site, but because of the detrimental effects it had on the people in this area, it caused them to lose trust in the honesty and intentions of the government. This article shows how a culture of secrecy affected the American people and their livelihoods firsthand. 

I personally believe the national security state still exists today even though the Cold War ended in the late eighties to early nineties. I believe this because I feel there have been so many events that have happened recently, and we do not know all of the exact details about what happened in these events. Suddenly, something escalates, or information or documents become leaked. I just feel like there have to be things that are happening behind the scenes that we do not know about that the national security state or even something like the national security state is involved with. I also still believe that we live in a culture of secrecy, and honestly, I am not sure if that will ever change. I feel just so much has happened with our government to cause mistrust in it, and nothing has happened to regain that trust in the government that previous generations had. 

One thought on “Culture of Secrecy

  1. During the time of the tests in rural Utah and Nevada of the atomic bombs, not only was the government disclosing information about what was happening at the sites but they were blatantly calling the farmers and other residents stupid. The government placed the blame on these people for the death of their livestock as well as their own family members. This showed how corrupt the entire government system was as the court case from the farmers suing the government for damage allocations was pushed to the side.
    I agree that the national security state still exists today. There are many things that the government is a part of and I feel like the people being governed only know about a few of them and only a base layer at that.


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