Happy King Day

I understand that today’s holiday is designed to honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a hero of the Civil Rights movement.
However, I think its been just too long since we honored our own king… the one we elected twice now, thereby giving him “political capital” which he could spend. On that note, I give you this lengthy report (warning: PDF) on government secrecy in the Bush Administration prepared by the Government Accountability Office (GAO, one of my former employers).
And here is a fascinating set of essays called “Patriot Debates” discussing various aspects of governmental surveillance associated with the USA Patriot Act, but not inconsistent with a broader debate that we should be having right about now.
One of the peculiarly galling things about the Bush II (and for that matter, the Bush I… and Reagan… and Nixon…) methods of governance was the obsession with secrecy. In a purportedly free society, there is just no abiding this: our government is subserviant to the people, or vice versa. By operating sub rosa, our government is signalling which one it believes is the applicable model (and warrantless surveillance against citizens, unilateral abrogation of treaty obligations when its convenient, locking up citizens at whim…) you get the picture. All are galling… but its most galling of all when a government purports to have “accountability moments” by electoral validation, but then does everything in its power to minimize the information available to the electorate that supposedly validates its ascendance…
All hail the King. Long live the King.