Espionage and Transparency

On the road…again!!!
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Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek

 

Espionage and Transparency

 

 

Espionage

Espionage, spying or intelligence gathering is the act of obtaining secret or confidential information from non-disclosed sources or divulging of the same without the permission of ...

 

The on-line dictionary definition of espionage is a haunting and suggestive word that conjures up thoughts of spies, spy novels, and treason.  In real life, spies are real and espionage is real.  We in the United States are bombarded daily with news stories about a man who is also a former President of the United States who has engaged in espionage, is still engaging in espionage and will likely engage in espionage until he is put away.  There is no question that he has been practicing espionage.  The overwhelming evidence can be seen on TV screens, in his hand-written notes on the recovered classified documents wrested from his control at his huuuge home in Florida.  He has been a busy dude, with secret, top secret and other classified documents scattered about in his basement, in his office, on the floor of his bedroom, and locked in his office desk.  You might say that the former POTUS was the Espionager-in-Chief.  For those who doubt that espionage has taken place in open sight, join the rest of the intelligence community in coming to grips with those one-on-one meetings between our former guy and Vladimir Putin in Hamburg, Germany during the G20 meetings in 2017, and again in 2018 in Helsinki, Finland.  The former guy demanded that the notes and translated transcriptions of the meetings be destroyed.  He did it openly but he thought correctly that he could get away with it.

 

Since that time, an emboldened Espionager-in-Chief has continued with cock-sure brazenness to exploit his advantages by hiding behind a shield of security protections. In a cozy home the size of Mar-a-Lago, the Espionager-in-Chief likely had lots of help in selecting, sorting, and carrying the classified documents from one wing of the house to another.  He also kept classified documents in one or more of his properties in other states. The deceits and deceptions might seem apparent, but they are not transparent.

 

 

 

During the daily early morning quest for creating a suitable chronicle, the Footloose Forester settled on one with the title “On Transparency”.  The intention was to share with others the notion that we all expect transparency in our conversations with other people; we look for transparency in reading news reports; and hope that spokespersons of sales staff are being sufficiently transparent with us so that we may be satisfied with our purchases, whatever they may be. Expensive consumer items like houses and cars usually have sales representatives to assist us, and to provide the transparency that we expect.  Most often, we come away satisfied, either with our new purchase or with our decision to walk away.  Our inner selves tell us that transparency is part of the negotiation. Unfortunately, when it comes to politics, the average person does not expect that transparency will be front-and-center, where it should be. Why is that? Self-gratification of the speaker, for one thing; self-preservation of our egos is another reason, and protection of a respected institution, for another.

 

Most important, we want to control the narrative. Whether we are trying to hide something or attempting to promote something positive, we as individuals harbor subconscious desires to make our desires known, but in such a way that it does not offend anyone.  Politicians on both the right and left are typically short on transparency.  And why would that be?  Because purity in any complex issue is hard to come by; that is to say: there are ups and downs, advantages and drawbacks, strengths, and weaknesses. Political discourse accentuates the positive and eliminates the negative (and they don’t mess with Mr. In-Between).  A SWOT Analysis of the issues might promote better transparency, but it is unlikely to be a popular tool among politicians.     

SWOT analysis refers to Strengths: Weaknesses: Opportunities: Threats.  SWOT is the natural enemy of transparency.  On the other hand, transparency is one hallmark of a free press, a major reason why politicians have an uncomfortable relationship with the press corps.

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