The Secrecy Ruse by James Jaeger
Usually big penalties are threatened with documents called, NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS or NON-DISCLOSURE BONDS or NON-CIRCUMVENTION AGREEMENTS. I have been placed in many of these things, especially when I was young and naive. On occasion I was actually terrified because at one point I had made copies of various documents for personal educational purposes (not industrial espionage purposes) and I was unsure whether I had over-stepped a line. Finally I hired an attorney to review my situation and he told me that most of these documents were a bunch of horse designed to scare people so they won't talk to competitors or steal company secrets.
So to any of you guys out there that have been placed into one of these things: JUST IGNORE IT IF YOU EVER FEEL THE GREATER PUBLIC GOOD IS SERVED. Get an attorney to go over your situation and advise you in more detail. Usually the only way these things can be made enforceable is if they contain a PERFORMANCE and CONSIDERATION clause, otherwise they are just a subtle violation of your First Amendment right of freedom of speech. What I mean by performance and consideration is this: a contract, an agreement, must have certain elements before it is enforceable. Two of the most important elements are what are you going to DO FOR ME and how much money (or other valuable consideration) am I going to GIVE TO YOU in exchange for that performance. So the typical non-Disclosure Agreement goes like this:
In consideration(1) for salary received by Employee(1) from Employer, Employee hereby agrees, and warrants, that s/he will keep any and all matters in connection with the new Super Killer Weapon (the "Weapon") absolutely confidential(2) to anyone not hereby bonded; and if Employee breaches this Agreement s/he hereby agrees to forfeit the sum of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000.00) upon reasonable proof presented by the Company that such Employee has violated this Non-Disclosure Agreement.
(1) is the consideration and (2) is the performance.
So you sign this horseshit Non-Disclosure Agreement (called NDAs in the business world) and you keep your mouth shut for fear of loosing $250,000. Well my attorney told me that these agreements are almost impossible to enforce and get judgment on because how can they prove that it was actually YOU that talked or revealed the documents unless they have a full-fledge sting operation going? So my advice to anyone in an NDA is to just do what I said above.
The cry of "national security" is also a bunch of horse. This cry is WAY over used by the government. The government cries NATIONAL SECURITY any time it wants to abridge your First Amendment rights or right to know what the government is doing with your tax dollars. Citizens must not permit this abuse of power. The amount of information that the government needs to keep secret for security purposes is VERY SMALL, very small because it only takes a VERY SMALL amount of ignorance in order for a VERY COMPLEX technological system to malfunction or be incomprehensible. Today, most strategic national security systems -- such as the Weapon -- are VERY COMPLEX. Thus the government has no right in withholding more than 2 percent of ALL INFORMATION that comes into its hands on the ground of "national security."
The reason the government uses the cry of "national security" excessively is so they can EVADE accountability. Financial accountability is probably number one. A retired friend of mine who worked deep in the CIA once told me that the BLACK BUDGET is huge. The Black Budget is the portion of the $2.8 trillion annual budget that the citizens never have any idea what it's spent on. And I bet you can't guess what grounds they use to keep it secret. That's right, NATIONAL SECURITY. We can't tell you what the $100 billion went into because of NATIONAL SECURITY considerations, they say.
So the next time you hear a congressman or a military official or a lawyer use the "national security" ruse, just laugh in their face and ask them this: "So what fraud or waste are you being careful about covering up this time?"
If enough Americans refuse to fall victim to tactics intended to cow them into submission or agreement, we will be able to flush out the criminals in government and business that are using excessive SECRECY to feather their nests and thwart transparency.
01 March 2008
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