Daniel Nemenyi: Submarine state - On secrets and leaks
Submarine state - On secrets and leaks
Like Pal, the Moynihan Secrecy Commission distinguishes two forms of regulation, treating secrecy as kind of ‘meta-regulation’ governing the possibility of regulation itself. Whereas ‘regular’ or ‘domestic’ regulation, that derived from statute, concerns the behaviour and action of citizens, the ‘parallel regulatory regime’ of ‘foreign’ or ‘secret’ regulation, derived often from undisclosed or vaguely defined legal sources, concerns what they may know, their access to information, secrecy. The Commission details how under the guise of a spectre of a Communist ‘enemy within’ during the Cold War a ‘culture of secrecy’ developed within government, independently of the threat of an actual organized Communist movement. The Communist Party had by 1950 already been ‘neutralized’, the Commission writes, and more ominously, ‘existed … merely as a device maintained by the US Government to trap the unwary’.