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(Securing the Anti-Democracy). State secrets, warrantless investigations and wiretaps, signing statements, executive privilege—the executive branch wields.

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Presentation on theme: "(Securing the Anti-Democracy). State secrets, warrantless investigations and wiretaps, signing statements, executive privilege—the executive branch wields."— Presentation transcript:

1 (Securing the Anti-Democracy)

2 State secrets, warrantless investigations and wiretaps, signing statements, executive privilege—the executive branch wields many tools for secrecy. Since the middle of the twentieth century, presidents have used myriad tactics to expand and maintain a level of executive branch power unprecedented in this nation’s history. (See the list on page 195 of your textbook). Most people believe that some degree of governmental secrecy is necessary. But how much is too much? At what point does withholding information from Congress, the courts, and citizens abuse the public trust? How does the nation reclaim rights that have been controlled by one branch of government? Information Control

3 What can we do about government efforts to consolidate power through information control (both the outgoing and the incoming)? Is the concept of the Rhetorical Presidency tied to this? What happens to Democracy? “[It is damaged], its Constitution corrupted by staunch information suppression, a process accelerated when ‘black sites,’ ‘enemy combatants,’ and ‘ghost detainees’ were added to the vernacular following the September 11, 2001, terror strikes.” --Presidential Secrecy and the Law, Robert M. Pallitto and William G. Weaver (2007) Questions

4 Secrecy, surveillance, and lies are the WEAPONS of those whgo want to exercise arbitrary and unbridled power—the kind of power those who wrote our Constitution were attempting to eliminate. Consequently, it is no surprise that there are no constitutional justifications for any of the three. 1. have_n_ html have_n_ html Unconstitutional Conundrum

5 Endangering the free marketplace of ideas; Impairing democratic decision-making; Interfering with the right to cast an informed vote; Letting the government determine the relationship between itself and citizens; Holding citizens and their rights in contempt; Keeping citizens ignorant; “Chilling” our willingness to engage in the activities of citizenship, and Destroying our trust in the government. Negative Effects on Societal Dialogue


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