Losing control on information

The Associated Press reported this week that senators met with the CIA head Director Gina Haspel and were convinced not only was Saudis involved in the killing of Washington Post journalist Khashoggi but so was the Saudi Prince . A brief reminder of who Khashoggi was? Khashoggi was a Saudi Arabia national who sought asylum in the U.S. He worked for the Washington Post. Washington Post journalist who was killed in the Saudi Arabia Consulate in Turkey by 25 Saudi men. The conclusion that the senate reached has been an opinion that mostly everyone has shared.  But because of America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia the president has been shy of confirming its involvement.

While reading Journalism After Snowden, I wonder why the Senators thought it was important to confirm the Saudis involvement. Based on the article reported by the newspapers it seemed obvious. Is it for fear of journalists finding out details on the death of Khashoggi and report on it?  Politically the current Administration is struggling. The popularity of the GOP party’s has declined and right now they are desperately in need of a PR boost. In chapter 11 of Journalism After Snowden, the authors wrote when the newspapers reported the NSA leaks the government was forced to hold a senate committee meeting and have the NSA explain what they were doing.  Section 215 the telephone metadata program was incorrectly reported and coverage of the PRISM was incorrect. The authors wrote that federal government was forced to explain everything they were doing because of the incorrect information in the newspapers.  Even though the information  was incorrect, thanks to the newspapers, the public are more aware of government surveillance. Governments continuously try to conceal information from the public and thanks to the media they try to keep us informed, thanks to free speech. Yes, sometimes because fo national security certain information is better kept undisclosed. But if there is a threat to the privacy of citizens, they are owed a right to some sort of explanation. 

Even if the Senators did not say that they strongly believe the Crown Prince was involved in  Khashoggi’s death the information would have been most likely revealed in the near future. Because of cyberwarefare keeping information from the public is difficult. Unfortunately, those in power do not quite understand the gravity of the situation. Or maybe they do but they think they can outsmart everyone else. Yes, the Turkish government has the tapes. But how long are they going to be able to keep the information a secret from anyone? There are Hackers are out there and there are the  Julian Assange’s of the world who would do anything try to expose any government secrets especially if it involves the United States.  Then there are those who mean well who leaks information because they think the public has a right to know. Tracing and monitoring the exchange of information is becoming extremely difficult which may lead one to think that transparency seems to be the only answer. 

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