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Did the National Security Act of 1947 destroy freedom of the press?


The National Security Act (passed in 1947) allows US Intelligence to begin any action, at any time, without asking anybody. In addition, US Intelligence may postpone indefinitely any report of such activity simply by claiming that making the report would harm the “national security” of the United States. This is a recipe for absolute power. It follows that the National Security Act of 1947 gave US Intelligence the power — if not the explicit authority — to corrupt the press in secret. This article will argue, and document, that this is precisely what US Intelligence has done. Naturally, this raises the sharpest possible questions about the integrity of US democracy.
Introduction
Even in democracies, the business of government is run by a tiny group of people, and the decisions are taken by an even tinier group: let us call these few decision makers ‘the ruling elite.’ In the United States, this tiny ruling elite at the top is composed disproportionately of members of the (very) wealthy classes, and their retainers. It may include people who do not have an official government position.
Now, since a person’s interests are largely determined by his or her position in the socio-economic structure, it follows that the ruling elite will tend to have interests quite at variance with those of the majority of the population. In fact, their ideology may be completely different — even opposite.
Is this a problem? Not if the majority has sufficient oversight over what the ruling elite is doing, for in this case government officials who violate the wishes of the majority can be democratically replaced with others who dorespect what the people want.
What can produce the sufficient level of oversight? A free and competitive news market.
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The secrecy provisions of the National Security Act
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The full text of the National Security Act is in the footnote.[2] Here below is a summary of what the National Security Act achieved, written by the US Department of State:
“The National Security Act of 1947 mandated a major reorganization of the foreign policy and military establishments of the U.S. Government. The act created many of the institutions that Presidents found useful when formulating and implementing foreign policy, including the National Security Council (NSC). The Council itself included the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and other members (such as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency), who met at the White House to discuss both long-term problems and more immediate national security crises…
The act also established the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which grew out of World War II era Office of Strategic Services and small post-war intelligence organizations.”[3]

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