Mental Declassification

I’ve been saying these things on Twitter, but I probably should provide a more stationary, all-in-one-place form for those not on Twitter.

Classification is a system for dealing with sensitive information that could harm the United States if made public. It is a system of instructions for handling that information. Information is classified, and documents containing that information are classified. Other materials, including physical models and the usual elaborations on documents like videos, may be classified. I’ll subsume them all under the word “documents.”

Declassification involves declaring the information no longer of potential harm to the United States. Because it is a part of the system for handling documents, it must be made known to the people who will be handling those documents.

Trump seems to believe an essentialist version of classification, that it is an inherent quality of a document that can be added or removed by his mental actions. This is, of course, absurd.

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Information Warfare – March 14, 2022

The US information war slowed down a couple of weeks ago, and Russia hastened to fill the space with claims about Ukrainian laboratories developing chemical and biological weapons. This dovetailed with some of the many claims made by the Q cult and also those pushing the idea that SARS-CoV-2 virus escaped from a laboratory. All that was needed was to transferthe claim from China to Ukraine.

It was a good choice for Russia and almost took off. Glenn Greenwald and Tulsi Gabbard are still pushing it. But it’s been refuted a number of times, including in the United Nations Security Council, and seems to be dying down.

US government sources are speculating that Russia was pumping the biolabs story in preparation for a chemical weapons attack of their own that they would attribute to the Ukrainians, which may well be true. But chemical weapons are marginally useful in war; biological weapons have never been developed to that point. Speaking of them, however, can damage civilian morale.

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