"National security" is a long established piece of doublespeak used as a pretext for censorship and as a legal dead end to prevent exposure of deep state operations or operatives. In the 21st century, it is most associated with the "war on terror" - so for example, Shyam Sunder stated that the government's computer model of the collapse of WTC7 must stay secret for this reason. It is such a part of modern discourse that even when denouncing abuse of the "state secrets privilege", the ACLU have used it uncritically.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Official Narrative
- 3 Legal 'Get Out Of Jail Free'
- 4 National jurisdictions
- 5 International
- 6 Related Quotations
- 7 Related Documents
- 8 Rating
- 9 References
The concept of "national security" became an official guiding principle of foreign policy in the United States when the National Security Act of 1947 was signed by U.S. President Harry S. Truman. Originally conceived to describe actions taken in order to avert military attack, today it include also non-military dimensions, including the security from "terrorism", minimization of crime, economic security, energy security, environmental security, food security, cyber-security, etc.
The phrase "national security" crops up, generally without a tight definition, in a variety of contexts - particularly in laws explaining why they apply to ordinary people one way, but not necessarily to establishment organs or deep state operatives. Officially, the "national security" dogma is only used when absolutely necessarily and is not be used to cover up establishment malfeasance. In 2013, this was stated to be the "primary function" of the FBI. It is generally invoked to justify some form of censorship. In February 2019, the DSMA-Notice website reported that "It has been the long tradition of successive UK governments not to define national security."
If "national security" were really about defending citizens, it would address risks proportionately. In fact, road accidents kill around 390 times more people than international "terrorism", yet have not been subject to the same attention.
It is an open secret that in direct contradiction of the official narrative, the "state secrets privilege", and the vaguer term of "national security" are widely used by those in positions of power - perhaps especially USA - to cover up governmental corruption. For example, the Edward Snowden Affair has made it obvious to anyone with the emotional readiness to face the fact that even when illegal conduct (in this case, unconstitutional mass surveillance or flat out lies to US Congress) by those in power is exposed, legal action is not to be expected in any case.
In 2015, Andy Burnham (the UK Shadow Home Secretary) asked the government to release papers about the "politically motivated show trial" of the Shrewsbury 24, which the government was withholding on grounds of "national security", asking “What possible justification can there be, 43 years on, for information about it to be withheld on national security grounds? The failure to disclose has less to do with national security and much more to do with the potential for political embarrassment.” 
An Alternative Interpretation
Mark Gorton writes about the cabal that organised the JFK Assassination that "in order to escape justice for their heinous crimes, the Cabal needed to build a number of capabilities for themselves. The Cabal needed to be able to kill with impunity anyone who threatened to expose them. They needed to be able to control the press, and they need to control the presidency, federal law enforcement agencies, and the intelligence community. Operating under the secret cover of “national security” from within intelligence agencies (CIA, ONI, military intelligence, etc.), the Cabal has (been) able to systematically destroy threats to itself."
Legal 'Get Out Of Jail Free'
"National security" is increasingly being codified into national laws as a kind of legal "Get Out Of Jail Free" card - i.e. a sovereign immunity, a way to avoid being prosecuted under the law to which only national governments have resort. In September 2015, a US Judge ruled that Saudi Arabia had "sovereign immunity" from prosecution for the 9-11 attacks, notwithstanding a 2011 decision that withheld such privilege from the government of against Afghanistan.
UK Police withheld data about the movements of Andrew Windsor on the night on which he was alleged to have had sex with Virginia Roberts, since sharing this data would constitute a “threat to national security.” Later they asserted that this had been destroyed.
Many nations have some official form of 'State Secrets Privilege', a legal doctrine allowing the government to withhold information during legal proceedings which they would otherwise have to disclose (such as, for example, the source of information, or answers to questions from the defence). The official narrative is that this is used only for (scarce) matters of "National Security", something which is increasingly belied by the facts.
“Human nature being what it is, the MICC comprises avaricious individuals who seek to gain private benefit at public cost. But the idea that all the players knowingly conspire to mastermind so intricate a system is difficult to prove, and unnecessary. Instead corruption among defence contractors, Representatives in Congress and the military brass is standard operating procedure camouflaged by an incestuous labyrinthine system and the primacy of 'national security'. Not only do the corrupt actors need to be held to account but, as importantly, the system needs to be untangled. To further understand this entanglement. I met Chuck Spinney, a life-long Pentagon insider who experienced this labyrinth on a daily basis for over two decades. He produced a vast body of work explaining how the Pentagon really operates. His efforts culminated in the wrath of all the participants in the MICC but saw him featured on the cover of Time magazine.”
Andrew Feinstein (2011) 
In 2017, Finnish Police raided the house of Laura Halminen, after she co-authored a story about a Finnish covert mass surveillance project. Her newspaper, the Helsingin Sanomissa pretested that the police had no warrant to search the house. The Finnish police replied that, under Finnish law, search warrants are not required in cases of "national security".
- Full article: UK/National security
- Full article: UK/National security
In 2018, the UK police, the Home Office, and the UK Information Commissioner claimed due to “safeguarding national security” they could not give any statistics on how many anti-fracking protesters had been referred to the Channel programme. After 2 years a tribunal determined that it was "stretching credulity to contend that such confirmation would be of material assistance to terrorists or potential terrorists”.
In the UK, a related concept is Public-interest immunity, which means that in UK courts the state may to refrain from disclosing evidence to the other litigants where disclosure would be damaging to the public interest. The European Court of Human Rights has held that Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to protect the "right to a fair trial" is not an absolute right and that measures such as Public-interest immunity certificates are lawful if "strictly necessary". In 2017 Scotland Yard announced their decision not to proceed with charges in the case of the murder of Yvonne Fletcher on grounds of "national security".
Protection of VIPaedophiles
The Attorney General for England and Wales leads the Crown Prosecution Service, a nominally independent body, but which has an exception for "national security". In 2015, The Mirror quoted a detective sergeant as saying that in the 1980s that a major child abuse investigation shut down by the CPS regarding a royal and an MP, since it "could destabilise national security" and was therefore not in the public interest. Since 2008, the CPS has argued that "national security" grounds justify secret trials.
- Full article: “US/National security”
- Full article: “US/National security”
In 2009, US Attorney General Eric Holder explicitly stated that lawyers would only invoke the privilege when there was a possibility of "significant harm" to the country, and that they would not use it to hide to hide "administrative error", to "prevent embarrassment" or hide illegal government programs. This is an ever more blatant lie. The US government cited national security to withhold information a record 8,496 times — a 57 percent increase over a year earlier and more than double Obama’s first year". It has been used to arm terrorist groups and avoid explaining why the FBI turned a blind eye (or worse) to the Dallas occupy plot to assassinate leaders of the peaceful protests.
In section 10, it is used to allow government to ignore "human rights" during times of "national emergency". It does specify that "the emergency must be actual, affect the whole population and the threat must be to the very existence of the nation. The declaration of emergency must also be a last resort and a temporary measure." This appears never to have been used with the US suspension of the constitution that is COG.
Freedom of Speech
Article 19 states that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." Article 19 mentions that these rights may "be subject to certain restrictions... [when necessary] [f]or the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health or morals".
|Malaysia Airlines Flight 370||“This report makes no attempt or claim to prove that the large low flying jet plane seen over Kudahuvadhoo that fateful early morning was MH 370. It merely sets the record straight that the jet plane that overflew Kudahuvadhoo has not yet been identified. The Maldives government first claimed there was "no plane", then the plane was a "private jet", then fifteen months later a "domestic propeller plane flight", then back to "no plane", then finally to say it cannot be discussed due to "national security".”||Blaine Gibson||2016|
|Harold Thorby||“We the government have vital information which we cannot disclose. It is upon this knowledge that we make decisions. You, who are merely private citizens, have no access to this information. Any criticism you make of our policy, any controversy about it in which you may indulge, will therefore be uninformed and valueless. If, in spite of your ignorance, you persist in questioning our policy, we can only conclude that you are disloyal.”||Harold Thorby||1938|
|Document:Beyond Conspiracy Theory||paper||February 2010||Lance deHaven-Smith||The article posits a new framework for the analysis of Deep political events and Conspiracy Theories. The term SCAD (State crime against democracy) is explained and developed as a way of connecting the dots across multiple suspect events.|
|Document:Britain’s secret state||article||5 March 2020||Katharine Gun||Britain’s secret state and the need for whistle-blowing explained by 2003 Iraq War whistleblower Katherine Gun|
|File:Security Terrorism and the UK.pdf||briefing paper||1 July 2005||Chatham House|
Lloyds of London
|A quintessentially UK Establishment view on Security and Terrorism in the UK.|
|File:WikiLeaks-Australian-suppression-order.pdf||legal document||19 June 2014||Australian Supreme Court secret super-injunction preventing the publication of information about a corruption case involving 17 named individuals including senior Malaysian, Indonesian, Vietnamese politicians and Reserve Bank of Australia directors|
- Document:Terrorism, Transit and Public Safety - Evaluating the Risks
- Document:To Wreck A State - The New International Crime
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35047872 BBC , 2015
- Document:Fifty Years of the Deep State by Mark Gorton
- Jarecki, American Way of War, p. 193
- The Shadow World
- Rowe and Davies v. UK, (2000) 30 EHRR 1 (ECtHR). Text
- The Resource Part II: Human Rights in Times of Emergencies - United Nations
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966, entry into force 23 March 1976