Why You Should Be Outraged That Area 51 Is Real
Government is now controlling what's real, and we're OK with that: Joseph Lapin
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Sep 9, 2013 12:39 PM CDT
In an Aug. 4, 1955 photo provided by the CIA, the prototype U-2 spy plane is tested at what became known as Area 51 in Nevada.   (AP Photo/CIA)

(Newser) – Last month, the CIA acknowledged it: Area 51 is real, and it was used to test spy planes. But the news seems largely to have washed over Americans without any pushback, and that's a shame, writes Joseph Lapin at Salon. Not only did the government keep another secret from us—it actually told people that the odd objects they spotted flying around were in fact just tricks of the light or weather balloons. "Why are we not more outraged that for half a century our government has been feeding misinformation to its citizens?" Lapin wonders.

One answer: "The timing" of the news, amid revelations about the NSA and other government programs. Still, Lapin wonders: "How does it affect the American psyche when people who clearly see something are told they are wrong?" Experts note that Americans are OK with giving up some freedoms in exchange for perceived protection. But "by controlling and choosing how to disseminate information, the government becomes a major stakeholder in what is real—and what is not," Lapin writes. "For the officials we trust to protect our freedoms, truth and reality are malleable." And our reaction, it seems, is "apathy." Click for his full column.

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Showing 3 of 69 comments
Sep 15, 2013 7:43 PM CDT
Clearly Lapin is no student of history. Governments (including ours) have been editing or torturing the truth for a long, long time. As for Area 51, do we really care if the military has alien bodies stashed in a freezer? There are far more important things going on in the world -- on in Nevada, for that matter -- than little green men and bits of tin from a flying saucer. The next time Lapin drives from Rachel to Warm Springs (if he ever has), I recommend he stop looking to his left, and start looking around. Its a really pretty drive, if you like desert country.
Sep 13, 2013 1:51 PM CDT
Here we are telling a smaller country to give up their WMD's and we are hiding WMD's, doing expirments on animals and humans developing chemical war fare products in the name of science and or national security our selfs. Who can you trust?
Sep 13, 2013 9:59 AM CDT
Why worry about fiction ???