The WikiLeaks disclosures literally speak volumes about “official” government positions and policies, versus actual government practices.

Whether the United States says one thing and then does another, or simply admits to nothing that it does, the lofty and noble-sounding propaganda gloss that the government covers itself in is at complete odds with reality.

Worse, the government’s propaganda, and its attempts to control information, appear more targeted at Americans than at America’s designated enemies. Normally we think of propaganda and disinformation as things directed at an enemy; instead, they’re targeting us. And not only by government, but by its corporate partner, the media:

We are lied to about weapons of mass destruction.

We are propagandized that fourth-rate powers are a strategic threat.

We are misled that the United States is a stabilizing presence in the Middle East.

We are misinformed that the United States has the best health care in the world.

We are brainwashed that corporate bailouts, welfare and socialism are capitalism.

We are instructed that government and its corporate sponsor are at odds.

We are conditioned that radical, irresponsible politicians are “conservative.”

We are taught that left and right corporate politicians are different.

In every case, the reverse of this government/corporate propaganda is true, especially the lie about government and corporations being at odds.

We should be shocked, but not surprised, at classic, textbook propaganda. This is how it works: spinning the very opposite of reality.

But we should be outraged that it is intended for us, by a system that fears our right to know, and considers us to be the enemy and a deserving target for its propaganda.

Stephen F. Kelley

Portland

With the release of the WikiLeaks documents, there has been a media frenzy and outcry from the very same people who once called for transparency in government.

Instead of “shooting the messenger,” we should be looking at the contents of this information.

Perhaps if more people in this country started to acknowledge that we are dealing with corrupt leaders in Afghanistan and our “friends” the Saudi Arabians, who are allowing funding to al-Quaida and the Taliban, then pressure will build to extricate ourselves from these situations.

Only through transparency and freedom of information can people make informed decisions. seeking to crush and bury information, we are in effect playing into the hands of the very forces we wish to defeat.

Jake Hawkins

Arundel

Scarborough Beach plan spoils something valuable

Regarding Staff Writer John Richardson’s article, “Scarborough Beach plan adds sunning space, parking” (Dec. 2), this surfer largely disagrees with the expansion, even if it means I have to walk to reach the beach’s end.

The plan is an insult to the residents abutting the farmland and dunes and disregards the key reason so many people love Jordan’s Bay: the relative emptiness of the north end, which is available to everyone who walks there. The “sunning space” would be no addition; it already exists. Development here would eliminate this solitude for all.

Dune and wildlife preservation is crucial. The “fairly long stretch of undeveloped beach” does not need fixing, and dune disruption can quickly allow coastal reshaping.

This portion of the beach is home to federally endangered piping plovers (vs. “has been”) and more human traffic will not increase their chances. Food concessions create further hazards to plover habitat; food scraps and trash attract invasive predators.

Between the dunes and fields, a secluded pond offers sanctuary for waterfowl, songbirds and other species. This pond and marsh likely qualify as having “special significance”; if so, they are protected under Maine’s Natural Resources Protection Act. Likewise, any potential dune alterations and impacts on plover and “tidal waterfowl wader” habitat will be reviewed under NRPA.

The expansion proposal is a commercial venture being cast as a benefit to beachgoers. What form the development may take is a major concern.

The current parking model turned once picturesque Massacre Pond into an offensive eyesore with chainlink fencing and gates with restrictive swipe-cards. Is space at the other lot so deficient that we will risk losing this spot’s wonderful character and wildlife for more parking?

I support free access to all oceanfront, but this is not the appropriate place for hundreds more cars and people and all that they entail.

Paul Cunningham

South Portland

All Wiscasset bypass needs is law saying ‘build it now’

I read with interest in the Dec. 9 paper a letter basing opposition to the proposed Wiscasset bypass on an experience with disturbing a chimney swift habitat in Brunswick.

While for swifts the citation would be entirely appropriate, extrapolating that experience to the Wiscasset eagle’s nest is like comparing apples and oranges. Here’s what’s known:

An eagle of its own free will built the nest very close to one of the state’s busiest highways.

The nest is closer to Route 1 than it will be to the proposed bypass.

Eagles build “alternate” nests, and it’s not known whether the nest is primary or secondary.

Whatever the case, the nest will not be physically disturbed by the bypass and if the eagle doesn’t like it, it will easily find another site.

In other words, the bypass will neither kill the eagle nor significantly limit its options for an alternate nest.

But the bypass will take the bulk of Route 1 traffic farther away from the nest, a net benefit for the eagle.

I gather the problem is The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. There is a precedent to get around that. My great-great-great grandfather, James, was a Loyalist during the Revolution.

After the war, the citizens of Perth Amboy wanted James to be mayor. But the new state prohibited Loyalists from holding public office. No problem. The Legislature simply passed a law permitting one James Parker to hold public office, the prohibition notwithstanding.

Thus, I urge our delegation to submit a bypass-specific law to solve the problem. In this economy, we can ill afford delays and wasted tax dollars.

John Parker

Falmouth