In an effort to get ahead of the next wave of patriotic whistle blowers, the CIA has finally confirmed the existence of an ultra-secret base near the small town of Rachel, Nevada. The spooks at the Central Intelligence Agency will tell their own secrets - in their own way - thank you very much!
The secret, of course, wasn't really much of a secret. In response to a request for information through the Freedom of Information Act, the CIA has finally admitted something that Americans have known for decades, or at least since they saw Independence Day and watched a few episodes of The X-Files That secret: the legendary and much ballyhooed Area 51 of science fiction and conspiracy theory lore actually exists.
But the serious revelations stopped there. The boys in black insist that Area 51 was a test facility for the U-2 spy plane and had nothing whatsoever to do with alien life forms. Nor was it a parking lot and repair shop for flying saucers.
The site, which sits at the center of a parcel of government land approximately the size of Connecticut, apparently quit being used for military research around 1974, but the CIA felt the need to protect Americans from the truth about the facility for an additional forty years. (And it wasn't like the U-2 itself remained a secret for very long. The Soviet Union shot one down on May 1st, 1960.) Isn't it a comfort to know that once our government deems something to be a secret - it stays a secret damned near forever - or until a Bradley Manning or an Edward Snowden finally comes along and kicks the door in?
But the CIA got out in front of this revelation. Something tells me that it must have really hurt to give up Area 51 and share that bit of historic knowledge with tax payers - the people who actually pay the spooks' salaries.
The Agency, which jealously guarded this secret for nearly 60 years by issuing lie after lie, now tells us that Area 51 had nothing to do with alien life forms or technologies from outer space. If there is a line for doubters, you'll find me standing between Mulder and Scully!