Lenin has up long sections of a description of the detention when returning from an awards ceremony of those involved in a film about the internment of three British residents, later released without charge, in Guantanamo Bay. It illustrates excellently the dangers of unaccountable power: veiled and not so veiled threats made out of the sight of the public, and so impossible to check. The simple fact of the possession of these powers of secrecy, of stealth, of disguise is itself revealing. In James Wood's excellent piece on a new translation of the Pentateuch - the scathing with which he treats the insipid modern versions alone is wonderful - he discusses the description of Joseph receiving his brothers in his capacity as Pharaoh's right hand man, and twice leaving to weep before breaking down in front of them and revealing his 'true' identity.
"[T]he laconic report of Joseph’s response to his brothers works by starving us of information...Three times he weeps, twice turning away from them and a third time openly. The first time, ‘he turned himself about from them, and wept.’ The second time is more agitated: ‘And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.’ Finally, after various ruses, he can stand it no longer, and asks his servants to leave him alone while he ‘made himself known unto his brethren. And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.’ The beauty is that the final episode, the apparent climax, is as terse as the first: secret weeping is no different in this account from public weeping, and revelation is as hidden as disguise... And note, too, how our desire to witness this open crying, to bathe in authorial emotion, is reticently, and very movingly, transferred to another, less involved audience: ‘and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.’"
One wonders what Joseph's brothers thought of this great magnate turning from them, fleeing in a panic from them. When Wood says that "secret weeping is no different in this account from public weeping, and revelation is as hidden as disguise", the equivalence of course implies that to disguise something does not necessarily hide any more than to reveal it. The choice to hide something implies that it is shameful, not to be seen publicly. When officers of the state, whose power is for the public good, choose to hide something, it therefore implies they are perhaps not working towards the goals they ought, since there are few other grounds for concealing their actions from those for whose betterment they work.