Timothy Garton Ash, the great opening secret police files, concludes on this thoughtful note:
It has been an odd experience for me, these last few weeks, living between Orwell's 1949, in the early years of the cold war, and 2003, in what may prove to be the early years of the war against terrorism. We are, I think, inching towards a little more open government. Orwell's list is a toe sticking out from under "the blanket". Yet at the same time, the war against terrorism means more power to the secret state, more official secrecy, and more attempts to pull the wool over our eyes through manipulating or intimidating the media. We need to be grown-up here: some secrecy is justified. There are people out there who want to kill us, and this may help to stop them. Since, however, the tendency of the state will always be to err on the side of secrecy and manipulation, we should always err on the other side, as Orwell magnificently did—with one exception, now fully revealed.
Link via Andrew Sullivan.