Do We Need More Secrecy Regarding Our Secret Secrets?


Former congressman Lee Hamilton, longtime chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and vice-chair of the 9/11 Commission, complains in the Christian Science Monitor about classified-secret fever, offers up a "need to share" principle in opposition to the current obsession with "need to know," and concludes that

when too little information is made public, the public lacks the facts for informed judgment, and support for policies is shallow. Those controlling information are tempted to use it to control the debate. Malfeasance in the shadows of government is not ferreted out, and constructive input–from the media, academia, and citizens–is less probable.

Matt Welch lambasted government's secrecy obsession in Reason's Aug./Sept. 2004 issue, and blogged the numbers last April on Bush administration classification and declassification.

NEXT: I Presume Peter Singer Is Of Two Minds About This

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  1. Funny how it’s always former government-types who suddenly find nice things to say about transparency and liberty and the like now that nobody can expect them to actually do anything about it. Oddly enough, it wasn’t important enough to worry about when they were the people in charge.

  2. The fact that we’re even talking about the secrets being kept from us only underscores the need for more secrecy.

  3. Also, the term ?Christian Science? is making my knee-jerk, ?religion = ignorance? instinct short-circuit.

  4. Will anyone think of the secret designers?

  5. Of course, that presumes that the voters make informed decisions. As near as I can tell, they tend to vote for the guy with the best hair.

    Also, the Christian Science Monitor is a very good newspaper with an excellent record of objective reportage, especially about the Third World. They pretty routinely dump Britney coverage in favor of stories about African politics.

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