Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Secrecy Report Card

By many accounts, President G.W. Bush's administration has become the most secretive in US history.

How secretive?

Read Secrecy Report Card 2006 - Indicators of Secrecy in the Federal Government, a report by OpenTheGovernment.org. The fifteen page report is very readable. It has citations.

There is a valid case to be made for keeping legitimate secrets secret. But cheapening the value of secrecy by expanding it to include more and more information is likely to result in more uncontrolled disclosure, not less. As the blanket of secrecy is stretched to cover more area, the blanket's fabric gets uniformly thinner. The administration of classified national security information is fairly well-established, but the administration of "sensitive but unclassified (SBU)" information is as incomplete as the definition of SBU itself. If one can't clearly define what is to be protected, it is impossible to devise effective protection. The more secrets that must be controlled, the more likely it becomes that some legitimately secret information is going to be divulged.


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