Tuesday, July 12, 2005

"The Bush administration is classifying the documents to be kept from public scrutiny at the rate of 125 a minute."

what -- did they invent a machine to do this?

haul some old-ass mainframe over to Xzibit and "Pimp My Ride"?

how anyone can trust these paranoid idiots anymore is beyond me...

these guys are weirder than Michael Jackson and R. Kelly's home movie collections...


all this at the same time as the Patriot Act "if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about if we violate your privacy" crap is being sold as gospel...


well you know what?

they're right.

they're wrong.

but they're right.

so, what are they hiding so fast?

and why?


history is disappearing before our very eyes...

or rather...

history is just disappearing...


The New York Times

The Dangerous Comfort of Secrecy

Published: July 12, 2005

The Bush administration is classifying the documents to be kept from public scrutiny at the rate of 125 a minute. The move toward greater secrecy has nearly doubled the number of documents annually hidden from public view - to well more than 15 million last year, nearly twice the number classified in 2001 - as bureaucrats have invented more amorphous categories like "sensitive security information." At the same time, the declassification of documents required under the Freedom of Information Act has been choked down to a fraction of what it was a decade ago, leaving the government working behind an ever darker, ever denser screen.

Thomas Kean, the co-chairman of the independent commission on the 9/11 attacks, warns that the official twilight could not be more counterproductive for security.

"The best ally we have in protecting ourselves against terrorism is an informed public," Mr. Kean said. The government's failure to prevent 9/11 was linked to barriers in the sharing of information between agencies and with the public, he said, not to leaks of sensitive information.

The White House has also been increasing the number of offices empowered to classify information, extending the privilege to agencies like the Agriculture Department. Terrorist attacks on agriculture are a legitimate worry, but we somehow suspect that the power may prove more useful for cloaking nonlethal cases of mismanagement and bureaucratic embarrassment. The federal Information Security Oversight Office finds secrecy reaching such ludicrous levels as classifying information already in school textbooks and Supreme Court decisions.

The Senate has approved a measure that would at least notify the public when more of the currently subliminal exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act are approved. The sponsoring senators, John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, and Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, know that far more is needed, including an independent watchdog; faster responses to inquiries, most of which come from the public, not news organizations; and penalties for agencies that slough off requests.

No one questions the need for governments to keep secret things that truly need to be kept secret, especially in combating terrorists. But the government's addiction to secrecy is making an unnecessary casualty of the openness vital to democracy.

SOURCE - http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/12/opinion/12tue3.html


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