Sunday, December 17, 2006

Secrecy, the enemy of democracy

What's really shocking, is that the administration had begun it's secrecy campaign long before 9/11.

There were hidden agendas every where.

Secrecy, the enemy of democracy Chicago Tribune:

Excessive government secrecy is the enemy of democracy. Secrecy cripples public debate. Citizens cannot understand, monitor, and evaluate public policies if they are kept in the dark about the actions of their elected representatives. Secrecy is the ultimate form of censorship because the people do not even know they are being censored.

Excessive secrecy is also the enemy of competence. We make better decisions when we consider more rather than fewer perspectives. We make better decisions when we openly debate the alternatives. We make better decisions when we know we have to justify our judgments and know we will be held accountable for our mistakes. Secrecy undermines all these values.

Excessive secrecy has been a consistent theme of the Bush administration. It refused to disclose the names of those it detained after Sept. 11. It has adopted a crabbed interpretation of the Freedom of Information Act, rendering millions of pages of government documents unavailable to the American people. It closed deportation proceedings from public scrutiny. It has redacted vast quantities of 'sensitive' information from thousands of government Web sites. It secretly authorized the National Security Agency to engage in electronic surveillance of American citizens. It secretly established prisons in Eastern Europe and secretly authorized rendition and torture. It secretly authorized the indefinite detention of American citizens. It has concealed the cost of its policies in 'special appropriations' bills, threatened public employees and newspapers with criminal prosecution for revealing its secrets, and deliberately masked its motives, its policies and its failures from We the People.

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