A sample of the analysis:
A root cause of the perception of illegitimacy inside the government that led to leaking (and then to occasional irresponsible reporting) is, ironically, excessive government secrecy. "When everything is classified, then nothing is classified," Justice Stewart famously said in his Pentagon Papers opinion, "and the system b
becomes one to be disregarded by the cynical or the careless, and to be manipulated by those intent on selfprotection or self-promotion." And he added that "the hallmark of a truly effective internal security system would be the maximum possible disclosure," noting that "secrecy can best be preserved only when credibility is truly maintained."
The Bush administration defied these precepts and suffered as a result.Could someone please tell me what good has come from our secret, illegal, lying, spying programs, aka domestic and foreign "wiretapping" surveillance, about which the President and administration have lied, concealed and perpetrated with our money, right under our noses? From the politicization of justice and the economy that the administration has similarly perpetrated?
The secrecy of the Bush administration was genuinely excessive, and so it was self-defeating. One lesson of the last seven years is that the way for government to keep important secrets is not to draw the normal circle of secrecy tighter. Instead the government should be as open as possible, and when secrecy is truly necessary it must organize and conduct itself in a way that is beyond reproach, even in a time of danger. In the end, not Congress, nor the courts, nor the press can force the government to follow these precepts. Only the president can do that.
I have some ideas, but your comments are most welcome.