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December 7, 2010
Would you feel safer if the secrets stayed secret?
Justifying their publication of the so called WikiLeaks, and assuming these are really top secret documents, the public editor of the New York Times asked "What if the Secrets Stayed Secret?" In a rather self congratulatory way, they smugly answer The Times, like other serious news organizations in democracies, exists to ferret out and publish information - most especially information that government, business and other power centers prefer to conceal. Arming readers with knowledge is what it's about, and journalists are motivated to pursue that end.The impulse to obtain and publish inaccessible information is greatly strengthened in an age in which, if anything, government secrecy is growing. As The Washington Post reported earlier this year in its illuminating series "Top Secret America," the government has expanded secrecy so much that 854,000 people now hold top-secret security clearances.For editors, the opportunity to arm readers with hard-to-get...(Read Full Post)