Washington's 5 Worst Arguments for Keeping Secrets From You
The government’s vast secrecy bureaucracy does two things with great frequency. The first, of course, is keeping secrets. The second is devising elaborate reasons why you can’t know what those secrets are.
It’s hardly a secret that the government overclassifies basic information about what it does. What often gets overlooked is that the reasons it cites are often absurd. Sometimes they’re craven cover-ups learned years after the fact. Sometimes they’re ironic — or cynical — invocations that disclosure would aggravate the very problem it’s supposed to solve. Sometimes they’re bald contradictions of established policy or routine procedure.
Either way, the government has left a long, twisted trail of pretzel logic when it comes to all of the reasons you can’t know what it’s doing. Here are some of the lowlights.