Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What the Wikileak doc dump damaged

Didn't really expect to have so much to say about this latest Wikileak dump but at TNR, Heather Hurlburt points out a major concern that I haven't been able to articulate well:
In the last few years, there has been some progress toward classifying fewer documents and using the more rarefied classifications less frequently. This series of leaks will almost surely reverse that progress. A top-secret classification would have kept any of these documents off the shared network from which they were allegedly downloaded by a very junior soldier.

You can bet that the intelligence community will make that point—not only to justify stronger classification of new documents but also to slow the declassification of old ones. Civilian administrations at least since Clinton’s have been trying to speed up those efforts. Now they will go even more slowly, making it harder to learn the whole story of how our government analyzed an issue, treated an individual, or reacted to a crisis.
You'll of course recall that the Bush administration classified even the most innnocuous material that had been in the public record for decades. For all the media whining about lack of access, and the left's complaints about less than perfect transparency, the Obama White House never really got enough credit for declassifying documents and rolling at least some of that secrecy back.

Hard to see how this current doc dump is going to enhance that effort.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Anonymous Steve Hynd said...

"Now, look what you made me do", as Ollie often used to say to Stan.

Try Glenn's column as an antidote to this convoluted logic.

1:39:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Had a feeling we were going to disagree about this Steve. I'll look at Glenn when I get home from work.

2:10:00 PM  

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