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Government Secrecy

Casting Sunlight on Secret Government and Its Contractors

Ralph Nader | Posted 03.26.2014 | Politics
Ralph Nader

Unfortunately, despite lofty initial campaign promises by the Obama administration, widespread government secrecy has only worsened in recent years and access to information by journalists and activists is disturbingly limited.

Time for Full Disclosure of CIA Interrogations

David Schanzer | Posted 03.14.2014 | Politics
David Schanzer

Our nation needs an effective and unburdened CIA, a restoration of trust between the branches of government, and an opportunity to reassert our moral leadership internationally in pursuit of a more just and peaceful world. To do this, secrecy about the mistakes of the past must end.

Matt Sledge

Intelligence Agencies Won't Release Reports On Excessive Secrecy

HuffingtonPost.com | Matt Sledge | Posted 01.31.2014 | Politics

A little more than three years ago, Congress passed a law ordering the nation's top intelligence agencies to review their classification procedures. T...

In Wake of Snowden, US Must Strengthen Commitment to Openness

Danielle Brian | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Danielle Brian

On Thursday, the White House released a preview of its second National Action Plan for the international Open Government Partnership. The plan is silent on the critical reforms needed to address some of the most troubling areas of secrecy.

Letter to an Unknown Whistleblower

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 11.17.2013 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

You will be denounced as a traitor, a defector, a criminal, and your acts called treasonous, even if you're one of the last hopes of the American republic.

12 Years Later, 9/11 Accused's Protests Not So Surprising

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 11.16.2013 | World
Daphne Eviatar

The ability of the defendants to meet with their defense counsel is extremely limited. It's not so surprising that, when warned that "failure to meet with and cooperate with your defense counsel may negatively affect the presentation of your case," the accused men might object.

Government Agencies Foster Unfair Economic Advantages

Alika Parks | Posted 11.09.2013 | Hawaii
Alika Parks

Whether you applaud his efforts in casting a light on the dark inner workings of the uber-secret NSA and their surveillance apparatus, or if you feel that he deserves the special moniker of 'terrorist' for shining such a light, either position glosses over a problematic issue that hasn't been brought up to my knowledge and needs to be addressed, at least to those concerned with some semblance of fair play in our U.S. economy.

Military Commission Still Stuck on Secrecy

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 10.20.2013 | World
Daphne Eviatar

It's amazing that 12 years after the September 11 terrorist attacks, the military commission at Guantanamo is still trying to figure out what is or isn't classified, how to handle it and the procedures for prosecutors to provide documents relevant to the case to defense lawyers.

9/11 Defense Lawyers Claim Judge's Order Conflicts With Convention Against Torture

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 10.19.2013 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Lawyers for defendants in the 9/11 case claim they cannot accept a military judge's order preventing their clients from speaking about their treatment in U.S. custody because it would violate their clients' rights under the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

Who Are US Drones Killing in Yemen -- and Why?

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 10.09.2013 | World
Daphne Eviatar

President Obama, at his pre-vacation press conference Friday, promised more "transparency" on U.S. government surveillance programs. But he made no mention of the need for more information about who our government is secretly killing abroad.

Unlike Media, Public More Concerned About Spying Snowden Exposed Than Secrets He Leaked

Edward Wasserman | Posted 09.23.2013 | Media
Edward Wasserman

It's unwise to put too much weight on polls, but a recent survey on the Edward Snowden affair suggests better judgment among the general public than our usual opinion leaders have been able to muster.

The Classic Military Runaround

Nick Turse | Posted 09.07.2013 | Media
Nick Turse

Whether I'm trying to figure out what the U.S. military is doing in Latin America or Africa, Afghanistan or Qatar, the response is remarkably uniform -- obstruction and obfuscation, hurdles and hindrances.

Prosecutors Complain 9/11 Case Taking Too Long After Waiting 10 Years to Prosecute

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 09.02.2013 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Talk about chutzpah. In a motion unsealed this week in the case of the five co-defendants accused of masterminding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, prosecutors have told the judge he's moving the case along too slowly and needs to speed things up.

The Dictionary of the Global War on You

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 09.01.2013 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

U.S. Constitution: A revered piece of paper that no one pays much actual attention to any more, especially if it interferes with American safety from terrorism.

The Duty of Lawyers

Ralph Nader | Posted 08.28.2013 | Politics
Ralph Nader

The million-plus practicing lawyers and their many bar organizations should be on the ramparts defending against the insidious rejection of due process, probable cause, habeas corpus and privacy.

Radley Balko

How Government Secrecy Undermines Government's Ability To Keep Secrets

HuffingtonPost.com | Radley Balko | Posted 06.27.2013 | Politics

Edward Snowden's leaks about National Security Administration monitoring Internet activity and the collection of metadata from cell phone calls are th...

The Naked Empire

Robert Koehler | Posted 08.27.2013 | Politics
Robert Koehler

Certainly Edward Snowden's crime is one of public relations. What he did by outing the NSA and its gargantuan surveillance operation was mess hugely with the American image -- the American brand -- with its irresistible combination of might and right.

Does the Accused USS Cole Bomber Have a Right to Hear Evidence of his Own Torture?

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 08.12.2013 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Does an accused man have the right to hear classified evidence he already knows, when it's directly relevant to whether he'll be put to death? Not in a U.S. military commission, according to the government.

Bloody Hands and Keyless Lives

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 08.11.2013 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

U.S. officials charge that Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks have "blood on their hands." We're talking about the very officials who oversaw Washington's wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere and who have searched their own hands in vain for any signs of blood.

Bradley Manning Has Done More for U.S. Security Than SEAL Team 6

Chase Madar | Posted 08.11.2013 | Politics
Chase Madar

The prosecution of Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks' source inside the U.S. Army, will be pulling out all the stops when it calls to the stand a member of Navy SEAL Team 6, the unit that assassinated Osama bin Laden.

Who's the US Killing in Pakistan? Even the CIA Doesn't Know

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 08.06.2013 | World
Daphne Eviatar

How can the government assert that some 150 people killed were "militants" legitimately killed when it doesn't know who they actually were?

Secrecy, Surveillance, and Public Safety

David Bromwich | Posted 07.16.2013 | Politics
David Bromwich

Three scandals have converged in the past week to preoccupy Congress and the press. Benghazi was the first to come, and it has surprised by its staying power. The abuse of power by the IRS may be, in the long run, the most damaging of these cases for the Obama presidency, but its outlines are only beginning to emerge. But the ugliest of the scandals has come from the revelation of the justice department's seizure of two months of phone calls by 100 AP reporters. This was done to investigate the leak of a thwarted terrorist plot which the government itself had already decided to disclose in public. Different as they are, the scandals all point to a single disorder that afflicts the Obama White House and the Holder justice department. The name of the disorder is paternalism, and its leading symptoms are suppression and secrecy.

If You've Done Nothing Wrong, You've Nothing to Hide: So Why Is Our Government Prosecuting Whistleblowers?

William Astore | Posted 07.09.2013 | Politics
William Astore

You can hardly point out that the Emperor has no clothes if you're not even allowed to look in his direction. And that's precisely the point of the government's war on whistleblowers. The message couldn't be more clear or more authoritarian: Avert your eyes, citizens!

What Eric Holder Should Say About Drones Tomorrow

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 05.05.2013 | Politics
Daphne Eviatar

With bipartisan concern clear and public interest in the program growing, now is the time for the Justice Department to explain fully its legal support for the program, or risk more claims of the Obama administration's hypocrisy.

Testimony Confirms Microphones in 9/11 Courtroom Could Capture Confidential Conversations

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 04.14.2013 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Testimony from the special 9/11 courtroom at Guantanamo Bay this morning confirmed what defense lawyers have been complaining about for weeks now: The microphones in the courtroom are sensitive enough to pick up lawyers' conversations with their clients.