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View Diary: Morning Feature: American Exceptionalism - "What do I tell them?" (Non-Cynical Saturday) (84 comments)

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  •  I offered a 10-year limit for two reasons. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gustogirl, Orinoco, Shuruq, kktlaw, FarWestGirl

    First, it's long enough that the real national security implications of any classified information should have passed.  Wars are likely have ended, as will have delicate diplomatic negotiations and other such exchanges where everything going public could cause some real difficulties for us and those with whom we're working.

    Second, that typically places it in the middle of the term of the president-after-next, which is about as politically neutered a time as I could determine.  The release of these documents should not be a matter of political retribution, but historical accuracy and transparency.  Making sure the document release is not likely to come at a highly-politically-charged moment ought to help with that.

    Good morning! ::huggggggggggs::

    •  But the cop keeps his cool (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gustogirl, NCrissieB

      and follows his training rather than his impulses because he knows those video tapes will be reviewed by someone as soon as he gets back to the station house, and if the defendant goes to court, they will then be reviewed shortly thereafter by someone on the other side: the defendant's lawyer.

      Openness should prevent abuse by creating the likelihood of an immediate political shit storm if someone abuses power. The likelihood of criminal charges or political retribution, primary challenges or recalls or impeachments.

      Wasn't it Ashcroft who said, "History will not treat us kindly" when he learned of some of the abuse of power in the illegal wiretapping scandal? No one cared. In the heat of the moment, it was more important for the criminal Bush crowd to find out secrets about their enemies than to retain a good reputation for the history books.

      I think the default should be open release of documents. It should be very hard to classify, and part of that classification procedure could be a schedule for review of the classification, based on the actual situation.

      Tactical information gets stale very quickly. Strategic information, well, I'd argue there is a good case for making strategic information highly public. Nuclear weapons are not much of a deterrent if no one knows you have them, for example. Allies and adversaries shouldn't be kept in the dark about our national interests. In fact, we shouldn't be kept in the dark about what our elected representatives consider our national interest, just in case we might not agree with them.

      "You can't get something for nothing...It's time to stop being stupid." Bob Herbert

      by Orinoco on Sat Apr 25, 2009 at 08:25:31 AM PDT

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