Dismantling the Top Secret Mindset: A Case for Transparency

There are two things the US federal government will never be able to do: keep promises and keep secrets. The most effective argument against conspiracy theorists who say the federal government has nefarious intentions behind its policies, is that bureaucrats can’t keep their mouths shut, particularly in the military realm. Even without Wikileaks, the federal government is plagued with leaking information. Most of the information leaked by Wikileaks was already well-known: The drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, US support of Middle Eastern dictators, etc.

Not only is the federal government ineffective in containing information, but these secrets are also largely counterproductive. Once the information is inevitably exposed it creates international resentment of the US actions. Not only towards the policy itself, but also the covertness of the action. More harm will always come in the form of backlash than can be benefitted from these policies. These attempts to skirt international scrutiny significantly diminish the credibility of the United States; it is difficult for Iran to take the United States seriously about its alleged secret nuclear program when the United States blows up targets around the world with its officially undisclosed drone program.

If the United States wants to regain its international credibility and create the conditions for other nations to model our democratic government, it must dismantle its Top Secret mindset and instead open up its books. If the government has to hide its policy, it probably shouldn’t be implemented in the first place.


  1. Emily

    You suck…..sucks to suck

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  • The Law, Frederic Bastiat

    Life, faculties, production — in other words, individuality, liberty, property — this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.

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