Secrecy Is the Problem

Hamilton Nolan writing in Gawker: “In a perfect world, perhaps, a government capable of monitoring its own power could exist. Until then, we have the press. The most important job of the press is to push hard to bring government secrets to light. Yes, in some cases, judgment is required, and it is often exercised, including in the case of this NSA story. To nitpick over that point is a sideshow. Why is this so important? Because if the press does not expose government secrets, no one else will. There is no other check on the governments powers of secrecy. This is the system we have. And this is why it is so distressing to see professional journalists acceding to the governments own demand for secrecy— saying, in effect, “well just take their word that everything is okay.” It doesnt matter if a journalist happens to think the current administration is trustworthy; journalists still seek out government secrets, because that is the journalists role. Only corrupt bureaucrats see their mission as keeping the activities of our free government secret from the people they affect. There are more than enough corrupt bureaucrats already. We dont need the press to do their job for them.The government has always tried to keep too many secrets. That, we expect. But when the press gives up on exposing those secrets, it is really time to start worrying. Because then there is no balance of power at all.”

via Secrecy Is the Problem.