Is the value of government secrets grossly exaggerated?

That’s a question posed in a WSJ opinion piece over the weekend.

Of course, the immediate stimulus was President Trump’s refusal to summarily declassify everything in the Dem’s rebuttal to the Nune’s memo.


A week ago, the Dems – buoyed by DOJ and FBI warnings – were uber-concerned about protecting classified material.

Those concerns seemed a bit silly when the memo was released.

The only sources “outted” were the Clinton Campaign and Yahoo News.

The only method revealed was Googling “Page, Russia”.

Sure, the FBI and DOJ were “embarrassed” … but, so what?

So, why not throw caution to the wind and release the Dem memo?


Now, it’s the GOP’s turn to hide behind “sources & methods”.

Nobody wants undercover operatives or partner-governments to be exposed.

But, the WSJ article raises the question: does that even matter?

After all … there didn’t seem to be much DOJ / FBI concern that classified material made its way to Anthony Weiner’s laptop … Chelsea Manning is regarded by many as a hero for dumping top secret info … the NSA was hacked – revealing their clandestine cyber-methods – and the world didn’t end … the mainstream media willingly publishes leaked classified information without much regard for the consequences.

Beyond the pure hypocrisy is the central question: does it matter?

Even in the most egregious cases, the sun came up the next morning and report are sparse about agents who suffered harm.

Yes, there was embarrassment and questions to answer … but no catastrophes.

Maybe it is time to stop hiding behind the self-protective classification system … and err tot the side of timely transparancy.


P.S. All of this reminded me of a long ago experience.

As a newbie at GE, I asked why our Strategic Plans weren’t subject to more stringent circulation controls … you know, limited print runs with each copy numbered.

The answer: “Get serious. We developed these plans and we’re best equipped to execute them … but probably won’t be able to.  What will anybody else do with the information?”

Hmmm …



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