Watchdog Blog

Archive for the 'Secrecy' Category

Herb Strentz: Be Sure Your Emails Will Find You Out

DES MOINES–An ongoing sex-riddled saga and scandal in Central Iowa and its attendant news coverage call to mind the tagline for the 1963 Billy Wilder comedy “Irma La Douce” – “ A story of passion, bloodshed, desire and death…everything, in fact, that makes life worth living.” Only in the Des Moines area, it might be: [...]

Dan Froomkin: Stop Criminalizing Investigative Reporting

Criminally investigating the kinds of leaks that are the bread and butter of national security investigative reporting is a noxious overreaction by hyper-controlling government officials who don’t want us to know what’s being done in our name. Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that he has assigned two U.S. attorneys to lead criminal leak [...]

Herb Strentz: If Bachmann loses Iowa after All This…

DES MOINES—Here in the heartland, much of the news coverage and commentary about the Iowa caucuses remains doggedly oblivious to the fact that their outcome will be determined by the religious right, which is at the controls of the Iowa Republican Party. Indeed, about the only ones who routinely acknowledge the dominance of the religious [...]

POGO: Open Government Advocates Meet with POTUS: A Firsthand Account

By Danielle Brian Cross-posted on POGO’s blog. Yesterday afternoon, POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian—along with OMB Watch Executive Director Gary Bass, Director Patrice McDermott, National Security Archive Executive Director Tom Blanton, and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Executive Director Lucy Dalglish—met with President Obama about open government issues. The meeting was originally [...]

Myra MacPherson: Of Assange, I.F. Stone, Secrecy and, Last, Sex

Unless they are diehard supporters or detractors, the first thing some people say when they talk of Julian Assange—which seems curious to me—is that he is creepy or weird looking, and then there is a quiet murmur of dissent: “What if he releases something that could damage someone or get people killed? My answer is: [...]

POGO: The Case of the Missing Inspector General Reports

By Michael Smallberg, crossposted with the Project On Government Oversight Inspector General (IG) investigations expose some of the most egregious examples of misconduct by federal officials—everything from whistleblower retaliation to the abuse of taxpayer dollars—and the public has every right to see the (non-classified, non-redacted) results of these investigations. Yet in many cases, agencies have [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Norma

In my work secrecy was a no-no and the right to know sacred watchwords. So when my wife had emergency surgery and the pathology report revealed untreatable cancer, why did I want the truth kept from her? Because she was not an abstraction but a complicated person with anxieties who would be far better off [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Somebody Tell the Supreme Court About Openness in Government

In a stunning turnabout, the U.S. Supreme Court on the final day of its term agreed to review a case it had rejected in April. The action was one of the most consequential of the term, involving as it did a determination by the justices to reject the administration’s advice and to decide the legality [...]

Pete Weitzel: It Depends on How You Define ‘Leak’

Maybe journalists shouldn’t be concerned that Sen. Kit Bond, R-MO, has introduced a bill to criminalize the disclosure of classified information. After all, the incumbent Leaker-in-Chief lamented the other day that “there’s no such thing as classification anymore, hardly,” even as he was leaking portions of one the nation’s most highly protected documents, the National [...]