Much has been written about the Wikileaks being released today. I understand both sides of the argument; but tend to favor disclosure over non-disclosure, because disclosure is what makes government accountable to the people.
The most sensible solution to the problem is for Congress to take the bull by the horns and define a strict and very limited policy for the classification of documents. In my view, the only reasons to classify a document are:
- To prevent the disclosure of military strategy and tactics to an enemy while a war is in progress;
- To protect an intelligence asset working abroad; and
- To prevent premature disclosure of diplomatic negotiating strategy to the other parties.
I suspect that the Wikileaks disclosures will prove to be embarrassing to the federal government; which (1) is not sufficient reason to classify a document, and (2) suggests that, given the cloak of secrecy, officials will say and do careless things that would not happen if they knew that their actions were part of the public record. The threat of disclosure is also a potent weapon to ensure that the Constitution is being enforced.