Canceled Order

Big Brother backs down

In Orwellian terms, National Security Decision Directive 84 seemed perfect for 1984. Issued by the Reagan Administration a year ago but delayed by Congress, it included two Big Brotherly provisions: the widespread use of lie-detector tests within Government agencies to help find the sources of leaks of classified material, and a requirement that for the rest of their lives the 128,000 officials with access to top-secret information submit anything they propose to publish to Government censors for "prepublication review."

Opponents called the directive a threat to constitutional rights. Correctly. Nor did top political aides at the White House,...

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