AMERICAN NOTES: Thinning the Veil

Since World War II, Government secrecy has developed into a pervasive bureaucratic habit, an ominous development for a system of, by and for the people. It reached the point where Defense Department subalterns were classifying newspaper clippings, administrators used their SECRET stamps to conceal waste and stupidity, and the vaults of Washington were choked with millions of pages of momentous or banal information that the public was paying millions of dollars a year for the privilege of never seeing.

Last week, after more than a year's review of Government secrecy, the White House overhauled the classification procedures for the first...

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