Nation: Lifting the Lid

Carter sets new rules on secrets

For the 14th time since the Government started officially keeping secrets 60 years ago, the federal classification system has been modified. "The Government classifies too much information, classifies it too highly and for too long," declared President Carter last week in announcing that he had fulfilled a campaign promise by tightening the rules under which bureaucrats can wield CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET and TOP SECRET stamps.

Carter's 16-page Executive order replaces one issued in 1972 by Richard Nixon, and according to civil liberty experts represents a significant step toward...

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