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Culture of Secrecy Hurting Security, Committee Told

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  1. Freedom of Information
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“An unconscionable culture of secrecy has grown up in our nation since the Cold War. Secrecy has often acted as the handmaiden of complacency, arrogance and incompetence,” former 9/11 Commission member Richard Ben-Veniste told a congressional hearing on government overclassification. One example of that overclassification – the administration blacked out a section of one of the commission reports simply reported public testimony. Another witness said the Transportation Security Administration redacted from an FOIA request the numbers of FAA Information Circulators even though the numbers had been published in the best-selling commission report. Committee Chairman Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., said in opening remarks that t “Cold War cult of secrecy remains largely impervious” to the current security imperatives. (3/4/05)