Transparency Quotes

Search Results (186)

Quote Author Cited
The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them. Patrick Henry
The principles of justice are chosen behind a veil of ignorance. John Rawls
Even when it comes to notable events, we are in the dark. Cornelius Tacitus
There are 6 million children in the world who die before the age of 5 every year... 1 in 6 Angolan children will die from completely preventable diseases before the age of 5. Angola is one of the least transparent and most corrupt nations in the world and has the highest infant mortality rate in the world. Nicholas Kristof
Many state parole boards claim exemptions from state sunshine laws that would be unthinkable for other government officials. Beth Schwartzapfel
To plagiarize an out of date Ph.D. thesis and to present it as an official report of the latest British intelligence information, surely it reveals a lack of awareness of the disastrous consequences of such a deception. This is not a trivial leak. It is a document on which is the basis of whether or not this country goes to war and whether or not young servicemen and servicewomen are to put their own lives at risk and indeed thousands, tens of thousands of innocent civilians. Tam Dalyell
Our aim is to strengthen, not damage, Mexico’s institutions, to force them to adopt greater transparency Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
Accountability begins with transparency. John Bolton
People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. . . . The leader works in the open, and the boss is covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives Theodore Roosevelt
Democracy must live as it thinks and think as it lives Agnes E. Meyer
Democracy must first be safe for America before it can be safe for the world Emma Goldman
It is subversive to set up inquisitions like this, state or national, into the thoughts and consciences of Americans. . . . It is subversive for commissions like this to spread hysteria and intimidation throughout the land that Americans are afraid to sign petitions, afraid to read progressive magazines, afraid to make out checks for liberal causes, afraid to join organizations, afraid to speak their mind on public issues. Americans dare not be free citizens! This is the destruction of democracy. Florence Luscomb
Since the time of the ancient Greeks a democracy has depended on its philosophers and creative artists. It can only flourish by continuous probing, prodding, and questioning of the social conditions under which man exists and tries to better himself. One of the first moves of a dictatorship is to stifle the artists and thinkers who have the ability to stir up dissent from any prescribed dogma which might enslave them. Because the artist can arouse the curiosity and conscience of his community, he becomes a threat to those who have taken power. Uta Hagen
Democracy is the fig leaf of elitism. Florence King
No sitting administration likes to see itself studied; no administration welcomes investigations. Alvin Felzenberg
When things fall apart you sometimes can see more. You might even be able to see how to put things back together. Anna Deavere Smith
In order to encourage the free interchange of opinion and the enlightenment of the public, every Swedish subject shall have free access to official documents. Sweden
One of the best ways of enslaving a people is to keep them from education... The second way of enslaving a people is to suppress the sources of information, not only by burning books but by controlling all the other ways in which ideas are transmitted. Eleanor Roosevelt
Hide nothing. It always gets found out. David Nabarro
Why does the White House sometimes seem so determined to close the door on the people's right to know what their government is doing? Mark Tapscott
There is a veil of secrecy that is descending around the administration which I think is unseemly Daniel Burton
Our agency has not found any documents…. Central Intelligence Agency
The effective functioning of our constitutional democracy depends upon the participation in public life of a citizenry that is well informed George W. Bush
No one really knows how many [SBU] records are covered or for how long, and there are practically none of the limits that we do have in the security classification world. Thomas S. Blanton
Open rules! Open standards! Open findings! Open precedents! Kenneth Culp Davis
Freedom of expression is freedom of information Paula Dobriansky
Sweeping privilege against disclosure [is]…contrary to a sound public policy…It is a small step to assert a privilege against any disclosure of records merely because they might prove embarrassing. Albert Maris
Openness is the natural enemy of arbitrariness. Kenneth Culp Davis
I have been instructed by cabinet and caucus members at our last secret meeting that we need more openness in government, but, like, not too much. Ralph Klein
Publicity and openness, honest and complete -- that is the prime condition for the health of every society, and ours, too. The man who does not want them in our country is indifferent to his fatherland and thinks only about his own gain. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Redistricting has always taken place behind closed doors, with zero public input Pam Wilmot
We need reform. We need more transparency between those who lobby us and ourselves in the Congress. John Boehner
The veil of secrecy must be lifted and the attempted dumbing down of the Australian people by restricting their right to know must be fought. Jude Deland
Openness is the natural enemy of arbitrariness. Kenneth Culp Davis
The people have the right to know what their Agents are doing or have done, and it should not be in the option of the Legislature to conceal their proceedings. James Wilson
What we say privately we say publicly. Gerry Adams
Do we want the Asiatic model—which is corrupt but works as long as you have a dictator who is active? Or do we want the democratic market model—which works, but only with transparency or reliability. Pyotr Aven
Proceeding should be televised. There is nothing secret about a trial. It should always be open. I think the Supreme Court is just a little bit stuffy about televising its proceedings. Anthony D'Amato
In the administration of justice all proceedings shall be public and oral to the widest possible extent. Denmark
If you move up the timetable of when we disclose the transcript of our Open Market Committee, … you will affect what is said and the way that it is said. Alan Greenspan
I find it extremely difficult to argue against telling the people of the United States how much we intend to spend on the aggregate for intelligence purposes. Daniel Inouye
When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property. Thomas Jefferson
The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Thomas Jefferson
A public fund is collected by no fewer than two [persons], and disbursed by no fewer than three. Mishnah
The time is coming when all businesses will have to be done with glass pockets. J. Pierpont Morgan
Striking a balance between governability and historical reckoning is most difficult during the early years of a democratic transition. M. Delal Baer
I’m the commander, see, I don’t need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don’t feel like I owe anybody an explanation. George W. Bush
I hope we’re on the road to more truth-telling to investors. Sherron Watkins
We as citizens should hold our government accountable for word and deed. Valerie Plame
Thomas Edison invented a voting machine for legislatures. Politicians hated it. They didn’t want people to know how they voted. Harold Evans
Media creates awareness [and] ensures transparency and accountability. Mian Muhammed Javed
Get rid of that son of a bitch! Richard Nixon
Secrecy is the greatest peril to the future of this democracy and the world. Blanche Wiesen Cook
The press are the representative of the people and they have a right to know, but they don’t have the right to know right now…. There is an art to telling the truth slowly. Joe Lockhart
You’re doing the people’s business and they have a right to know. Marlin Fitzwater
Thomas Edison invented a voting machine so that legislators can just press a button. It was a failure. Legislators didn’t want people to know how they had voted. Harold Evans
What is done tacitly must be held as if it had been done expressly . Oldradus de Ponte
Without knowledge we cannot act; with it we can and will. Richard Calland
Ordinary citizens need access to government-held information in order to exercise their rights in just about every phase of their lives–whether to gain entry to education, apply for a job, gain access to a poverty alleviation scheme, build or buy a house, start a business or collect a pension. Without it, they are ready prey to the corrupt and the abusive. .. Jeremy Pope
The corrupt are running out of places to hide. Peter Eigen
For in a marriage contract, consent ought to be free … Here however it was not free, but through force and threat which was able to drive her into sin occasionally. And therefore there was no marriage between them. Oldradus de Ponte
Government is competent when all who compose it work as trustees for the whole people. It can make constant progress when it keeps abreast of all the facts. It can obtain justified support and legitimate criticism when the people receive true information of all that government does. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Self government cannot work if the people do not know what their rulers are doing and why. Bruce Fein
It is sometimes necessary to keep matters secret among a few. Cornelis van Mathenesse
Knowledge is the cause as well as the effect of good government DeWitt Clinton
The Freedom of Information Act isn’t used, for the most part, by the people. It’s used by Journalists … The information is not sought to bestow knowledge upon the people. It is used as a weapon. Tony Blair
Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view. Woodrow Wilson
Public business in the United State Senate should be done in the public. Ron Wyden
We live in the most wide open society the world has ever known….We need to have fewer secrets and a rational classification policy. Gabriel Schoenfeld
Government will have to learn what private businesses are beginning to realize that in this increasingly transparent world, the successful organizations will be those that are able to operate with very few secrets…. The cost of maintaining secrecy is getting higher and higher even when it can be done at all. Suzanne E. Spaulding
One of the nice things about no longer being Secretary of State is that I can actually answer your questions. Madeleine Albright
The Commission concludes that, as massive losses spread throughout the financial system …, many institutions failed, or would have failed but for government bailouts. As panic gripped the market, credit markets seized up, trading ground to a halt, and the stock market plunged. Lack of transparency contributed greatly to the crisis: the exposures of financial institutions to risky mortgage assets and other potential losses were unknown to market participants, and indeed many firms did not know their own exposures. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
AIG’s failure was possible because of the sweeping deregulation of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, including credit default swaps, which effectively eliminated federal and state regulation of these products, including capital and margin requirements that would have lessened the likelihood of AIG’s failure. The OTC derivatives market’s lack of transparency and of effective price discovery exacerbated the collateral disputes of AIG and Goldman Sachs and similar disputes between other derivatives counterparties. AIG engaged in regulatory arbitrage by setting up a major business in this unregulated product, locating much of the business in London, and selecting a weak federal regulator, the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS). Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
Do not say beforehand what you are going to do; for if you fail, you will be laughed at. Pittacus of Mytilene
One of the best ways to keep a great secret is to shout it. Edwin Land
We should not be upset that others hide the truth from us, when we hide it so often from ourselves Francois de La Rochefoucauld
The public always wants to be told. Edwin Lefevre
Quite as important as legislation is vigilant oversight of administration; and even more important than legislation is the instruction and guidance in political affairs which the people might receive from a body which kept all national concerns suffused in a broad daylight of discussion .... The informing functions of Congress should be preferred even to its legislative function. The argument is not only that a discussed and interrogated administration is the only pure and efficient administration, but, more than that, that the only really self-governing people is that people which discusses and interrogates its administration. Woodrow Wilson
Modern science's defense against self-delusion relies upon a spirit of open and critical inquiry. This, though hardly infallible, ostensibly uncovers errors and thereby proceeds towards objective truth William C. Clark
I have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed, confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of law; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas; they are Human Rights. Barack Obama
No less a philosopher than Chief Justice Burger was outraged by Ellsberg's publication of classified documents. They belonged to the Government, Burger reasoned, and Ellsberg had no more right to give them to the people than he would have to filch another man's property off a taxicab seat. The Government, of course, commonly leaks classified documents when it deems publication convenient to manipulate public opinion to its advantage. Only the Government, it seems, has a legal right to manipulate opinion with hot documents. Russell Baker
The problem comes from the lack of transparency and accountability of government. Vladimir Putin
This gentleman feels that all the members of Congress should have access to all the information which is in the hands of officials in the executive branch who deal with foreign affairs. He states that this is so in England and France. I think the gentleman must be mistaken, for it would be "agin" human nature for so many people to know a secret and keep it! Much of the information which comes to officials dealing with foreign affairs is uncorroborated, but valuable as background material. The sources of this information would soon dry up if it became the property of too many people. It seems to me that in foreign affairs, as in all matters of government, one must deal with reality, recognize human nature as it is and set up machinery to deal with real situations, not those which we wish existed. Eleanor Roosevelt
… make Englishmen cognizant of the processes through which the progressive destinies of Europe are being worked out, so that whenever European Affairs may call for interference, they may be in no doubt as to the course to be pursued. William James Linton
… it is at home and not in public that one should wash ones dirty linen. Napoleon Bonaparte
No government is perfect. One of the chief virtues of a democracy, however, is that its defects are always visible and under democratic processes can be pointed out and corrected. Harry S Truman
… the answer to the attacks must be more democracy and more openness. Otherwise, those who were behind them will have achieved their goals. Jens Stoltenberg
Better that right counsels be known to enemies than that the evil secrets of tyrants should be concealed from the citizens. Baruch Spinoza
An open society is always in danger. It must constantly reaffirm its principles in order to survive. George Soros
America is great precisely because it is an open society, and an open society recognizes that nobody is the ultimate arbiter — and that we may be wrong at times, even if we are powerful. We must be open to criticism and respect divergent and different views and interests. George Soros
Trust and transparency, the great principles of the free market, are at stake here. John McCain
Free markets work better when information is available. Lee H. Hamilton
Our government cannot function cloaked in secrecy. It cannot function unless officials tell the truth. Lee H. Hamilton
The United States is the only country in the world that has ever released the operations files of its intelligence agency. Maochun Yu
None of us really understands what's going on with all these numbers …. People are getting from A to B and it's not clear how they are getting there.... David Stockman
You can’t run this like a zoo where everyone can go and watch. Daniel Domscheit-Berg
You ask me why I air your dirty laundry, but you do not ask yourself why you soil it to begin with. Ali Ferzat
We all make mistakes. In public life, we make them in public view. Tim Kaine
For the things we [scientists] are working on no amount of protesting or fiddling with politics will save our souls. The accident that we worked out this terrible thing [nuclear weapons] should not give us the responsibility of having a voice in how it is to be used. The responsibility must in the end be shifted to the people as a whole and that can only be done by making the facts known. Edward Teller
Trust comes from transparency… Harry Reid
Make sure that everyone who should know what you are doing knows what you are doing. Gary Johnson
Once exposed, a secret loses all its power. Ann Aguirre
Secrecy is for losers. . . . It is time to dismantle government secrecy, this most persuasive of Cold War-era regulations. It is time to begin building the supports for the era of openness that is already upon us. Daniel P. Moynihan
Some information has to remain in the privy of the office of the Prime Minister and the ministers for the proper administration of government. Jean Chretien
Government ought to be all outside and no inside. . . . Everybody knows that corruption thrives in secret places, and avoids public places, and we believe it a fair presumption that secrecy means impropriety. Woodrow Wilson
The overarching purpose of access to information legislation … is to facilitate democracy. It does so in two related ways. It helps to ensure first, that citizens have the information required to participate meaningfully in the democratic process, and secondly, that politicians and bureaucrats remain accountable to the citizenry. Gerard Vincent LaForest
… a guarantee of public access to government information is indispensable in the long run for any democratic society.... if officials make public only what they want citizens to know, then publicity becomes a sham and accountability meaningless. Sissela Bok
Bureaucracy always seeks the path of least disclosure. Darrell P. W. Evans
Without publicity, no good is permanent; under the auspices of publicity, no evil can continue. Jeremy Bentham
An open society invests in people and new ideas, rewards talent and hard work, values dialogue and learns from dissent, operates to high standards with transparent information, looks for common ground, sees problems as opportunities for creative change, and encourages those who are fortunate to help others get the same chance, because service is the highest ideal. Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Politics: the art of appearing candid and completely open while concealing as much as possible. Frank Herbert
As for transparency of our proceedings everyone is free to contact their government and find out what issues are being discussed. Hamadoun Toure
It's a difficult thing today to be informed about our government even without all the secrecy. Donald Rumsfeld
Prosecutors, unlike any other official in our system, … are not as accountable… to the public that they serve Police officers do what they do in a public space. Judges are in a courtroom... Prosecutors make their charging decisions and plea bargain decisions behind closed doors…. There is no transparency … There is a lot of unconscious and implicit bias. Angela Davis
… scientists are required to back up their claims not with private feelings but with publicly checkable evidence. Their experiments must have rigorous controls to eliminate spurious effects. Richard Dawkins
Governments and local administrative bodies decide to inform the public of their mistakes only when losses have become disproportionately great. Ludwig von Mises
Government is the creature of the people, and that which they have created they surely have a right to examine. Robert Hall (minister)
Louisiana showed up at the top of a study of political corruption that calculated the number of convictions per capita. Georgia came out as worst on a corruption risk report from the State Integrity Investigation, which measured factors like accountability, transparency and ethics enforcement. Gail Collins
I didn’t e-mail during my Presidency because I was afraid of the Freedom of Information Requests. George W. Bush
Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency. Barack Obama
We have had a continuing problem of the equality of wealth and the power that goes with it. There are other ways of curtailing the power of corporations…. Congress is at fault for not requiring full disclosure of political contributions… Speech is the last thing we should be curtailing. Floyd Abrams
In a democracy threatened by excessive secrecy and the criminalizing of news gathering, the more sunlight the better. Margaret Sullivan
The public must know about the general outlines of surveillance activities in order to evaluate whether the government is achieving the appropriate balance between privacy and security. Daniel J. Solove
Secrecy at the level of the individual suspect is different from keeping the very existence of massive surveillance programs secret. Daniel J. Solove
Some things are not best done in public even though the public is asking for a confrontation. John Kerry
In a Madisonian system, it is often more important how you do something than what you do. Jonathan Turley
We’re reaching a point where we have over classification. Every single administration, Republican and Democrat, has classified too much stuff. And now it’s getting out of control. Patrick Leahy
The Congress shall have power . . . To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries United States
The different forces, however, which are doing secret service work, or investigation of different kinds are not the parts of the government which it would seem wise to me to consolidate. There have grown up under various forms of government in different parts of the world, secret investigation branches under one head, and they times have practically superseded all the other arms of the government and have spread terror among the population. It seems to me that it is better for us to have these necessary forces divided up under different department heads. There may be a certain amount of rivalry but that will do no harm, and if the heads have the proper spirit of cooperation the men themselves will understand that when they need to assist each other, they should do so in the interests of law and order and justice which they are all serving. As long as they remain separate there will, however, be no danger of a secret octopus growing up to control in harmful ways. Eleanor Roosevelt
There is, however, one consolation to anyone who lives in the public eye, namely, that while it may be most difficult to keep the world from knowing where you dine and what you eat and what you wear, so much interest is focused on these somewhat unimportant things, that you are really left completely free to live your own inner life as you wish. Eleanor Roosevelt
No limit, no definition, may restrict the range or depth of the human spirit's passage into its own secrets or the world's. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
You cannot have fairness unless you have transparency…We don’t know that is going on inside those boxes … we could have a meltdown [in the entire economy]. Edward E. Kaufman
The best system is the most accountable and transparent system James Bopp Jr.
There are laws against threats and intimidation; and harsh criticism, short of unlawful action, is a price our people have traditionally been willing to pay for self-governance. Requiring people to stand up in public for their political acts fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed. For my part, I do not look forward to a society which ... campaigns anonymously … and even exercises the direct democracy of initiative and referendum hidden from public scrutiny and protected from the accountability of criticism. This does not resemble the Home of the Brave. Antonin Scalia
The first is determining how to deal with the great industrial combinations is knowledge of the facts—publicity. Theodore Roosevelt
The best way to give these negotiations a chance, is to keep them private. John Kerry
I talk to the press five days a week … The president—how often does he talk to the press? His press secretary talks to the press every day, okay. But I happen to think the public should demand he should. I think he should; I think that’s his job. Michael Bloomberg
Americans have a right to know what is being done in their name…. These cables tell the unvarnished story of how the government makes its biggest decisions. New York Times
[Presidential] Campaigns are like an MRI for the soul. Whoever you are, eventually people find out. David Axelrod
We will use new technology to hard-wire the kind of [transparency] reform and accountability into the culture of government so that it can’t be undone in the next administration. Beth Simone Noveck
Progress in a globally interdependent society relies more than ever on the unimpeded flow of information. Lee C. Bollinger
All our public systems—administrative, justice, education, and political systems are closed systems designed to produce mediocrity. Rahul Gandhi
The voices of a billion Indians … are telling us that the course of their lives cannot be decided by a handful of people behind closed doors who are not fully accountable to them. They are telling us that India’s governmental system … robs people of their voice, a system that disempowers rather than empowering. Rahul Gandhi
The public safety renders it necessary that the grounds of these arrests should at present be withheld, but at the proper time they will made public. Of one thing the people of Maryland may rest assured: that no arrest has been made, or will be made, not based on substantial and unmistakable complicity with those in armed rebellion against the Government of the United States. In no case has an arrest been made on mere suspicion, or through personal or partisan animosities, but in all cases the Government is in possession of tangible and unmistakable evidence, which will, when made public, be satisfactory to every loyal citizen. Abraham Lincoln
There are no secrets in science. Charles Percy Snow
In China, there is a long history of the government not revealing information, so it’s difficult for the Chinese people to ever know the truth. It is vital that we try to bring that truth to life. Ai Weiwei
If the agreement were not classified [secret], public opinion might kill it. Ron Kirk
… institutions have lost their credibility, not because they don't operate but rather because they operate behind closed doors; they have not been opened to the Chilean people. Karol Cariola
Law is the safest helmet; under the shield of the law no one is deceived. Ancient Roman Proverb
I discovered that my husband did not like the breakfasts and lunches that he has been getting! It therefore behooves Mrs. Nesbitt and myself to scurry around and get some new ideas. Eleanor Roosevelt
From now on, the government has to make its accounts public on a quarterly basis. Macky Sall
Justice must be seen to be done. Ian Buruma
If I end up disgraced in a ditch somewhere, but it helps the country, it will still be worth it. Edward Snowden
In the democratic countries generally, the great body of citizens are refusing to wait until negotiations are over or policies are acted upon or even determined. They demand to know what is going on and to have an opportunity to express their opinions at all stages of diplomatic proceedings…. public opinion will be increasingly not merely the ultimate judge but an immediate and active force in negotiation. Elihu Root
If you are completely transparent, then you have no intelligence service. Alexander Joel
Misrepresentation of public Measures is easily overthrown, by representing public Measures truly; when they are honest, they ought to be publicly known, that they may be publicly commended, but if they are knavish or pernicious, they ought to be publicly exposed, in order to be publicly detested. Marcus Porcius Cato
The future will find one of its great problems is deciding how big a business enterprise must become before the public is entitled to know the full details of its management. Ray Stannard Baker
Usually the public is better off with more information than less. That includes information the government would like to keep quiet. Emily Bazelon
Most leaks from large bureaucracies are “good” leaks: no danger to national security, no harm to innocent people, information the public ought to know. Michael Kinsley
I cannot flinch from saying such things in public. As a Representative of the People I am duty bound to do so. Justice cries out to me not to dissemble. Pieter Vreede
There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry ... There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. Our political life is also predicated on openness. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress. J. Robert Oppenheimer
… free access to scientific information … the abolition of barriers hitherto considered necessary to safeguard national interest but now standing in the way of common security against unprecedented dangers Niels Bohr
Citizen’s Commission to Investigate the FBI Anonymous
Facilities have been given me here as never before, the Interstate Commerce People even offering me a desk and stenographer, with full admission to all their published reports and letters. It certainly shows how … a greater care for truth and fairness, which I have tried to attain in my articles, gets hold of people. Ray Stannard Baker
The most closed, control freak, administration I have ever covered. David E. Sanger
To Any Officer or Employee of the Government: Please tell Mr. Lincoln Steffens anything whatever about the government that you know (not incompatible with the public interest) and provided only that you tell him the truth—no matter what it might be—I will see to it that you are not hurt. T. Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt
If we play our cards right with the media, the Press will be our Inspector General’s Office. Encourage them to find any dirt on our programs and tell us. Then we can fix them or at least start to and everyone will be better off. We will learn of and fix out weaknesses, the press will have good stories, and the public will get better service. I can see some of you wondering what our own Office of Inspection is supposed to do. It is to find out about our problems before the press does, not to wait for complaints and then start looking. When a reporter comes to us with a scandal story of one of our programs, I would love to say, “Good reporting. That’s a serious problem and this is what we have been doing about it. Give us a hand and keep monitoring it, and let us know about our progress.” No one expects us to not have problems, but they do expect us to find them and fix them quickly, and that is what we must all expect of each other. Sargent Shriver
Atoms for Peace Dwight D. Eisenhower
We want to give people an opportunity to be heard on issues that may be taken under advisement and voted upon by the board during the meeting, by hearing the public first rather than after the actions have been taken. John J. Degnan
The Lebanese don’t know what they’re eating, and it would only be worse if they knew…. The Lebanese are eating food dipped in sweat and covered with diseases and microbes…. But the people should have this information. Wael Abu Faour
There is no such thing as transparent intelligence. Robert Baer
I believe that the American People have a right to know what was done in their name.. John McCain
Tolerance of corruption, explicit and implicit, has made it impossible to govern…. We need absolute transparency of all the assets of government officials. Ashraf Ghani
... the president [Barak Obama] has failed to finish the job of securing radiological material in hospitals and industrial facilities, or to crack down on the threats from bioweapons and toxic chemicals. Second, with his revised EPA guidelines on dirty-bomb damage, Obama has taken a tentative but insufficient step toward leveling with the public in a way that deprives terrorists of their ability to spread hysteria. That mirrors what he has tried to do more generally: tentatively steer Americans toward the realistic view that while terrorism is inevitable, it is not an existential or apocalyptic threat—–unless we treat it like the apocalypse. Steve Brill
For a long time now, there has been too much secrecy in this city. This administration stands on the side not of those seek to withhold information but who seek to make it known. Barack Obama
Reform in a profession that doesn’t need to be reformed is not the answer to fight crime. Chuck Canturbury
The societies that embrace openness will be those that compete and succeed effectively. Alec Ross
Open societies, open governments, and an open international system are risky propositions. But they are humankind’s best hope for harnessing the power not only of states, but also of businesses, universities, civic organizations, and citizens to address the planetary problems that now touch us all. Anne-Marie Slaughter
Transparency has long been a rare commodity in international affairs. But today, the forces of technology are ushering in a new age of openness that would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago. Governments, journalists, and nongovernmental organ­izations (NGOs) can now harness a flood of open-source information, drawn from commercial surveillance satellites, drones, smartphones, and computers, to reveal hidden activities in contested areas—from Ukraine to Syria to the South China Sea. Sean P. Larkin
Over the next decade, the market-driven explosion of surveillance sensors and data analytics will bring an unprecedented level of transparency to global affairs. Commercial satellites will capture daily images of the entire globe, offering inexpensive and automated reports on everything from crop yields to military activity. Journalists, NGOs, and bloggers will increasingly use crowdsourced data to uncover wartime atrocities and expose government hypocrisy. Private security companies will discover the sources of cyberattacks and data theft. Biometric systems will expose the identities of clandestine operatives, and government agencies will struggle to contain leakers and whistleblowers. Sean P. Larkin
Although governments will also benefit from improved access to information, increased transparency will allow people at home and abroad to better observe and critique what governments do and to hold leaders accountable for their decisions. As a result, governments will find it harder to adopt strategies that require secrecy or violate international norms. Sean P. Larkin
Venture capitalists are pouring billions of dollars into commercial surveillance satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, social media analytics, biometric technologies, and cyberdefenses to meet surging market demand. Heavy competition is driving down the cost of and improving the information available to individuals, businesses, and governments. Sean P. Larkin
In the coming years, breakthroughs in transparency will come from Silicon Valley rather than Geneva. Sean P. Larkin
We in the Defense Department want to know what we are talking about when we provide information so it will take some time longer for us to get all the information. James Mattis
The president has allowed America into the ugliness of his mind - as if he wanted the world to participate in the despoliation of the myth of presidential behavior. ... That was the truly impeachable offense: letting everyone see. Leonard Garment
Data is fungible. You can make as many copies of it as you want. Christopher Wylie

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