Secrecy Quotes



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Quote Author Cited
I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual now-a-days to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot Abraham Lincoln
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
Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity. Lord Acton
In revealing the workings of government that led to the Vietnam War, the newspapers nobly did precisely that which the Founders hoped and trusted they would do. Hugo Black
Dead men tell no tales. Haniel Long
Secrecy is the first essential in affairs of state. Cardinal Richelieu
The Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Hugo Black
Even when it comes to notable events, we are in the dark. Cornelius Tacitus
They all did it – by which I mean, virtually the entire hierarchy is complicit to a greater or lesser degree in shuffling child-molesting priests around, or keeping them in some way in a position to commit their crimes. Why? Clericalism. The clerical class is what mattered most to these people, not the children and their families... Rod Dreher
I ordered that they use any means necessary, including illegal means, to accomplish this goal. . . . The president of the United States can never admit that. Richard Nixon
Making sensitive political inquiries at the IRS is about as safe a procedure as trusting a whore. Since the administration has no reliable political friends at IRS. We won't be in control of the government and in a position of effective leverage until such time as we have complete and total control of the top three slots of the IRS. Tom Charles Huston
Many state parole boards claim exemptions from state sunshine laws that would be unthinkable for other government officials. Beth Schwartzapfel
Rule of Dark Matter: SuperPAC dollars cannot be seen by most voters but account for most of the money in this universe. Alexandra Petri
When you join the CIA, you have to make some peace with whether you are comfortable psychologically and philosophically, with the use of force and using it clandestinely. Jack Devine
... infiltrate and neutralize the mainstream American media. Roger Ailes
What I saw was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made. Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences. Lawrence Wilkerson
[The decisions made by the prosecutors were] stunningly arbitrary. These decisions are shrouded in such complete secrecy that they make the proceedings of the former English Court of Star Chamber appear to be a model of criminal justice transparency. We as judges can and should do more [to change the situation.] Mark W. Bennett
Ask you must and answer well to be called clever One may know your secret never a second. Iff three a thousand will know. Vikings
For undemocratic reasons and for motives not of State, They arrive at their conclusions — largely inarticulate. Being void of self-expression they confide their views to none: But sometimes in a smoking-room, one learns why things were done. Rudyard Kipling
The President must certainly be punishable for giving false information to the Senate. He is to regulate all intercourse with foreign powers, and it is his duty to impart to the Senate every material intelligence he receives. If it should appear that he has not given them full information, but has concealed important intelligence which he ought to have communicated, and by that means induced them to enter into measures injurious to their country, and which they would not have consented to had the true state of things been disclosed to them, — in this case, I ask whether, upon an impeachment for a misdemeanor upon such an account, the Senate would probably favor him. James Iredell
The nature of this new endeavor is such that under no circumstances should the existence of the program be made known outside the Bureau and appropriate within-office security should be afforded to sensitive operations and techniques considered under the program. J. Edgar Hoover
Too many people have been spied upon by too many Government agencies and too much information has been collected. The Government has often undertaken the secret surveillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs, even when those beliefs posed no threat of violence or illegal acts on behalf of a hostile foreign power. The Government, operating primarily through secret informants, but also using other intrusive techniques such as wiretaps, microphone "bugs", surreptitious mail opening, and break-ins, has swept in vast amounts of information about the personal lives, views, and associations of American citizens. Investigations of groups deemed potentially dangerous -- and even of groups suspected of associating with potentially dangerous organizations -- have continued for decades, despite the fact that those groups did not engage in unlawful activity. Groups and individuals have been harassed and disrupted because of their political views and their lifestyles. Investigations have been based upon vague standards whose breadth made excessive collection inevitable. Frank Church
Governmental officials -- including those whose principal duty is to enforce the law --have violated or ignored the law over long periods of time and have advocated and defended their right to break the law. The Constitutional system of checks and balances has not adequately controlled intelligence activities Frank Church
Our aim is to strengthen, not damage, Mexico’s institutions, to force them to adopt greater transparency Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
I want to have a society based on truth. That means no longer hiding what we used to hide. Boris Yeltsin
Every war has seen unscrupulous reporters who are willing to hurt the national effort, even betray secrets, for the sake of a story…but it did no good to treat the press as enemies. Harry J. Maihafer
Accountability begins with transparency. John Bolton
Would the world be any more dangerous if we did without secrets all together. John Mortimer; Horace Rumpole
The H-Bomb Secret: How We Got It, Why We’re Telling It Samuel H. Day Jr.; Howard Morland
It is necessary secretly ---and urgently---to prepare for terror. And on Tuesday we will decide whether it will be through the SNK or otherwise Vladimir Lenin
Never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you. Chanakya
Any foreign policy that is formulated in secret intelligence will always get the nation in trouble… secret intelligence always gets it wrong. It is a sample of a small part of the world---a picture of the world that is dramatically skewed. John Brady Kiesling
Reconciliation does not mean covering history with a blanket. Reconciliation means truth, justice and love. Justice without love can degenerate into vengeance. We need to know the truth for medicinal reasons, so that what happened … will never happen again. Miguel Esteban Hesayne
Sooner will men hold fire in their mouths than keep a secret. Gaius Petronius; Petronius Arbiter
Democracies have no business running secret prisons. That's what our enemies do…. Real security begins with remembering who we are. We gain nothing by adopting the methods of our enemies. Bob Schieffer
The old diplomat liked to move with deliberation, in secret, following well-established traditions and working through what he loved to describe as "the usual channels". To him, the open debate carried on, not by professional diplomats, but by politicians and statesmen having little regard for the use of the technical phraseology of diplomacy and intent merely on reaching results which would make diplomacy unnecessary, was offensive to all his instincts. Robert Cecil; Edgar Algernon Robert Gascoyne-Cecil
He who discloses his hardship will always be humiliated. Ali ibn Abi Talib
Yes Mr. President, of course I can, and where in Tennessee did you want to hide it. Kenneth D. McKellar
The great strength of our Order lies in it's concealment, let it never appear in any place in it's own name, but always covered by another name, and another occupation. None is fitter than the three lower degrees of Freemasonry, the public is accustomed to it, expects little from it, and therefore takes little notice of it. Next to this, the form of a learned or literary society is best suited to our purpose, and had Freemasonry not existed, this cover would have been employed; and it may be much more than a cover, it may be a powerful engine in our hands. By establishing Reading Societies, and subscription libraries, and taking these under our direction, and supplying them through our labours, we may turn the public mind which way we will…. A literary society is the most proper form for the introduction of our order into any state where we are yet strangers Illuminati
There is no way of influencing men so powerfully as by means of the women. These should therefore be our chief study; we should insinuate ourselves into their good opinion, give them hints of emancipation from the tyranny of public opinion, and of standing up for themselves; it will be an immense relief to their enslaved minds to be freed from any one bond of restraint, and it will fire them the more, and cause them to work for us with zeal, without knowing that they do so, for they will only be indulging their own desire of personal admiration Illuminati
For the Order wishes to be secret, and to work in silence, for thus it is better secured from the oppression of the ruling powers … Illuminati
The occupations must be so allotted and contrived, that we may, in secret, influence all political transactions. Adam Weishaupt
The Illuminati is inviting to Christians of every communion; gradually frees them from all religious prejudices; cultivates the social virtues; and animates them by a great, a feasible, a speedy prospect of universal happiness, in a state of liberty and moral equality, freed from the obstacles which subordination, rank, and riches, continually throw in our way …. Our secret association works in a way that nothing can withstand, and man shall soon be free and happy. Adam Weishaupt
He was calling me about something else, so he just dropped it in. I’m not supposed to tell anyone. He made me promise. Henry A. Kissinger
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
When it comes to international negotiations it cannot all be kept confidential and secret. There must be a way of preparing publics for what is being negotiated. Dennis Ross
Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt. Sun Tzu
The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created California
I—here in the presence of Almighty God, as I hope for ease, honor and comfort in this world, and happiness in the world to come, most earnestly, devoutly and religiously swear; that I will neither directly of indirectly assist the wicked instruments of ministerial tyranny and villainy, commonly called the king’s troops and navy, by furnishing them with provisions and refreshments of any kind …. I will neither directly or indirectly convey any intelligence, nor give any advice to the foresaid enemies describe …. I will whenever called upon by the voice of the continental congress or by that of … this particular colony … to take arms and subject myself to military discipline in defense of the common rights and liberties of America… Charles Lee
He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured. Ethiopian Proverb
Those members of Congress who want to bring back pork to their districts should stand up proudly and be counted. Errol Louis
Perhaps we have acted too hastily. … it may have been unwise for us to send an army into Smyrna, but now that the army is there, it would be more unwise to withdraw it -- to do so would admit military failure and court political defeat. Eleutherios Venizelos
What is often said in private may not be said in public. Dianne Feinstein
Truth telling is not compatible with the defence of the realm. George Bernard Shaw
Classification is used, not to protect the national interest but to prevent national embarrassment. Steven Miles
The investigation has shown, let us hope, privilege at its worst. The trail is one of dishonesty, greed, violation of law, secrecy, concealment, evasion, falsehood, and cunning. It is a trail of betrayals by trusted and presumably honorable men--betrayals of a government, of certain business interests and the people who trusted and honored them; it is a trail showing a flagrant degree of the exercise of political power and influence, and the power and influence of great wealth upon individuals and political parties; it is the trail of despoilers and schemers, far more dangerous to the well-being of our Nation and our democracy than all those who have been deported Gerald Nye
I far more trust the press than I do the Administration with judgment of what should be secret and what shouldn’t. How many scandals has the Administration uncovered on its own? James Bamford
Many complaints have reached me from the army of the advantages conferred upon the enemy by the publication of intelligence from the seat of war, not only in letters from the correspondents of the English newspapers, but in letters written by officers to their friends at home in the spirit of confidential intimacy, and which those friends send to newspapers… Henry Pelham-Clinton, 5th Duke of Newcastle
The information I received as a member of the National Security Council, in my capacity as Vice—President, was so confidential that I would lose my right arm before I divulge it to anyone, even to members of my own family… Alben W. Markley
An urgent need exists for regular and responsible Congressional scrutiny of the Central Intelligence Agency. Such scrutiny is essential… Our form of government…is based on a system of checks and balances. If this system gets seriously out of balance at any point the whole system is jeopardized and the way is opened for the growth of tyranny…CIA is freed from practically every ordinary form of Congressional check. I agree that an intelligence agency must maintain complete secrecy to be effective. However, there is a profound difference between an essential degree of secrecy to achieve a specific purpose and secrecy for the mere sake of secrecy. Mike Mansfield
The euphoria of secrecy goes to the head. C. P. Snow
The National Security Agency plays so highly specialized a role in the defense and security of the United States that an outsider can actually describe its activities. They are guarded not only from the public but from other government agencies as well. The Civil Service Commission, which audits all government positions, is not allowed to know what NSA employees do. Edwin E. Willis
The Senate must stop doing so much of its business in secret, behind closed doors…. A bill that affects the nation’s security has been held up for months by a secret hold and cannot see the light of day…. There is no accountability…. The person who exercises a hold ought to be identified…. Secret holds have been the bane of the United States Senate for decades. So much for sunshine in the United States Senate. Ron Wyden
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
If you can exchange information freely, isn’t that almost a definition of democracy. Lamar S. Smith
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
The duty of a Privy Counselor appears from the oath of office [to require the Counselor] to keep the King’s counsel secret…[and] to withstand all persons who would attempt the contrary. William Blackstone
It may be stated as a general principal, that public policy forbids the maintenance of any suit in a court of justice, the trial of which would inevitably lead to the disclosure of matters which the law itself regards as confidential. Stephen J. Field
It seldom happens in the negotiation of treaties…but that perfect secrecy and immediate dispatch are sometimes requisite…and there doubtless are many [people] who would rely on the secrecy of the president, but who would not confide in that of the Senate, and still less in that of a large popular assembly. John Jay
The state’s secret privilege is the most basic of government privileges—it protects survival of the state, from which all other institutions derive. Brian Z. Tamanaha
Government ought to be all outside and no inside [for] corruption thrives in secret places [and] it [is] a fair presumption that secrecy means impropriety. William E. Leuchtenburg
Compared to publicity…internal checks upon bureaucratic misbehavior…have but negligible value. Francis E. Rourke
Openness is the natural enemy of arbitrariness. Kenneth Culp Davis
To cover with the veil of secrecy the common routine of business is an abomination in the eyes of every intelligent man and every friend to his country. Patrick Henry
If we [are] to fully discharge the serious responsibilities imposed upon us, the confidential character of our files must be inviolate. J. Edgar Hoover
The most secretive White House in modern history has learned the hard way …that it must reveal a pretty steady stream of secrets. David E. Sanger
The law does not distinguish terribly well between real secrets and sort-of secrets, especially in an age when the instinct to stamp “classified” runs rampant. David E. Sanger
The great lesson of 9/11 is that improper hoarding of information can cost lives and harm national security. William J. Leonard
Even more shocking is a proposal to create a new biodefense research agency that would be completely exempt from FOIA ...We can all agree that the nation must prepare, but it should not do so in abject secrecy Patrick Leahy
There are security risks not only from information falling into the wrong hands, but also from information failing to find its way into the right hands. The government’s current approach to protecting classified information does not recognize this risk from failing to share Zoe E. Baird
The Department of Homeland Security is keeping its plan to protect the nation’s roads and bridges secret from state and local officials who have day to day responsibilities for protecting them. What use is it if the people who have to adapt to it don’t know anything about its existence or what it says? Slade Gorton
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
Welcome Nixon! How About the Hughes Loan? Dick Tuck
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
They who have put out the people's eyes reproach them for their blindness. John Milton
When the Vice President of the United States shoots somebody, the public has the right to know. Linda Chavez
Redistricting has always taken place behind closed doors, with zero public input Pam Wilmot
Thank God we have a press that tells us what you guys are doing. Patrick Leahy
Keeping a secret is a commitment Arab Proverb
The truth won't stay hidden and will come out. Armenian Proverb
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
You can hide the caskets but you can’t hide the casualties. Mark Shields
Openness is the natural enemy of arbitrariness. Kenneth Culp Davis
Compared to publicity…internal checks upon bureaucratic misbehavior…have but negligible value. Francis E. Rourke
Government ought to be all outside and no inside for corruption thrives in secret places and it is a fair presumption that secrecy means impropriety. William E. Leuchtenburg
The states secret privilege is the most basic of government privileges—it protects survival of the state, from which all other institutions derive. Brian Z. Tamanaha
It seldom happens in the negotiation of treaties…but that perfect secrecy and immediate dispatch are sometimes requisite…and there doubtless are many [people] who would rely on the secrecy of the president, but who would not confide in that of the Senate, and still less in that of a large popular assembly. John Jay
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
Public policy forbids the maintenance of any suit in a court of justice, the trial of which would inevitably lead to the disclosure of matters which the law itself regards as confidential, and respecting which it will not allow the confidence to be violated. On this principle, suits cannot be maintained which would require a disclosure of the confidences of the confessional, or those between husband and wife, or of communications by a client to his counsel for professional advice, or of a patient to his physician for a similar purpose. Much greater reason exists for the application of the principle to cases of contract for secret services with the government. Stephen J. Field
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 Branson Maris
Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you. Anonymous
Remember! The enemy is listening in. Anonymous
The clerks of parliament shall not deny to any one a copy of his process, but shall deliver it to whoever seeks it Anonymous
Valindaba Anonymous
What is more tempting for a censor than to censor? Floyd Abrams
As the CIA is set up neither you, the National Security Council, nor anyone else will be in a position to know what it is doing or control it. Dean Acheson
What we say privately we say publicly. Gerry Adams
This day I learned that the caucus club meets at certain times in the garret of Tom Dawes, the adjutant of the Boston regiment.... There they smoke tobacco till you cannot see from one end of the room to another. There they drink flip, I suppose, and there they choose a moderator who puts questions to the vote regularly; and selectmen, assessors, collectors, firewards, and representatives are regularly chosen before they are chosen in the town [of Boston]. John Adams
The CIA claims that secrecy is necessary to hide what it's doing from enemies of the United States ... the real reason for secrecy is to hide what the CIA is doing from the American people. Philip Agee
a self service interest group immeasurably aided be secrecy. Aldrich Ames
What did the President know and when did he know it? Howard Baker
If they can talk to you over a secure telephone line, then you have to do what they want. Walworth Barbour
Publicity is the soul of justice. Without publicity, all other checks are insufficient: in comparison of publicity, all other checks are of small account. Jeremy Bentham
People would know virtually nothing about their government were it not for confidential sources who can speak without fear of retaliation. Carl Bernstein
Public investigating committees formed from the people themselves of from their public representatives ... have always been opposed by groups that seek or have special privileges. The spokesmen of these greedy groups never rest in their opposition to exposure of publicity. That is because special privilege thrives in secrecy and darkness and is destroyed by rays of pitiless publicity. Hugo Black
Secrecy necessarily breeds suspicion. Louis D. Brandeis
Public disclosure is one of the great disinfectants ever invented. Richard C. Breeden
For falsification to constitute an offence there must be proof of "intent to deceive." This is a legally prescribed element of the offence and is negated when the report is submitted in conformity with orders from a higher authority in possession of the true facts. George S. Brown
Executive Privilege Herbert Brownell
Interdepartmental memoranda, advisory opinions, recommendations of subordinates, informal working papers, material in personnel files, and the like, cannot be subject to disclosure if there is to be any orderly system of government. Herbert Brownell
The U. S. press has become a major source of unauthorized intelligence information. Classified information disclosed in the press is the equivalent of information obtained by enemy espionage. James Bruce
Though secrecy in diplomacy is occasionally unavoidable, it has its perils ... Publicity may cause some losses, but may avert some misfortunes. James Bryce
If we guard our toothbrushes and diamonds with equal zeal, we will lose fewer toothbrushes and more diamonds. McGeorge Bundy
That versatility, those sudden evolutions, which have sometimes derogated from the credit of all public professions, are things not so easy in large bodies, as when men act alone, or in light squadrons. Edmund Burke
Silence is worth a thousand pieces of silver. Burmese Proverb
Everyone congratulates me on being ordered to the White House, seeming to think it an exceptional honour ... but I am not over enthusiastic .... many people will try to pump one dry of White House news ... Archibald Butt
Every time something has gone wrong with foreign policy, it’s been because the American people have not been involved in the process. Jimmy Carter
The root of the problem [secrecy in government] is not so much that our people have lost confidence in government, but that government has demonstrated time and again its lack of confidence in the people. Jimmy Carter
Secrecy is the badge of fraud. John White Chadwick
We must choose between freedom and fear – we cannot have both. Zechariah Chafee Jr.
The cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should therefore be hushed. A sentiment more unworthy of a free country should hardly be propagated. If the doctrine be admitted, rulers have only to declare war and they are screened at once from scrutiny. William Ellery Channing
I do not wish to afford my political enemies ... an opportunity to mortify and insult me. Samuel Chase
The personal life of every individual is based on secrecy, and perhaps it is partly for that reason that civilized man is so nervously anxious that personal privacy should be respected. Anton Chekhov
Secrecy is a necessary part of doing business in the modern world. Dick Cheney
Secrecy in government, in the public mind, becomes synonymous with deception in government. Lawton M. Chiles Jr.
[Defining state secrets:] All state affairs which have not yet been decided upon, or which have been decided upon but not yet been made public. China
Most "off the record" never continues to be "off the record. George B. Christian Jr.
If only I could tell the country. Frank Church
For a secret assassination, the contrived accident is the most effective technique. Central Intelligence Agency
The Constitution says I must ask the Senate for consent and advice. The more advice, the more leaks. Bill Clinton
The secret bombing of Laos was not a secret to the Laotians. Only the American people were kept in the dark. Warren I. Cohen
We have a right to know or may lawfully know any truth. And a right to know any truth whatsoever implies a right to think freely. John Anthony Collins
His majesty is an absolute king and not bound to give any account, to any, of his actions … yet he is so gracious and regardful a prince and was of the love and contentment of his subjects, …. That he would not think it fit to do anything of so great a consequence without acquainting them of his intentions. Charles Cornwal
The public never ought to have become aware of this matter. John Aloysius Costello
Leaks usually have more value to the public at large than the harm which they occasionally do. Lloyd Cutler
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
… [Secret detention is] odious to a democratic society Arthur N. D’Italia
National security is like that vague term Executive privilege. Both terms have been abused; both concepts have been damaged; they've been used as shields for secrecy. John Dean
Brain Machine Interface Program Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; DARPA
It appears to the American people that the government is intent on prying into every nook and cranny of people’s private lives, while at the same time doing all that it can to block access to government information that would inform the American people what is being done in their name. William Delahunt
Democracy is based on the idea that the people rule and that the best decisions are made in public view. Lee Dembart
In the administration of justice all proceedings shall be public and oral to the widest possible extent. Denmark
The shadowy world of foreign intelligence-gathering – the American government’s most secret and least accountable enterprise – is now the Bush administration’s main legal weapon in the war on terrorism. Lyle Denniston
Do not agree that any alleged violation exists .... Do not point out any possible/potential problem areas .... Do not volunteer any information. Department of Energy
Secrecy cannot be used to cover up bad management. John Deutch
It is unwise to wish everything explained. Benjamin Disraeli
You never say what you're not going to do. Christopher Dodd
It’s a public event. We [television] should be covering it. Phil Donahue
The secrecy stamp … has been used to withhold information which in 99 ½ percent of the cases would present no danger to national security. William O. Douglas
An intelligence service is the ideal vehicle for a conspiracy [against its own government]. Its members can travel about at home and abroad under secret orders, and no questions are asked. Every scrap of paper in the files, its membership, its expenditure of funds, its contacts, even enemy contacts, are state secrets. Allen Welsh Dulles
One of my own guiding principles in intelligence work was ... not to make a mystery of what is a matter of common knowledge or obvious to friend and foe alike. Allen Welsh Dulles
Obviously you cannot tell of operations that go along well. Those that go badly generally speak for themselves. Allen Welsh Dulles
What good does it do to spend millions to protect ourselves against espionage if our secrets just leak away. Allen Welsh Dulles
If thou hast heard a word, let it die with thee. Book of Ecclesiastes
It is not enough for a handful of experts to attempt the solution of a problem, to solve it and then to apply it. The restriction of knowledge to an elite group destroys the spirit of society and leads to its intellectual impoverishment. Albert Einstein
It is essential to efficient and effective administration that employees of the Executive Branch be in a position to be completely candid in advising each other on official matters ... it is not in the public interest that any of their conversations or communications, or any documents or reproductions, concerning such advice be disclosed. Dwight D. Eisenhower
No one has any right to question my aides about any advice they had ever given me. Dwight D. Eisenhower
As gaslight is found to be the best nocturnal police, so the universe protects itself by pitiless publicity. Ralph Waldo Emerson
He that does evil hates the light. English Proverb or Saying
Tell never thy counsel to thy foe. English Proverb or Saying
The President is entitled to keep secret those conversations which a President may have had with his aids for the purpose of advising him in his Constitutional duties. Executive privilege cannot cover crimes, for they are not Constitutional duties. Samuel J. Ervin Jr.
Photons have neither morals or visas. David J. Farber
Secrecy is essential to committee deliberations because members would be wary of exploring ideas or exchanging views if there were a substantial possibility of an embarrassing leak. Bruce Fein
All our secret papers were kept in wooden cabinets with rods and padlocks. If you wanted to, you could tilt the cabinets and remove the papers from the bottom. Richard P. Feynman
If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees. Khalil Gibran
The possession of knowledge has always been dangerous. Newt Gingrich
You can't run a government that is leaking all over the place. Goh Chok Tong
The savings and loan scandals grew in the dark basements of official government secrecy. Henry B. Gonzalez
We never knew how much we did not know. Phil Goulding
We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things the general public does not need to know, and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows Graham
I resent any secret plan that I'm not a part of. Phil Gramm
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
The people who classify [government] documents tend to be excessive. Edwin Griswald
I had never seen a trace of a threat to the national security from the publication. Erwin N. Griswald
Opinions become dangerous to a state only when persecution makes it necessary for the people to communicate their ideas under the bond of secrecy. Charles James Fox
People would meet in darkness behind closed doors. It was almost that they seemed ashamed at what they were doing. Vincente Fox
Whenever they tell you there's no change in policy, that's the surest sign that something's up. Thomas Friedman
What you would hide from an enemy don't tell a friend. Solomon Ibn Gabirol
Pontiac ... keeps two secretaries, one to write for him, and the other to read the letters he receives, and he manages them so as to keep each of them ignorant of what is transacted by the other. Thomas Gage
There are more secrets, but there is not more secrecy. Steven Garfinkel
It was given for all purposes to which a secret service fund should or could be applied to the public benefit—for spies, if the gentleman pleases. John Forsythe
Secret negotiations have a right to remain secret. Richard Holbrooke
Individual liberty and responsibility involve the right of private judgment; this involves the right to all the light necessary to form a correct judgment. Mark Hopkins
We still have documents from the First World War that have not yet been declassified. I have no idea why. It boggles the mind. Steven Horn
Leaks are a cottage industry in this town [Washington DC]. Henry Hyde
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
If my friends don’t know what my plans are, then my enemies will not. Thomas J. Jackson
Communicate no other intelligence to Congress at large than what may be necessary to promote the common weal, not to gratify the curiosity of individuals. John Jay
The way to make friends quarrel is to pit them in disputation under the public eye ... public assemblies where every one is free to speak and act, are the most powerful looseners of the hands of private friendship. Thomas Jefferson
Anything that will be revealed eventually, should be revealed immediately. Gary Johnson
The President sends first and asks our advice and consent afterwards. William Maclay
I recommend … the expediency of authorizing the Executive to take temporary possession of any part of parts of said territory [Florida]…. James Madison
A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or perhaps both ... And a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives. James Madison
If the debates had been public, no constitution would have ever been adopted. James Madison
The military rarely errs on the side of openness. Daniel Maffei
Time and chance reveal all secrets. Mary Manley
I understand that my actions violated the law; I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States. It was never my intent to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people. When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others. Bradley Edward Manning
Once secrecy becomes sacrosanct, it invites abuse. Mike Mansfield
Secrecy now beclouds everything about CIA—its cost, its efficiency, its successes, and its failures. Mike Mansfield
People in power tend to be not as enthusiastic about open records as they were before they came to power. Joyce Appleby
The more urgent the message, the more slowly it moves—but those are the penalties of security. Martin Mayer
If I tell him [President Abraham Lincoln] my [war] plans they will be in the New York Herald tomorrow morning. He can’t keep a secret. George B. McClellan
Everyone pays a price for secrecy …. Sooner of later we are going to have to pay the cost of declassifying billions of documents Paul McMasters
There is a culture of secrecy. Nobody gets punished for over-classifying. They might be punished for under-classifying. Paul McMasters
It is a crime now in my country to talk about the government's crimes. David McTaggart
There is nothing about the President's health that should be secret—that includes baldness. Maryanne Means
Democracy requires that those who bear the consequences of decisions have enough knowledge to hold the decision-makers accountable. C. Wright Mills
As much as possible, you simply don't give out information to the public, that is the first principle. Masao Miyamoto
A man always has two reasons for what he does—a good one and the real one. J. Pierpont Morgan
There is nothing which is secret save it shall be revealed; there is no work of darkness save it shall be made manifest in the light; and there is nothing which is sealed upon the earth save it shall be loosed. Book of Mormon
The present trend toward Government secrecy could end in a dictatorship. The more information there is made available, the greater will be the nation’s security. John E. Moss
Whereas in the Fall of 1980 the frame of the new Senate Office Building was covered with plastic sheathing in order that construction might continue during the winter months; and Whereas the plastic cover has now been removed revealing, as feared, a building whose banality is exceeded only by its expense; and Whereas, even in a democracy there are things that it is as well the people do not know about their government; Therefore, be it resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that the plastic cover be put back. Daniel P. Moynihan
Secrecy is as essential to Intelligence as vestments to a Mass, or darkness to a spiritualist seance, and must at all costs be maintained, quite irrespective of whether or not it serves any purpose. Malcolm Muggeridge
It may not have been fair, but it changed history. Rupert Murdoch
Everything is secret. They [child welfare administrators] claim that is for the protection of the children. But it’s for the protection of their own negligence. Pat Murphy
The Russians not only exploded an atomic weapon, they exploded an American myth … that we had, and could maintain the secret of the bomb’s construction. Edward R. Murrow
The success of a democracy depends on the enlightenment of its people. The people should know what's going on, and public officials should keep the people informed. Fiorello H. La Guardia
The process to obtain U. S. documents is frustrating ... In human rights, time is gold, and the clock is ticking …. The documents we have received are scant and inadequate. Leo Valladares Lanza
Things can’t be kept secret forever. Russell Lees
Truth fears nothing but concealment. Veritas nihil veretur nisi abscondi. Legal maxim
There ain't no secrets in this town. Jerry Lewis
Three people can keep a secret as long as two of them are dead. G. Gordon Liddy
Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion … and you allow him to make war at pleasure. … If today he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may see no probability he would say to you, “Be silent!, I see if you don’t.” Abraham Lincoln
Every servant in the place is Welsh, and not one of them speaks a word of English. There'll be no leaks of news about important political conversations in this place while I am here, on account of some servant's indiscretion! David Lloyd George
He surprised me. I need a day to surprise him. John F. Kennedy
How did we come to this: a Kafkaesque world where information that is in the public domain can be retroactively declared secret. Jane E. Kirtley
Democracies can’t accomplish much of anything without the free flow of information – including waging the war on terrorism. Jane E. Kirtley
It may be tempting to yield to the seductive allure of secrecy in order to preserve the illusion of security. Jane E. Kirtley
… assassination of subversives, politicians and prominent figures both within the national borders of certain Southern Cone countries and abroad … would create a most serious moral and political problem. Henry A. Kissinger
I will destroy them. Henry A. Kissinger
A secret process is inherently suspect. G. Oliver Koppell
I speak not in official character, imparted by diplomacy, whose secrecy is the curse of the world, but I am the harbinger of the public spirit of the people. Louis Kossuth
In general it can be said that any political or other social system that relies on secrecy does not work efficiently. Barbara Krug
Our royalty is to be reverenced, and if you begin to poke about it you cannot reverence it …. We must not let in daylight upon magic. Walter Bagehot
… insidious traitors George W. Bush
MKULTRA Central Intelligence Agency
Resolved, That every member of this Congress considers himself under the ties of virtue, honor, and love of his country, not to divulge, directly or indirectly, any matter or thing agitated or debated in Congress, before the same shall have been determined, without leave of the Congress; nor any matter or thing determined in Congress, which a majority of the Congress shall order to be kept secret. And that if any member shall violate this agreement, he shall be expelled this Congress, and deemed an enemy to the liberties of America, and liable to be treated as such … Continental Congress
To make Money therefore of equal Value, it is necessary to reduce the Metal to a certain degree of Fineness, to cut it into pieces of equal Weight, and to put a known Stamp upon it as a Mark of its being good Money, that every one may not be oblig'd upon all occasions to try or essay it. This notwithstanding must not be done by private Men, who may be suspected of Fraud, but by the Prince, who is the Father of all. Bernardo Davanzati
Talk Kills! England
Telling a Friend May Mean Telling the Enemy England
The President [George W. Bush] has assembled a very effective White House staff. They do not squabble among themselves, and the do not leak indiscriminately—as opposed to discriminately. Fred F. Fielding
Nothing is burdensome as a secret. French Proverb
When you make a mistake—a big mistake, you’re going to have to apologize—a lot! Wilton D. Gregory
There are certain sects, which secretly form themselves in the learned world, as well as factions in the political; and though sometimes they come not to an open rupture, they give a different turn to the ways of thinking of those who have taken part on either side. David Hume
When one occupant of this house visits another he rings three times. That has been agreed, so that no one catches fright. A simple ring could be the police. Victor Klemperer
It is not irrational, then, to form associations in opposition to existing laws, if done for the sake of the truth. For as those persons would do well who should enter into a secret association in order to put to death a tyrant who had seized upon the liberties of a state Origen; Origenes Adamantius
Can the public business be thus transacted and in secret? Atlee Pomerene
I also had a letter from Whitaker [her husband’s valet]. It was completely blacked out by a censor except for “My Lady” at the top. I wonder what he wrote. Countess of Ranfurly
It was fun, fun, fun. Where else could a red-blooded American lie, kill, cheat, and rape with the sanction of the all-highest? George H. White
In order to proceed to an election which was pleasing to God and which took account of individual merits, the princes called in some of the household of each of the great leaders [candidates], made them take a solemn oath, and questioned them about the conduct and habits of their lords … This was done so that the electors might thus be more fully and more faithfully informed of the merits of the candidates. Those who were later very closely questioned under the required oath by the electors were forced to confess in secret the vices of their lords and likewise to enumerate their virtues, so that it might be made plain just what sort of men their lords were. William of Tyre
A promising process of dialogue can be disrupted by a premature or inadequate involvement of public opinion. Giovanni Battista Montini; John Paul II
The Three Mile Island Report to President Carter, if published in its entirety, would have destroyed the civilian nuclear power industry because the accident at Three Mile Island was infinitely more dangerous than was ever made public. Hyman Rickover
The President has authorized certain commanders of Unified and Specified Commands to expend nuclear weapons in defense of the United States, its territories, possessions, and forces when the urgency of time and circumstances clearly does not permit a specific decision of the President, or other person authorized to act in his stead. Joint Chiefs of Staff
We as citizens should hold our government accountable for word and deed. Valerie Plame
Disruption of the New Left J. Edgar Hoover
Thomas Edison invented a voting machine for legislatures. Politicians hated it. They didn’t want people to know how they voted. Harold Evans
Intelligence is only as good as the pressure from the consumer of the intelligence makes it. Jamie Gorelick
It is unnatural for companies to sit down in front of their competitors and share the information about their vulnerabilities. Jamie Gorelick
We don’t know whether what we found is a chip of ice or the tip of an iceberg. Stuart A. Levey
Had the investigation been left to the government, the current administration would have concealed its own mistakes and blamed its predecessors, That is not a criticism of the Bush White House. Any administration would do the same. Richard A. Posner
In most covert operations … particularly those that have a large paramilitary component, the planning for later stages is very incomplete. The outcome of the first stages of the operation is usually so difficult to predict that it wouldn't have seemed sensible to have planned the later stages. One can plan the first phases, but not what happens next Richard M. Bissell Jr.
FDR’s War Plans Chicago Tribune
We now prepared authorize bombing specific targets in [Guatemala City] area since you and feel this now the most effective move to achieve success. Targets should be selected with a view to having desired effect on army and regime morale with minimum political cost to [the United States]. Central Intelligence Agency
White Paper has effectively exposed certain aspects of PBSUCCESS . . . If possible, fabricate big human interest story, like flying saucers, birth sextuplets in remote area to take play away. Central Intelligence Agency
Paramilitary Action: An initial shipment of approximately 15 tons of arms and ammunition is now ready for shipment from [DELETED] and subsequent transshipment to Colonel Castillo Armas in Nicaragua. . . . This material is intended for use by [Colonel Castillo Armas] in his Nicaraguan training center and to test facilities for clandestine introduction of arms into Guatemala. Oliver G.. Galbond; J. C. King
Europe had to be thankful to you that you so quickly had perceived the great future for Russia in the cultivation of Asia and in the Defense of the Cross and the old Christian European culture against the inroads of the Mongols and Buddhism. Wilhelm II
Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know. Michel de Montaigne
A third and most secret phase of Operation Condor involves the formation of special teams … who are to travel anywhere in the world to carry out sanctions up to assassinations …. Special teams would be issued false documentation from member countries of Operation Condor. Robert Scherrer
You can’t report on something that you don’t know about. Lucy Dalglish
Secrecy is the greatest peril to the future of this democracy and the world. Blanche Wiesen Cook
We’re one bomb away from getting rid of that obnoxious FISA court David S. Addington
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
Remember that J. Edgar Hoover’s secret files began in the interests of national security and ended up being used for blackmail. Jack Cafferty
The Prime Minister of Great Britain has nothing to hide from the President of the United States. Winston Churchill
Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy… United States
The long-standing policy of allowing officials access to intelligence on a ‘need to know’ basis should be abandoned. John Michael McConnell
What is done tacitly must be held as if it had been done expressly . Oldradus de Ponte
Matrimony is not to be secret but open, in the face of the church. Council of Westminster
Our Presidents should not be able to conduct secret operations which violate our principles, jeopardize our rights, and have not been subject to the checks and balances which normally keep policies in line Morton H. Halperin
I am going to use this secretary for as long as I need her. Now you go back and tell that to your superiors, and don’t come back. Erwin N. Griswold
You have not done well to publish your books of Rhetoric; for what is there now that we excel others in, if those things which we have been particularly instructed in be laid open to all? Alexander III
Bin Laden Determined To Strike in U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
In every parish three or four discreet men … shall be appointed by the ordinaries [regular ministers] diligently to see that all the parishioners duly resort to their church upon all Sundays and holy days Elizabeth I
Virtue is not loved enough, because she is not seen; and vice loseth much detestation, because her ugliness is secret Joseph Hall
Although the original Constitutional Convention met behind closed doors, the founders immediately published every document associated with the drafting of the Constitution, revealed the names of everyone who had been involved in its creation, and kept nothing secret, including the minutes of the debate over its provision. Joe Conason
In the Eisenhower days, for example, the "Top Secret" stamp was used very, very freely in order not to conceal information from the Soviets or from potential enemies, but simply to conceal it from the U.S. people and from the press. This is done again and again. Stewart Alsop
A mistake that is kept secret only harms the person who has committed it, but if it becomes public and is not denounced, it harms the community Arab Proverb
If a Muslim is in a combat or godless area, he is not obligated to have a different appearance from [those around him]. The [Muslim] man may prefer or even be obligated to look like them, provided his action brings a religious benefit of preaching to them, learning their secrets and informing Muslims … Al Qaida
If a Muslim is in a combat or godless area, he is not obligated to have a different appearance from [those around him]. The [Muslim] man may prefer or even be obligated to look like them, provided his action brings a religious benefit of preaching to them, learning their secrets and informing Muslims … Sheik Ibn Taimia
The hearts of freemen are the tombs of secrets. Arab Proverb
Seek Allah's help in doing your affairs in secrecy. Muhammed
Donors have too often appeared to shore up secretive regimes with loans and assistance, the details of which are kept from the citizens they are ostensibly intended to help. In some countries, these citizens are now expected to make good the loans plundered by their former leaders with the apparent acquiescence of the lenders. Jeremy Pope
An obsession with secrecy persists in leading industrial countries. Jeremy Pope
I have no disposition to withhold any information which the duty of my station will permit, or the public good shall require to be disclosed: and in fact, all the Papers affecting the negotiation with Great Britain were laid before the Senate, when the Treaty itself was communicated for their consideration and advice George Washington
[To Americans] diplomacy means all the wicked devices of the Old World, spheres of influence, balances of power, secret treaties, triple alliances, and, during the interwar period, appeasement of Fascism. Barbara Tuchman
In history lies all the secrets of statecraft. Winston Churchill
For a long time, the enemies have been planning, skillfully and with precision, for the achievement of what they have attained. They took into consideration the causes affecting the current of events. They strived to amass great and substantive material wealth which they devoted to the realization of their dream. With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there. Hamas
The Zionist invasion is a vicious invasion. It does not refrain from resorting to all methods, using all evil and contemptible ways to achieve its end. It relies greatly in its infiltration and espionage operations on the secret organizations it gave rise to, such as the Freemasons, The Rotary and Lions clubs, and other sabotage groups. All these organizations, whether secret or open, work in the interest of Zionism and according to its instructions. They aim at undermining societies, destroying values, corrupting consciences, deteriorating character and annihilating Islam. It is behind the drug trade and alcoholism in all its kinds so as to facilitate its control and expansion. Hamas
Keep an eye on him who enters announcing that what he asks is secret Ptah-Hotep
The attack on the truth by war starts long before the war begins and continues long after the war ends. Julian Assange
It is not a secret if it is known by three people. Irish Proverb
The government itself violates the law when it leaks grand jury proceedings in order to influence the prospective jury pool Andrew Paolo Napolitano
… the implicit infallibility of presidents, which has been an accepted thing in America, is badly hurt by this, because it shows that people do things the President wants to do even though it's wrong, and the President can be wrong. H. R. Haldeman
Self government cannot work if the people do not know what their rulers are doing and why. Bruce Fein
The Declaration of War function is corrupted if the President is the only source of information about the issue… Bruce Fein
This town leaks like a sieve. Sometimes I think that the easiest thing on the world would be to be a spy against the United States of America John Ashcroft
It is sometimes necessary to keep matters secret among a few. Cornelis van Mathenesse
Secrecy was the pretext by which the most important issues were settled by the prince and a few of his confidants. Lieuwe van Aitzema
They keep their own secrets alike from foe and friends Winston Churchill
The formation of a treaty often requires secrecy and dispatch … William Rawle
Nothing can be imagined better, or more perfect, than the administration of a virtuous man. Besides, when a single man is master, it is more difficult for the enemy to discover his secret counsels and resolutions. When the government is in the hands of many, it is impossible but enmity and hatred must arise among them; for, as every one desires his opinion to be followed, they gradually become mutual enemies Darius I
National criminal behavior is always defined by the perpetrator’s compulsion to forgetting. Secrecy and silence are the first line of defense. If that fails, the perpetrator’s attacks on the credibility of the victims. Judith Lewis Herman
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
By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. John Maynard Keynes
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
The ship of state is the only vessel that leaks from the top. Anonymous
We should certainly declassify any information that we know that the enemy knows. At that point it is only the American people who are in the dark. Ralph Nader
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
Cut off the head of the snake! Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz
Scandals are only increased by hushing them up. Rudyard Kipling
For undemocratic reasons and for motives not of State, They arrive at their conclusions—largely inarticulate. Being void of self-expression they confide their views to none: But sometimes in a smoking-room, one learns why things were done. Rudyard Kipling
How can we expect others to keep our secrets if we cannot keep them ourselves? Francois de La Rochefoucauld
Does an American, when he represents all Americans, have to tell the truth at any cost? The answer is yes, and the consequence of the answer is that our techniques for influencing the rest of the world cannot be rich and flexible like the techniques of our competitors. We can be dramatic, even theatrical; we can be persuasive; but the message we are telling must be true. Edwin Land
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
Nothing on paper; paper can be lost or stolen or simply inherited by the wrong people; if you want to keep something secret, don't write it down. Richard Helms
The nation must to a degree take it on faith that we [the CIA] too are honorable men devoted to her service. Richard Helms
Who would have thought that it would someday be a crime to carry out the orders of the President of the United States? Richard Helms
I do not consider that letters written to public men on matters affecting the public interest and threatening the public welfare are private letters. William Randolph Hearst
A decent and manly examination of the acts of Government should be not only tolerated but encouraged. William Henry Harrison
The separation of powers of the Constitution almost encourages leaks. John Harrod
Decision, activity, secrecy and dispatch will characterize the proceedings of one man in a much more eminent degree than the proceedings of any greater number and in proportion as the number is increased. Alexander Hamilton
We were falling deeper and deeper into a secret running of the government. Dana Priest
The interests of commerce place the principal object within the constitutional powers and care of Congress, and that it should incidentally advance the geographical knowledge of our own continent, can not but be an additional gratification Thomas Jefferson
The Official Secrets Act is not to protect secrets. It’s to protected officials. Antony Rupert Jay; Jonathan Lynn
Everything the CIA does is secret and it is secret particularly from the Congress. Chalmers Johnson
Nothing is so tantalizing to journalists as some answer they can't get. If you want to appeal to political journalists,…you hide something from us … Roger Rosenblatt
if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid! Arthur Sylvester
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.  Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match John F. Kennedy
He who keeps his own counsel keeps his affairs in his own hands. Umar I; Umar Ibn Al-Khattab
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
It’s very hard to hold onto new technology. It gets around. Max Boot
Some people think that you can call they Federal Reserve and ask them what they are doing. I’ve been calling the Fed for 30 years and they have never told my anything. Ronald E. Paul
It is only puny secrets that need protecting. Great secrets are protected by public incredulity. Marshall McLuhan
Has France absolutely decided to refuse us all succor, and thus become the victim of England and the laughingstock of Europe? . . . We offer France in return for secret assistance a treaty of commerce which will secure to her for a certain number of years after the peace all the benefits with which for a century we have enriched England Arthur Lee
Plan and conduct covert operations which are conducted or sponsored by this government against hostile foreign states or groups or in support of friendly foreign states or groups but which are so planned and conducted that any US Government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorised persons and that if uncovered the US Government can plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them. Covert action shall include any covert activities related to: propaganda; economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition, and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world National Security Council
Castro doesn’t need spies. All he has to do is read the newspapers. John F. Kennedy
Truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long. William Shakespeare
Science knows no boundaries, and efforts to create barriers – whether to keep new ideas within or to prevent new ones from entering from the outside – have universally proved harmful to progress. Sidney Drell
Things written, remain. Aaron Burr
Open government’ must not be sacrificed on the altar of bureaucratic secrecy. William Singer Moorhead
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
Whenever you take a stand on an issue, people will line up around the block to kick your ass over it. By having an opinion, you make yourself a target. Why do you think Congress likes to hide behind closed doors at decision-making time? Jesse Ventura
It is a public scandal that gives offence, and it is no sin to sin in secret. Jean Molière
… it is at home and not in public that one should wash ones dirty linen. Napoleon Bonaparte
The atomic bomb is too dangerous to be loose in a lawless world. That is why Great Britain, Canada, and the United States, who have the secret of its production, do not intend to reveal that secret until means have been found to control the bomb so as to protect ourselves and the rest of the world from the danger of total destruction. Harry S Truman
Who ever yet was offered a secret and declined it? Anthony Trollope
Many people, including me, were never cleared because the standards was so ridiculous. If you had any kind of leftist background, and anybody worth their salt would've had some connections during the 1930s when anti-fascism was popular among intellectuals, you were never finally cleared. We all sort of ignored it because we were all there and they wanted us to work. Shirley Barnett
The communists are our allies in this war. That's the Nazis we are fighting. Go look at them. Leslie Richard Groves Jr.
The whole proceeding was little more than a kangaroo court. James Bryant Conant
Wine is wont to show the mind of man. Theognis of Megara
Secrecy in science does not work. Withholding information does more damage to us than to our competitors. Edward Teller
As we have learned to our cost in recent years, much “secret information” is simply wrong, while information that is public … is too often discounted. Peter Bergen
The only truly secure system is one that is powered off, cast in a block of concrete and sealed in a lead-lined room with armed guards -- and even then I have my doubts. Gene Spafford
Better that right counsels be known to enemies than that the evil secrets of tyrants should be concealed from the citizens. Baruch Spinoza
All registers which, it is acknowledged, ought to be kept secret, ought certainly never to exist. Adam Smith
There are two kinds of cryptography in this world: cryptography that will stop your kid sister from reading your files, and cryptography that will stop major governments from reading your files. Bruce Schneier
Human nature is, by definition, a talkative one, imprudent, indiscreet, gossipy, incapable of closing its mouth and keeping it closed. Jose Saramago
There is nothing so despicable as a secret society that is based upon religious prejudice and that will attempt to defeat a man because of his religious beliefs. Such a society is like a cockroach — it thrives in the dark. So do those who combine for such an end. William Howard Taft
There is nothing secret in our nation’s capital. John McCain
There's no such thing as a secret meeting. There's no such thing as a secret document.... That's a fact of life. John McCain
Judges are often snowed by the National Security establishment. 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
I was … struck with their [the British] attention to SECRECY in all their operations. I was confined upon parole to the district where our wounded lay, and when the whole army marched by my lodgings I was confined by an officer to a back room. They lock up the houses of every family that is suspected of being in the least unfriendly to them in their marches thro' the country, & if they are discovered by a countryman whom they suspect, they force him to accompany the army 'till their route or disposition are so far changed that no mischief can arise from the intelligence he is able to convey. Benjamin Rush
Though many will criticize the president for mis-steps in Iraq and at home, it is with the complicity of Congress that we have become a nation of pre-emptive war, secret military tribunals, torture, rejection of habeas corpus, warrantless searches, undue government secrecy, extraordinary renditions, and uncontrolled spying on the American people. Fighting over there has nothing to do with preserving freedoms here at home. More likely the opposite is true. Ronald E. Paul
Though many will criticize the president for mis-steps in Iraq and at home, it is with the complicity of Congress that we have become a nation of pre-emptive war, secret military tribunals, torture, rejection of habeas corpus, warrantless searches, undue government secrecy, extraordinary renditions, and uncontrolled spying on the American people. Fighting over there has nothing to do with preserving freedoms here at home. More likely the opposite is true. Ronald E. Paul
You can’t run this like a zoo where everyone can go and watch. Daniel Domscheit-Berg
For all its apparent tolerance, the USA maintains a peculiar balance between the forces of capitalism and democracy. To achieve this I feel sure the country is guided by some hidden force; an organization working in secrecy, powerful enough to dispose of the Kennedys and of anyone else who gets in its way. Mohammed Reza Pahlavi
If the press knows about a problem, big or small, that problem is far more likely to receive the personal attention of senior policy makers, then if it remains a well-kept secret. Richard Holbrooke
You say different things to a foreign country in public than you say in public. Bill Clinton
Many of the people including me where never cleared because the standards were so ridiculous. If you had any kind of leftist background—and anybody worth their salt would have had some connections during the 1930s when anti-fascism was popular among intellectuals—you were never fully cleared. We all sort of ignored it because we were all there and they wanted us to work. Shirley B. Barnett
… demonstrated weakness in moral fiber United States Army
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
The essential traits of a leaker are an abundance of information and a lack of power. Andy Greenberg
Trust comes from transparency… Harry Reid
I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of [CIA] sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors. George W. Bush
Don't you think that any secret course is an unworthy one? Charles Dickens
There are no secrets better kept than the secrets everybody guesses. George Bernard Shaw
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
Politics: the art of appearing candid and completely open while concealing as much as possible. Frank Herbert
While the Christian apostles preached their ideal in the open, the Talmud hides; and its two appendages, the Kahal and Freemasonry, are even more invisible. The three of them use, in order to remain in the dark, a scabrous and accursed means, namely the lie. In other words, the lie is the basis of the system used by Jews … But the lie has a mortal enemy, namely the truth. For truth is the distinctive trait of Christianity. Nicolae Paulescu
At no great distance from the Minnesota lay the strangest-looking craft I ever saw. It was a platform of iron, so nearly on a level with the water that the swash of the waves broke over it, under the impulse of a very moderate breeze; and on this platform was raised a circular structure, likewise of iron, and rather broad and capacious, but of no great height. It could not be called a vessel at all; it was a machine,—and I have seen one of somewhat similar appearance employed in cleaning out the docks; or, for lack of a better similitude, it looked like a gigantic rat-trap. It was ugly, questionable, suspicious, evidently mischievous,—nay, I will allow myself to call it devilish; for this was the new war-fiend, destined, along with others of the same breed, to annihilate whole navies and batter down old supremacies…. A storm of cannon shots damages them no more than a handful of dried peas. We saw the shot marks made by the great artillery of the Merrimack on the outer casing of the iron tower; they were about the breadth and depth of shallow saucers, almost imperceptible dents, with no corresponding bulge on the interior surface…. Nothing, however, can exceed the confidence of the officers in this new craft. It was pleasant to see their benign exultation in her powers of mischief, and the delight with which they exhibited the circumvolutory movement of the tower, the quick thrusting forth of the immense guns to deliver their ponderous missiles and then the immediate recoil, and the security behind the closed port-holes. Nathaniel Hawthorne
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
We don’t even realize that we do not know who is running our country. Janice K. Brewer
We used to think that secrecy was perhaps the greatest enemy of democracy, and as long as there was no suppression or censorship, people could be trusted to make the informed decisions that would preserve our free society, but we have learned in recent years that the techniques of misinformation and misdirection have become so refined that, even in an open society, a cleverly directed flood of misinformation can overwhelm the truth, even though the truth is out there, uncensored, quietly available to anyone who can find it. Daniel Dennett
They could hang people for what's in there. Robert McNamara
Truth is a very powerful political weapon against those who are trying to conceal it. Margaret Thatcher
Nothing weighs on us so heavily as a secret. Jean de La Fontaine
Your pen and tongue might be enemy weapons!!! Anonymous
Government is the creature of the people, and that which they have created they surely have a right to examine. Robert Hall (minister)
Enterprises that depend on many rarely succeed. Francesco Guicciardini
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
The CIA … concealed its failures abroad, lying to Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. It told those lies to preserve its standing in Washington. Tim Weiner
We will just have to tell the House that they will have to accept our judgment and we cannot answer a great many questions that might be asked Carl Vinson
In a democracy threatened by excessive secrecy and the criminalizing of news gathering, the more sunlight the better. Margaret Sullivan
There has been no more significant disclosure in the history of our country. And I’ll include the Pentagon Papers in that. Daniel Ellsberg
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
Whistleblowing by government employees is an act if courage and patriotism. Barack Obama
The government’s prosecution of me was intent not on serving justice but on meeting out retaliation, reprisal and retribution for the purpose of relentlessly punishing a whistleblower and warning potential whistlebowers so that you can not only lose your job but also your very freedom. Thomas A. Drake
There will be no more blabbing secrets to the media. James R. Clapper
I did not take an oath to support and defend government illegalities, violations of the Constitution or turn a blind eye to massive fraud, waste, and abuse…. My oath to defend the Constitution took precedence … otherwise I would have been complicit. Thomas A. Drake
Unilateralism in secret is sometimes necessary at the height of a crisis. Jack Goldsmith
In retrospect, I probably should have avoided some of the controversy and legal setbacks by seeking legislation on military tribunals, the T.S. P., and the CIA enhanced interrogation program as soon as they were created George W. Bush
Some things are not best done in public even though the public is asking for a confrontation. John Kerry
Richard Nixon ran on a promise that he had a secret plan for peace (in Vietnam). He kept his promise and kept it a secret. John Kerry
The reality often times does not match the rhetoric. The rhetoric is very easy if you keep the reality secret. Patrick Leahy
If you make a mistake, classify it. Then you don’t have to admit the mistake. Patrick Leahy
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
I worry about any type of bulk collection. If you collect everything, how do you know that you’ve got anything Patrick Leahy
In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives, asking the grounds, reasons, and evidence upon which the police commissioners of Baltimore were arrested and now detained as prisoners at Fort McHenry, I have to state that it is judged to be incompatible with the public interest at this time to furnish the information called for by the resolution. Abraham Lincoln
Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead. Anonymous
You can’t secure the country from inside the Beltway. The Federal government has got to trust the state Attorney’s General with critical information. Tom Ridge
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
I think family skeletons are best left where they are-- in the closet William Colby
The attached paper is sensitive, particularly if its existence were to leak. It has not been given, and will not be given to any other official of the government. Title: Implications of an Unfavorable Outcome in Vietnam. Richard Helms
We knew then that we could not win the war. Robert M. Gates
It was a sacred war. A good war. James R. Lilley
It was a morally representative act. Helms withheld the information because it would have cost him his job. John Moss Whitten
CIA has more money: bigger houses than diplomats: bigger salaries: more weapons: more modern equipment Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
I’m first to recognize that I don’t think that the CIA should run paramilitary operations…. Rather than destroying everything and starting all over, we ought to take what’s good … and get rid of things beyond the competence of the CIA, then pull things together and make it more effective …. It’ not going to be easy to find a place to put covert operations. It’s very difficult to keep things secret. Allen Dulles
There are some things I don’t tell the President. It’s better if he doesn’t know. Allen Dulles
Our agency (the Central Intelligence Agency) is the last refuge of organizational privacy available to the U. S. Government. Richard M. Bissell Jr.
The Central Intelligence Agency is in a rotten state. Today, Central Intelligence Agency has hardly any worthwhile operations behind the iron curtain. In their briefings they present a rosy picture to outsiders but the awful truth remains under the TOP SECRET label of the agency. Jim Kellis
Exert the greatest vigilance in discovering and defeating any British attempt to take over California. James Buchanan
The Central Intelligence Agency was interested in obtaining some factual information and data on the use and effect of various hallucinogens, including marijuana tetrahydrocannabinol and the then brand new LSD. Tests were made under both clinical and nonclinical conditions on both witting and unwitting subjects. George H. White
Secrecy helps give oil wealth its democracy-repelling powers: citizens are satisfied with low taxes and seemingly generous benefits only when they do not realize how much of their country’s wealth is being lost to theft, corruption, and government incompetence. Michael L. Ross
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.
Not since the gilded age has our politics been opened so wide to corporate contribution and donations from secret sources. James Bennet
make sure your security is real…make sure your computer is in a private location. E-mails are the tool of the Devil. Use personal contact or a safe phone. Tom Hofeller
During World War II, a surprising number of U. S. Officials provided covert assistance to the Soviets without considering themselves disloyal to the United States. Benn Steil
You can probably forgive the top spy for lying about spying. Lying is part of the job description. It’s what spies do. Gordon Peterson
Hide your strength, bide your time. Deng Xiaoping
There are two things that you should never do in front of the TV cameras. You should not make love and you should not make peace. Shimon Peres
Secrecy now beclouds everything about the Central Intelligence Agency—its cost, its efficiency, its success, its failures. Mike Mansfield
The best way to give these negotiations a chance, is to keep them private. John Kerry
So far as the Constitution goes .. the press is free to do battle against secrecy and deception in government. But the press cannot expect from the Constitution that they will succeed…. The Constitution itself is neither a Freedom of Information Act or an Official Secrets Act. Potter Stewart
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
.. the amount of sensitive information held within the national security apparatus is immensely larger than it was a generation ago. Technological change has caused an explosion in the rate of information production within government agencies, as everywhere else. Alasdair Roberts
If it’s secret, it’s legal. Richard Nixon
Secrecy of this sort has its costs. By keeping to ourselves the assurance on the Jupiters, we misled our colleagues, our countrymen, our successors, and our allies that it had been enough to “stand firm”. Leslie H. Gelb
We would not have a national discussion without the actions of Edward Snowden. Democracy is at work because of Edward Snowden. Bruce Fein
Remember the outcry after [George W.] Bush detained Americans as enemy combatants! Imagine the outcry if he’d proposed killing them (secretly) instead. Jameel Jaffer
Just because someone has a high level of security clearance, doesn’t mean that he knows anything. Mary Louise Kelly
Just because a document is classified does not mean that it is truthful. Mary Louise Kelly
All governments lie, including our own—under Democrats and Republicans. Bill Moyers
Information that is gathered and managed in secret is a potent weapon – and the temptation to use it in political combat … can be irresistible. Max Frankel
The best way to keep a secret is to never have it. Julian Assange
When you expose powerful organizations they will make ad hominum and other attacks on you. Julian Assange
There will be huge scandals because there is too much money washing around …. And we don’t know who’s behind it. John McCain
It should be clear that unencrypted journalist-source communications is unforgivably reckless. Edward Snowden
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
Congress leaks. That’s a fact of life. Arlen Specter
Knowledge is a form of power and most institutions exhibit an understandable reluctance to dissipate this power in the absence of compensating advantages James R. Schlesinger
There are no secrets in science. C. P. Snow
Digital files cannot be made uncopyable, any more than water can be made not wet. Bruce Schneier
There are two kinds of cryptography in this world: cryptography that will stop your kid sister from reading your files, and cryptography that will stop major governments from reading your files. Phil Zimmermann
Secrecy is an instrument of conspiracy; it ought not, therefore, to be the system of a regular government Jeremy Bentham
The Soviet Union has indeed been our greatest menace — not so much because of what it has done, but because of the excuses it has provided us for our own failures. J. William Fulbright
In democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not its taste, but its effect,... J. William Fulbright
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
… chosen rare minds whose continuing intellectual productivity we wish to use. Joint Chiefs of Staff
Go wretch. Resign thy Presidential chair. Disclose thy secret measures, foul or fair. Go search with curious eyes for horned frogs Mid the wild West of Louisiana bogs. Or where the Ohio rolls his turgid stream Dig for huge bones, thy glory and thy fame. William Cullen Bryant
… 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
I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized that (in) our efforts to meet the risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability. Bradley Edward Manning
The Deputy Director of the CIA revealed that over thirty universities and institutions were involved in an "extensive testing and experimentation" program which included covert drug tests on unwitting citizens "at all social levels, high and low, native Americans and foreign." Several of these tests involved the administration of LSD to "unwitting subjects in social situations." At least one death, that of Dr. Olson, resulted from these activities. The Agency itself acknowledged that these tests made little scientific sense. The agents doing the monitoring were not qualified scientific observers Ted Kennedy
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 …. 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
Instead of focusing on Snowden and shooting the messenger, we should really focus on the crimes of the NSA [National Security Agency]. Whatever laws Snowden may or may not have broken, they are infinitesimally small compared to the two major surveillance laws and the 4th Amendment to the Constitution that the NSA violated. Jesselyn Radack
There should be a precedent that says that when government higher-ups are committing crimes that whistle blowers should be able to blow the whistle in a way that exposes the crimes that they’ve committed. Whistle Blowers who expose systemic crimes against the population … deserve to be treated as heroes, not as criminals. David Sirota
The U. S. Government tends to be vindictive in these cases when it comes to people who have exposed their wrongdoing. U. S. political Officials who … violate the Constitution of the United States—they get promotions; the people who expose them, like Mr Snowden, get indictments. Glenn Greenwald
From now on, the government has to make its accounts public on a quarterly basis. Macky Sall
Under the classification rules observed by the Senate, we are not even allowed to tap out the truth in Morse code—and we tried just about everything else we could think of to warn the American people. Ron Wyden
Surveillance becomes more odious to the surveilled as it is coupled with secrecy…. Surveillance creates a power differential. The spies know ever more about the spied-on, who know virtually nothing about the spies. William T. Vollmann
We ought never to do wrong when people are looking. Mark Twain
Wikileaks could not survive for more than a few months if it did not have public support Julian Assange
“Activist” is a dirty word in the United States. We are not activists for any particular political position on most issues. We are activists only for ending government secrecy. Julian Assange
We also have to work through … the dark side, if you will. We’ve got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will be done quietly without any discussion. Dick Cheney
Detain terrorists … set up detention facilities outside the United States. George W. Bush
I don’t want to give any indication we’re getting involved in a war. I’m playing it down. Lyndon B. Johnson
Success cannot be advertised: Failure cannot be explained. In the work of intelligence, heroes are undecorated and unsung. . Dwight D. Eisenhower
TEPCO is guilty of institutionalized lying…. TEPCO knew on March 12 that fuel had melted down, but they continued to lie for almost 2 months. They haven’t made an accounting of the past. We first have to determine why they lied. Hirohiko Izumida
If this was a graduating class of CIA case officers my advice would be short and to the point: Admit nothing, deny everything, and make counteraccusations. Porter Goss
If I end up disgraced in a ditch somewhere, but it helps the country, it will still be worth it. Edward Snowden
Leaks are so damaging because they undermine trust. Stanley A. McChrystal
Military officials withheld details about nuclear accidents from Congress and the public but from other parts of the nuclear weapons enterprise. Gregory D. Koblentz
The intelligence community is built, resourced, designed, trained, and focused around secrecy. We try to obtain the secrets of our adversaries and we try and keep secret how we are doing so. Alexander Joel
If you are completely transparent, then you have no intelligence service. Alexander Joel
The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a despotic form of government. Information, knowledge, is power. If you can control information, you can control people Tom Clancy
In the name of national security, the Commission’s hearings were held in secret, thereby continuing the policy which has marked the entire course of the case. This prompts my second question: If, as we are told, Oswald was the lone assassin, where is the issue of national security? Indeed, precisely the same question must be put here as was posed in France during the Dreyfus case: If the Government is so certain of its case, why has it conducted all its inquiries in the strictest secrecy? Bertrand Russell
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
Why would we frack our countrysides and our watersheds when we know that energy efficiency would save more energy that natural gas can provide. Michael Brune
The combination of secrecy and bureaucracy in the CIA has led to a special kind of disaster. David Ignatius
Usually the public is better off with more information than less. That includes information the government would like to keep quiet. Emily Bazelon
The NSA has shown, time and time again, it will seize on any wiggle room in the law . Mark Udall
The implicit bargain that is offered to citizens: Pose no challenge and you have nothing to worry about. Mind your own business, and support or at least tolerate what we do, and you’ll be fine. Put differently, you must refrain from provoking the authority that wields surveillance powers if you wish to be deemed free of wrongdoing. This is a deal that invites passivity, obedience, and conformity. Glenn Greenwald
The Snowden leaks were important – a legitimate scoop – and we might never have known about the NSA’s law breaking if it had not been for them. Michael Kinsley
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
Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny Robert A. Heinlein
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
This nation's defense is at stake. I'm cutting off all my communist connections. For if I don't, the government will find it difficult to use me. I don't want to let anything interfere with my usefulness of the government. J. Robert Oppenheimer
We propose to let it be known that the Los Alamos Project is working on a new type of rocket and that the detail be added that this is a largely electrical device… the story will have a certain credibility; that the loud noises which we will soon be making here will fit in with the subject, … and the fact that we have a large group of civilian specialists would fit in quite well … J. Robert Oppenheimer
Retrenchment president’s often like covert action. It’s cheaper. It’s secret. Stephen Sestanovich
Citizen’s Commission to Investigate the FBI Anonymous
The word "security" is a broad, vague generality whose contours should not be invoked to abrogate the fundamental law embodied in the First Amendment. The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security four our Republic. Hugo Black
Has knowledge of birth control, so carefully guarded and so secretly practiced by the women of the wealthy class – and so tenaciously withheld from the working women – brought them misery? Rather, has it not promoted greater happiness, greater freedom, greater prosperity and more harmony among them? The women who have this knowledge are the women who have been free to develop, free to enjoy in its best sense, and free to advance the interests of the community. Margaret Sanger
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
“Covert Activity” in the United States is defined by law…. “Covert” and “Clandestine” don’t mean the same thing. That which is clandestine is secret but attributable. That which is covert is secret but not attributable. We define this kind of activity in legislation. I love this country Mark Lowenthal
The deaths of the great majority of persons killed in cleanup operations against extremists … are not recorded. Only the Junta members will have a really clear idea of the correct death figures, which they will probably keep secret. Central Intelligence Agency
Shameful. George W. Bush
The military intelligence services of the United States had a fundamental role in the creation of the murders of the two American citizens in 1973…. The murders were part of a secret United States information-gathering operation carried out by the U. S. Milgroup in Chile on the political activities of American citizens in the United States and Chile. Jorge Flores Zepeda
Americans should sense danger when a government tries to stop a newspaper from disclosing the origins of an unpopular war ... or accuses a newspaper of endangering national security by disclosing secret and illegal wiretapping. Anthony Lewis
gangs with no claims whatsoever to legitimacy. They are funded by theft and the basis of all their operations is aggression. They're no more entitled to keep their activities secret than any other gaggle of murderers, rapists and thieves is.. Tomas L. Knapp
I sent the President [JFK] a telegram marked SECRET to be sure that it had wide distribution. John Kenneth Galbraith
The government being the people’s business, it necessarily follows that its operations should be at all times open to public view. William Jennings Bryan
Success cannot be advertised: failure cannot be explained. In the work of intelligence, heroes are undecorated and unsung, often even among their own fraternity. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Politicians often refuse to talk about things on the grounds of national security. Most of the time it’s not national security; it’s national embarrassment. Benjamin C. Bradlee
Censorship is being abused as a cloak to cover all political, naval and military mistakes.. Charles à Court Repington
Both the CIA and the FBI had Oswald under surveillance in the fall of 1963. But they withheld information from the Warren Commission about how much they knew about him before the assassination. The CIA never told the commission about its plots during the Kennedy administration to assassinate Castro — plots that the Cuban dictator discovered, giving him an obvious motive to kill Kennedy. The FBI destroyed evidence before it could reach the commission, including a handwritten, apparently threatening note that Oswald delivered to the bureau’s field office in Dallas in early November 1963. On the day Oswald was murdered by Ruby, FBI agents in Dallas, fearing that the note would be seen as evidence that they had been aware of the danger Oswald posed to the president, shredded the piece of paper and flushed it down a toilet. Its exact contents remain a mystery. Phillip Shenon
What else is in government’s files about the network of Saudis and other Arab expatriates in southern California who stepped forward to help two 9/11 hijackers during the year they lived in San Diego?. Phillip Shenon
Is there any way we can know that claims of state secrecy are in fact being used to protect the national security rather than to conceal the abuse of authority? Rahul Sagar
… in the modern world, in which any tom‐dick‐or‐harry has ready access to the Internet, the professional press is no longer a necessary intermediary for leakers. Geoffrey R. Stone
Sometimes I feel like the government is more afraid of people telling the truth than they are of the protests and violence. Ilham Tohti
It is sometimes necessary to lie damnably in the interest of the country. Hilaire Belloc
It is wise to keep the mass of people in ignorance of disaster that may be immediately repaired, or of follies or even vices in government which may be repressed before they become dangerous. Hilaire Belloc
Thinking back, I now wonder if our mistake may have been in not considering whether the reason Saddam Hussein was so secretive about his weapons of mass destruction capabilities was not because he had the weapons and wanted to conceal them, but because he did not have them and he wanted to hide that. Stephen Hadley
The use of such means and such agents [paid lobbyists] will have the effect to subject the State governments to the combined capital of wealthy corporations, and produce universal corruption, commencing with the representative and ending with the elector. Speculators in legislation, public and private, a compact corps of venal solicitors, vending their secret influences, will infest the capital of the Union and of every State, till corruption shall become the normal condition of the body politic. U. S. Supreme Court
The CIA was set up by me for the sole purpose of getting all the available information to the President. It was not intended to operate as an international agency engaged in strange activities. Harry S Truman
An investigation of the Kennedy assassination was a project I suggested when I first entered the White House [in 1969]. I had always been intrigued with the conflicting theories of the assassination. Now I felt we would be in a position to get all the facts. But Nixon turned me down. H. R. Haldeman
If the CIA did find out what we were doing this would have trickled down to the lower echelon of activists, and Cuban exiles, and the more gung-ho CIA people who had been involved since the Bay of Pigs….I can understand why they would have reacted so violently. This was the end of their dreams of returning to Cuba, and they might have been impelled to take violent action. Such as assassinating the President. William Hollingsworth Attwood
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
Two contractors were paid $80 million to conduct this torture. Dianne Feinstein
I could not stay if the White House was going to engage in activities for which the Justice Department had determined that there was no legal basis. James Comey
Some things simply cannot leak. And if they do leak, the government has to do something about it. James Comey
I have long observed one Rule .... It is simply this, to be concern'd in no Affairs that I should blush to have made publick, and to do nothing but what spies may see ... Benjamin Franklin
Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead. Benjamin Franklin
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
If we cannot keep secrets, it is impossible for our leaders to have the adequate information on which to base their policies. Michael Ledeen
The fight is not over what shall be secret, but over who shall determine what shall be secret. Michael Ledeen
Top secret is when you give a press conference and nobody comes. Michael Ledeen
In practice … presidential physicians have lied, often blatantly. Ross McIntyre, Roosevelt’s first White House physician, continually characterized his patient’s shortness of breath — from congestive heart failure — as a sinus problem. The most egregious lie, perhaps, was one of omission. When Paul Tsongas was running for president in 1992, his hematologist confirmed his patient’s history of lymphoma but not that the disease had recently recurred and thus probably was incurable. Tsongas died two days before what would have been the end of his first term in office. Barron H. Lerner
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
This would be bad for America Tim Cook
There are the good and bad and every morrally ambiguous shade in between. Matt Vella
Democracies die in darkness.... I don't realluy think that President Trump really believes that the press is the "enemy of the people" Bob Woodward
Abraham Lincoln is the most shut-mouthed man who ever lived. He always tells only enough of his plans and purpose to induce the belief that he had communicated all. William H. Herndon
Secrets don’t make friends. Edward Snowden
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
Global transparency has been a goal of U.S. foreign policy since at least 1918, when U.S. President Woodrow Wilson called for an end to secret diplomatic agreements in his Fourteen Points. Yet Wilson ultimately conceded to British and French demands that the Allied powers honor existing secret pacts, such as the infamous Sykes-Picot Agreement, and consented to conduct the Paris Peace Conference negotiations behind closed doors. Sean P. Larkin
If people knew the details about terrorism, they would not leave the house. John F. Kelly
It is not unusual to see intelligence agencies classify newspaper clippings as secret even after they have been published. The reason is that the agency people can then avoid answering questions about a matter that the do not want to publicly dicuss by sayting that the subject is classified and they are not allowed to discuss it. Larry J. Sabato
Reform [of college fraternaties] is not possible because the old-line, historically white social fraternities have been synonymous with risk-taking and defiance from their very inception. They are a brotherhood born in mutiny and forged in the fire of rebellion. These fraternities have drink, danger and debauchery in their blood — right alongside secrecy and self-protection. They cannot reform. To capitulate to the reasonable demands of outsiders would be to fundamentally change their culture, their role on campus, their very reason for existing. Avoiding risk and obeying common sense safety guidelines would undermine their fundamental character, the specific nature of their identity that is most vital to who they are. Becoming kinder, safer places would do such violence to their legacy that it would mean altering their organizations beyond recognition. Lisa Wade
Data is fungible. You can make as many copies of it as you want. Christopher Wylie