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Quote Author Cited
The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them. Patrick Henry
The principles of justice are chosen behind a veil of ignorance. John Rawls
I never discuss discussions. Dag Hammarskjold
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
Dead men tell no tales. Haniel Long
Secrecy is the first essential in affairs of state. Cardinal Richelieu
Even when it comes to notable events, we are in the dark. Cornelius Tacitus
There are 6 million children in the world who die before the age of 5 every year... 1 in 6 Angolan children will die from completely preventable diseases before the age of 5. Angola is one of the least transparent and most corrupt nations in the world and has the highest infant mortality rate in the world. Nicholas Kristof
Many state parole boards claim exemptions from state sunshine laws that would be unthinkable for other government officials. Beth Schwartzapfel
To plagiarize an out of date Ph.D. thesis and to present it as an official report of the latest British intelligence information, surely it reveals a lack of awareness of the disastrous consequences of such a deception. This is not a trivial leak. It is a document on which is the basis of whether or not this country goes to war and whether or not young servicemen and servicewomen are to put their own lives at risk and indeed thousands, tens of thousands of innocent civilians. Tam Dalyell
Our public dealings with the Russians can hardly lead to any clear and satisfactory results unless they are preceded by preparatory discussions of the most secret and delicate nature. George F. Kennan
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
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
Accountability begins with transparency. John Bolton
Would the world be any more dangerous if we did without secrets all together. John Mortimer; Horace Rumpole
People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. . . . The leader works in the open, and the boss is covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives Theodore Roosevelt
Democracy must live as it thinks and think as it lives Agnes E. Meyer
Democracy must first be safe for America before it can be safe for the world Emma Goldman
It is subversive to set up inquisitions like this, state or national, into the thoughts and consciences of Americans. . . . It is subversive for commissions like this to spread hysteria and intimidation throughout the land that Americans are afraid to sign petitions, afraid to read progressive magazines, afraid to make out checks for liberal causes, afraid to join organizations, afraid to speak their mind on public issues. Americans dare not be free citizens! This is the destruction of democracy. Florence Luscomb
Since the time of the ancient Greeks a democracy has depended on its philosophers and creative artists. It can only flourish by continuous probing, prodding, and questioning of the social conditions under which man exists and tries to better himself. One of the first moves of a dictatorship is to stifle the artists and thinkers who have the ability to stir up dissent from any prescribed dogma which might enslave them. Because the artist can arouse the curiosity and conscience of his community, he becomes a threat to those who have taken power. Uta Hagen
Democracy is the fig leaf of elitism. Florence King
No sitting administration likes to see itself studied; no administration welcomes investigations. Alvin Felzenberg
When things fall apart you sometimes can see more. You might even be able to see how to put things back together. Anna Deavere Smith
Never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you. Chanakya
Secrets are good in the internal competition of Washington. The Secret war in Cambodia was secret so that the State Department could not object to it. The Cambodians knew there was a war. John Brady Kiesling
Sooner will men hold fire in their mouths than keep a secret. Gaius Petronius; Petronius Arbiter
He who discloses his hardship will always be humiliated. Ali ibn Abi Talib
In order to encourage the free interchange of opinion and the enlightenment of the public, every Swedish subject shall have free access to official documents. Sweden
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
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
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
Overtly and covertly, legally and illegally, the military-industrial complex (in the United States) has joined forces with the prison-industrial complex, linked further to the omnipresent national security-police complex, all clasping hands tightly with the War on Drugs, in a declaration of War on the American people and the Bill of Rights. This Authority juggernaut - enamored with its own perpetuation, glorification and enrichment - has convinced the American public that without its storm troopers all hell would break loose and the safety and security of the citizenry would be on a life-support machine. William Blum
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
Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt. Sun Tzu
What is often said in private may not be said in public. Dianne Feinstein
Classification is used, not to protect the national interest but to prevent national embarrassment. Steven Miles
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
The difficulty in connection with asking questions and obtaining information is that we might obtain information which I personally would rather not have… Leverett Saltonstall
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
Hide nothing. It always gets found out. David Nabarro
Why does the White House sometimes seem so determined to close the door on the people's right to know what their government is doing? Mark Tapscott
There is a veil of secrecy that is descending around the administration which I think is unseemly Daniel Burton
Our agency has not found any documents…. Central Intelligence Agency
The effective functioning of our constitutional democracy depends upon the participation in public life of a citizenry that is well informed George W. Bush
No one really knows how many [SBU] records are covered or for how long, and there are practically none of the limits that we do have in the security classification world. Thomas S. Blanton
Open rules! Open standards! Open findings! Open precedents! Kenneth Culp Davis
Freedom of expression is freedom of information Paula Dobriansky
Sweeping privilege against disclosure [is]…contrary to a sound public policy…It is a small step to assert a privilege against any disclosure of records merely because they might prove embarrassing. Albert Maris
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
People notice all kinds of stuff sloshing around in the classification system and that makes them think it's OK to leak. it’s like tuning an Edsel. When done, your car is tuned, but it's still a really old car that may not get you where you want to go. The classification system is haunted by Cold War ghosts and demons. …All the incentives operate in the direction of keeping things secret. Lawrence Halloran
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
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
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
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
We need reform. We need more transparency between those who lobby us and ourselves in the Congress. John Boehner
The veil of secrecy must be lifted and the attempted dumbing down of the Australian people by restricting their right to know must be fought. Jude Deland
Openness is the natural enemy of arbitrariness. Kenneth Culp Davis
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
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
When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you. Anonymous
Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you. Anonymous
Valindaba Anonymous
What is more tempting for a censor than to censor? Floyd Abrams
What we say privately we say publicly. Gerry 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
Do we want the Asiatic model—which is corrupt but works as long as you have a dictator who is active? Or do we want the democratic market model—which works, but only with transparency or reliability. Pyotr Aven
What did the President know and when did he know it? Howard Baker
Cover-ups don’t work. Howard Baker
If they can talk to you over a secure telephone line, then you have to do what they want. Walworth Barbour
I consulted the President [Jefferson Davis] whether it was best for the country that I should submit to unmerited censure or reveal to a Congressional Committee our poverty and my utter inability to supply the requisitions of General Wise, and thus run the risk that the fact should become known to some of the spies of the enemy, of whose activity we were well-assured. It was thought best for the public service that I should suffer the blame in silence and a report of censure on me was accordingly made by the Committee of Congress. Judah P. Benjamin
Secrecy necessarily breeds suspicion. Louis D. Brandeis
Public disclosure is one of the great disinfectants ever invented. Richard C. Breeden
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
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
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
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
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
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
Secrecy cannot be used to cover up bad management. John Deutch
It is unwise to wish everything explained. Benjamin Disraeli
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
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
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
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.
I'm not going to let anybody come down at night like Nicodemus and whisper something in my ear that no one else can hear. That's not executive privilege; it is poppycock. Samuel J. Ervin Jr.
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
You can't run a government that is leaking all over the place. Goh Chok Tong
I believe executive privilege should protect the President's conversations with key aides ... but on substantive matters of concern I do not believe executive privilege ought to exist. Arthur Goldberg
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
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
It is a secret in the Oxford sense: you may tell it to only one person at a time. Oliver Franks
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
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
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
When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property. Thomas Jefferson
Anything that will be revealed eventually, should be revealed immediately. Gary Johnson
The leaks can kill you. Lyndon B. Johnson
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
Time and chance reveal all secrets. Mary Manley
Once secrecy becomes sacrosanct, it invites abuse. 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 whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Thomas Jefferson
The more urgent the message, the more slowly it moves—but those are the penalties of security. Martin Mayer
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
A public fund is collected by no fewer than two [persons], and disbursed by no fewer than three. Mishnah
I fear for my husband. I'm really scared. I have a definite reason. I can't tell you why. But they're not going to pin anything on him. I won't let them, and I don't give a damn who gets hurt. I can name names.... If you hear that I'm sick or can't talk, please, please, get your reporters out to find me. Somebody might try to shut me up. Martha Mitchell
As much as possible, you simply don't give out information to the public, that is the first principle. Masao Miyamoto
The time is coming when all businesses will have to be done with glass pockets. 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
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
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
The line between what government does and what a company does is getting blurred. Gerald Levin
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
It has long been a grave question whether any government not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its own existence. 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
If there's more than one person—including yourself—in a room, consider anything said to be on the record and a probable headline in the morning paper. 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
It may be tempting to yield to the seductive allure of secrecy in order to preserve the illusion of security. Jane E. Kirtley
I will destroy them. Henry A. Kissinger
A secret process is inherently suspect. G. Oliver Koppell
In general it can be said that any political or other social system that relies on secrecy does not work efficiently. Barbara Krug
Striking a balance between governability and historical reckoning is most difficult during the early years of a democratic transition. M. Delal Baer
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
I’m the commander, see, I don’t need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don’t feel like I owe anybody an explanation. George W. Bush
… insidious traitors George W. Bush
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
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
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
I hope we’re on the road to more truth-telling to investors. Sherron Watkins
We as citizens should hold our government accountable for word and deed. Valerie Plame
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
There’s no town in the world that has the leaks that come out of this town. [Washington, DC.] Saxbe Chambliss
Intelligence is only as good as the pressure from the consumer of the intelligence makes it. Jamie Gorelick
Media creates awareness [and] ensures transparency and accountability. Mian Muhammed Javed
Get rid of that son of a bitch! Richard Nixon
Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know. Michel de Montaigne
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
The press are the representative of the people and they have a right to know, but they don’t have the right to know right now…. There is an art to telling the truth slowly. Joe Lockhart
You’re doing the people’s business and they have a right to know. Marlin Fitzwater
Thomas Edison invented a voting machine so that legislators can just press a button. It was a failure. Legislators didn’t want people to know how they had voted. Harold Evans
Remember that J. Edgar Hoover’s secret files began in the interests of national security and ended up being used for blackmail. Jack Cafferty
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
What is done tacitly must be held as if it had been done expressly . Oldradus de Ponte
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
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
The very document that protects our liberties more than anything else, the Constitution, was, of course, drafted in total secrecy. Ari Fleischer
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
Without knowledge we cannot act; with it we can and will. Richard Calland
Ordinary citizens need access to government-held information in order to exercise their rights in just about every phase of their lives–whether to gain entry to education, apply for a job, gain access to a poverty alleviation scheme, build or buy a house, start a business or collect a pension. Without it, they are ready prey to the corrupt and the abusive. .. Jeremy Pope
An obsession with secrecy persists in leading industrial countries. Jeremy Pope
The corrupt are running out of places to hide. Peter Eigen
Keep an eye on him who enters announcing that what he asks is secret Ptah-Hotep
For in a marriage contract, consent ought to be free … Here however it was not free, but through force and threat which was able to drive her into sin occasionally. And therefore there was no marriage between them. Oldradus de Ponte
The attack on the truth by war starts long before the war begins and continues long after the war ends. Julian Assange
Government is competent when all who compose it work as trustees for the whole people. It can make constant progress when it keeps abreast of all the facts. It can obtain justified support and legitimate criticism when the people receive true information of all that government does. Franklin D. Roosevelt
It is not a secret if it is known by three people. Irish Proverb
Self government cannot work if the people do not know what their rulers are doing and why. Bruce Fein
It is sometimes necessary to keep matters secret among a few. Cornelis van Mathenesse
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
Knowledge is the cause as well as the effect of good government DeWitt Clinton
The Freedom of Information Act isn’t used, for the most part, by the people. It’s used by Journalists … The information is not sought to bestow knowledge upon the people. It is used as a weapon. Tony Blair
Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view. Woodrow Wilson
Public business in the United State Senate should be done in the public. Ron Wyden
We live in the most wide open society the world has ever known….We need to have fewer secrets and a rational classification policy. Gabriel Schoenfeld
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
The Commission concludes that, as massive losses spread throughout the financial system …, many institutions failed, or would have failed but for government bailouts. As panic gripped the market, credit markets seized up, trading ground to a halt, and the stock market plunged. Lack of transparency contributed greatly to the crisis: the exposures of financial institutions to risky mortgage assets and other potential losses were unknown to market participants, and indeed many firms did not know their own exposures. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
AIG’s failure was possible because of the sweeping deregulation of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, including credit default swaps, which effectively eliminated federal and state regulation of these products, including capital and margin requirements that would have lessened the likelihood of AIG’s failure. The OTC derivatives market’s lack of transparency and of effective price discovery exacerbated the collateral disputes of AIG and Goldman Sachs and similar disputes between other derivatives counterparties. AIG engaged in regulatory arbitrage by setting up a major business in this unregulated product, locating much of the business in London, and selecting a weak federal regulator, the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS). Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
Do not say beforehand what you are going to do; for if you fail, you will be laughed at. Pittacus of Mytilene
How can we expect others to keep our secrets if we cannot keep them ourselves? Francois de La Rochefoucauld
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
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
We were falling deeper and deeper into a secret running of the government. Dana Priest
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
Quite as important as legislation is vigilant oversight of administration; and even more important than legislation is the instruction and guidance in political affairs which the people might receive from a body which kept all national concerns suffused in a broad daylight of discussion .... The informing functions of Congress should be preferred even to its legislative function. The argument is not only that a discussed and interrogated administration is the only pure and efficient administration, but, more than that, that the only really self-governing people is that people which discusses and interrogates its administration. Woodrow Wilson
if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid! Arthur Sylvester
Modern science's defense against self-delusion relies upon a spirit of open and critical inquiry. This, though hardly infallible, ostensibly uncovers errors and thereby proceeds towards objective truth William C. Clark
I have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed, confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of law; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas; they are Human Rights. Barack Obama
No less a philosopher than Chief Justice Burger was outraged by Ellsberg's publication of classified documents. They belonged to the Government, Burger reasoned, and Ellsberg had no more right to give them to the people than he would have to filch another man's property off a taxicab seat. The Government, of course, commonly leaks classified documents when it deems publication convenient to manipulate public opinion to its advantage. Only the Government, it seems, has a legal right to manipulate opinion with hot documents. Russell Baker
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
Castro doesn’t need spies. All he has to do is read the newspapers. John F. Kennedy
I will not wait on events while dangers gather. I will not stand by as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most dangerous weapons. George W. Bush
Truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long. William Shakespeare
The problem comes from the lack of transparency and accountability of government. Vladimir Putin
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
… make Englishmen cognizant of the processes through which the progressive destinies of Europe are being worked out, so that whenever European Affairs may call for interference, they may be in no doubt as to the course to be pursued. William James Linton
… it is at home and not in public that one should wash ones dirty linen. Napoleon Bonaparte
No government is perfect. One of the chief virtues of a democracy, however, is that its defects are always visible and under democratic processes can be pointed out and corrected. Harry S Truman
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.
A man comes from New York. He says, "These petitions, your name is on all of them: anti-poll tax, anti-lynching, friendship with the Soviet Union.... don't you know the communists were behind them?" And he said, "Look, you can get out of this pretty easy. All you got to do is say the communists duped you. You were dumb. You didn't mean it." I said, "But I did mean it! Studs Terkel
Secrecy in science does not work. Withholding information does more damage to us than to our competitors. Edward Teller
… the answer to the attacks must be more democracy and more openness. Otherwise, those who were behind them will have achieved their goals. Jens Stoltenberg
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
An open society is always in danger. It must constantly reaffirm its principles in order to survive. George Soros
America is great precisely because it is an open society, and an open society recognizes that nobody is the ultimate arbiter — and that we may be wrong at times, even if we are powerful. We must be open to criticism and respect divergent and different views and interests. George Soros
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
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
Trust and transparency, the great principles of the free market, are at stake here. John McCain
Free markets work better when information is available. Lee H. Hamilton
Our government cannot function cloaked in secrecy. It cannot function unless officials tell the truth. Lee H. Hamilton
The United States is the only country in the world that has ever released the operations files of its intelligence agency. Maochun Yu
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
None of us really understands what's going on with all these numbers …. People are getting from A to B and it's not clear how they are getting there.... David Stockman
You can’t run this like a zoo where everyone can go and watch. Daniel Domscheit-Berg
You ask me why I air your dirty laundry, but you do not ask yourself why you soil it to begin with. Ali Ferzat
We all make mistakes. In public life, we make them in public view. Tim Kaine
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
Make sure that everyone who should know what you are doing knows what you are doing. Gary Johnson
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
An open society invests in people and new ideas, rewards talent and hard work, values dialogue and learns from dissent, operates to high standards with transparent information, looks for common ground, sees problems as opportunities for creative change, and encourages those who are fortunate to help others get the same chance, because service is the highest ideal. Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Politics: the art of appearing candid and completely open while concealing as much as possible. Frank Herbert
As for transparency of our proceedings everyone is free to contact their government and find out what issues are being discussed. Hamadoun Toure
It's a difficult thing today to be informed about our government even without all the secrecy. Donald Rumsfeld
Deception is the knowledge of kings. Armand Jean du Plessis; Cardinal
Prosecutors, unlike any other official in our system, … are not as accountable… to the public that they serve Police officers do what they do in a public space. Judges are in a courtroom... Prosecutors make their charging decisions and plea bargain decisions behind closed doors…. There is no transparency … There is a lot of unconscious and implicit bias. Angela Davis
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
… scientists are required to back up their claims not with private feelings but with publicly checkable evidence. Their experiments must have rigorous controls to eliminate spurious effects. Richard Dawkins
They could hang people for what's in there. Robert McNamara
Nothing weighs on us so heavily as a secret. Jean de La Fontaine
Your pen and tongue might be enemy weapons!!! Anonymous
Governments and local administrative bodies decide to inform the public of their mistakes only when losses have become disproportionately great. Ludwig von Mises
Government is the creature of the people, and that which they have created they surely have a right to examine. Robert Hall (minister)
Louisiana showed up at the top of a study of political corruption that calculated the number of convictions per capita. Georgia came out as worst on a corruption risk report from the State Integrity Investigation, which measured factors like accountability, transparency and ethics enforcement. Gail Collins
I didn’t e-mail during my Presidency because I was afraid of the Freedom of Information Requests. George W. Bush
Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency. Barack Obama
We have had a continuing problem of the equality of wealth and the power that goes with it. There are other ways of curtailing the power of corporations…. Congress is at fault for not requiring full disclosure of political contributions… Speech is the last thing we should be curtailing. Floyd Abrams
In a democracy threatened by excessive secrecy and the criminalizing of news gathering, the more sunlight the better. Margaret Sullivan
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
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
Some things are not best done in public even though the public is asking for a confrontation. John Kerry
In a Madisonian system, it is often more important how you do something than what you do. Jonathan Turley
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
Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead. Anonymous
The Congress shall have power . . . To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries United States
The different forces, however, which are doing secret service work, or investigation of different kinds are not the parts of the government which it would seem wise to me to consolidate. There have grown up under various forms of government in different parts of the world, secret investigation branches under one head, and they times have practically superseded all the other arms of the government and have spread terror among the population. It seems to me that it is better for us to have these necessary forces divided up under different department heads. There may be a certain amount of rivalry but that will do no harm, and if the heads have the proper spirit of cooperation the men themselves will understand that when they need to assist each other, they should do so in the interests of law and order and justice which they are all serving. As long as they remain separate there will, however, be no danger of a secret octopus growing up to control in harmful ways. Eleanor Roosevelt
There is, however, one consolation to anyone who lives in the public eye, namely, that while it may be most difficult to keep the world from knowing where you dine and what you eat and what you wear, so much interest is focused on these somewhat unimportant things, that you are really left completely free to live your own inner life as you wish. Eleanor Roosevelt
No limit, no definition, may restrict the range or depth of the human spirit's passage into its own secrets or the world's. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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
Our agency (the Central Intelligence Agency) is the last refuge of organizational privacy available to the U. S. Government. Richard M. Bissell Jr.
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.
There are laws against threats and intimidation; and harsh criticism, short of unlawful action, is a price our people have traditionally been willing to pay for self-governance. Requiring people to stand up in public for their political acts fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed. For my part, I do not look forward to a society which ... campaigns anonymously … and even exercises the direct democracy of initiative and referendum hidden from public scrutiny and protected from the accountability of criticism. This does not resemble the Home of the Brave. Antonin Scalia
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
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 first is determining how to deal with the great industrial combinations is knowledge of the facts—publicity. Theodore Roosevelt
The best way to give these negotiations a chance, is to keep them private. John Kerry
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
I talk to the press five days a week … The president—how often does he talk to the press? His press secretary talks to the press every day, okay. But I happen to think the public should demand he should. I think he should; I think that’s his job. Michael Bloomberg
Americans have a right to know what is being done in their name…. These cables tell the unvarnished story of how the government makes its biggest decisions. New York Times
.. 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
[Presidential] Campaigns are like an MRI for the soul. Whoever you are, eventually people find out. David Axelrod
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 will use new technology to hard-wire the kind of [transparency] reform and accountability into the culture of government so that it can’t be undone in the next administration. Beth Simone Noveck
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
Progress in a globally interdependent society relies more than ever on the unimpeded flow of information. Lee C. Bollinger
All our public systems—administrative, justice, education, and political systems are closed systems designed to produce mediocrity. Rahul Gandhi
The voices of a billion Indians … are telling us that the course of their lives cannot be decided by a handful of people behind closed doors who are not fully accountable to them. They are telling us that India’s governmental system … robs people of their voice, a system that disempowers rather than empowering. Rahul Gandhi
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
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
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
In China, there is a long history of the government not revealing information, so it’s difficult for the Chinese people to ever know the truth. It is vital that we try to bring that truth to life. Ai Weiwei
If the agreement were not classified [secret], public opinion might kill it. Ron Kirk
… institutions have lost their credibility, not because they don't operate but rather because they operate behind closed doors; they have not been opened to the Chilean people. Karol Cariola
Law is the safest helmet; under the shield of the law no one is deceived. Ancient Roman Proverb
I discovered that my husband did not like the breakfasts and lunches that he has been getting! It therefore behooves Mrs. Nesbitt and myself to scurry around and get some new ideas. Eleanor Roosevelt
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
Justice must be seen to be done. Ian Buruma
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
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
In the democratic countries generally, the great body of citizens are refusing to wait until negotiations are over or policies are acted upon or even determined. They demand to know what is going on and to have an opportunity to express their opinions at all stages of diplomatic proceedings…. public opinion will be increasingly not merely the ultimate judge but an immediate and active force in negotiation. Elihu Root
If you are completely transparent, then you have no intelligence service. Alexander Joel
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
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 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
I cannot flinch from saying such things in public. As a Representative of the People I am duty bound to do so. Justice cries out to me not to dissemble. Pieter Vreede
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
… free access to scientific information … the abolition of barriers hitherto considered necessary to safeguard national interest but now standing in the way of common security against unprecedented dangers Niels Bohr
Citizen’s Commission to Investigate the FBI Anonymous
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
Facilities have been given me here as never before, the Interstate Commerce People even offering me a desk and stenographer, with full admission to all their published reports and letters. It certainly shows how … a greater care for truth and fairness, which I have tried to attain in my articles, gets hold of people. Ray Stannard Baker
The most closed, control freak, administration I have ever covered. David E. Sanger
To Any Officer or Employee of the Government: Please tell Mr. Lincoln Steffens anything whatever about the government that you know (not incompatible with the public interest) and provided only that you tell him the truth—no matter what it might be—I will see to it that you are not hurt. T. Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt
If we play our cards right with the media, the Press will be our Inspector General’s Office. Encourage them to find any dirt on our programs and tell us. Then we can fix them or at least start to and everyone will be better off. We will learn of and fix out weaknesses, the press will have good stories, and the public will get better service. I can see some of you wondering what our own Office of Inspection is supposed to do. It is to find out about our problems before the press does, not to wait for complaints and then start looking. When a reporter comes to us with a scandal story of one of our programs, I would love to say, “Good reporting. That’s a serious problem and this is what we have been doing about it. Give us a hand and keep monitoring it, and let us know about our progress.” No one expects us to not have problems, but they do expect us to find them and fix them quickly, and that is what we must all expect of each other. Sargent Shriver
Shameful. George W. Bush
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
Atoms for Peace 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
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
We want to give people an opportunity to be heard on issues that may be taken under advisement and voted upon by the board during the meeting, by hearing the public first rather than after the actions have been taken. John J. Degnan
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
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
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
Some things simply cannot leak. And if they do leak, the government has to do something about it. James Comey
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
... the president [Barak Obama] has failed to finish the job of securing radiological material in hospitals and industrial facilities, or to crack down on the threats from bioweapons and toxic chemicals. Second, with his revised EPA guidelines on dirty-bomb damage, Obama has taken a tentative but insufficient step toward leveling with the public in a way that deprives terrorists of their ability to spread hysteria. That mirrors what he has tried to do more generally: tentatively steer Americans toward the realistic view that while terrorism is inevitable, it is not an existential or apocalyptic threat—–unless we treat it like the apocalypse. Steve Brill
For a long time now, there has been too much secrecy in this city. This administration stands on the side not of those seek to withhold information but who seek to make it known. Barack Obama
Reform in a profession that doesn’t need to be reformed is not the answer to fight crime. Chuck Canturbury
The societies that embrace openness will be those that compete and succeed effectively. Alec Ross
For every nongovernmental organization that has been granted hard-won observer status at a UN meeting, thousands more have been shot out by the state [national] gatekeepers of the curren international system. Anne-Marie Slaughter
Open societies, open governments, and an open international system are risky propositions. But they are humankind’s best hope for harnessing the power not only of states, but also of businesses, universities, civic organizations, and citizens to address the planetary problems that now touch us all. Anne-Marie Slaughter
Secrets don’t make friends. Edward Snowden
Transparency has long been a rare commodity in international affairs. But today, the forces of technology are ushering in a new age of openness that would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago. Governments, journalists, and nongovernmental organ­izations (NGOs) can now harness a flood of open-source information, drawn from commercial surveillance satellites, drones, smartphones, and computers, to reveal hidden activities in contested areas—from Ukraine to Syria to the South China Sea. Sean P. Larkin
Over the next decade, the market-driven explosion of surveillance sensors and data analytics will bring an unprecedented level of transparency to global affairs. Commercial satellites will capture daily images of the entire globe, offering inexpensive and automated reports on everything from crop yields to military activity. Journalists, NGOs, and bloggers will increasingly use crowdsourced data to uncover wartime atrocities and expose government hypocrisy. Private security companies will discover the sources of cyberattacks and data theft. Biometric systems will expose the identities of clandestine operatives, and government agencies will struggle to contain leakers and whistleblowers. Sean P. Larkin
Although governments will also benefit from improved access to information, increased transparency will allow people at home and abroad to better observe and critique what governments do and to hold leaders accountable for their decisions. As a result, governments will find it harder to adopt strategies that require secrecy or violate international norms. Sean P. Larkin
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
Venture capitalists are pouring billions of dollars into commercial surveillance satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, social media analytics, biometric technologies, and cyberdefenses to meet surging market demand. Heavy competition is driving down the cost of and improving the information available to individuals, businesses, and governments. Sean P. Larkin
In the coming years, breakthroughs in transparency will come from Silicon Valley rather than Geneva. Sean P. Larkin
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
Data is fungible. You can make as many copies of it as you want. Christopher Wylie