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A Culture of Secrecy: The Government Versus the People's Right to Know

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The government is hiding information from its citizens-or so most Americans believe. While even some members of Congress now call for greater access to classified documents, federal agencies continue to withhold a massive amount of information in the name of national security, maintaining a culture of secrecy rooted in the Cold War.

This new book examines who in government is hiding what from the rest of us, how they're doing it, and why it should matter to all of us. Contributing scholars, journalists, and attorneys survey the policies of federal intelligence agencies and presidents-notably Nixon, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton-to keep information secret. They show how these agencies have gone far beyond legitimate security needs to withhold information, and they describe the frustrations and costs encountered in their own efforts to obtain classified information.

The authors review important cases exemplifying State Department, agency, and presidential efforts to withhold, destroy, or delay release of these records. In chapters centering on the Kennedy assassination, the Nixon tapes, and the FBI's files on John Lennon and the Supreme Court justices, readers will find an abundance of startling and disturbing revelations. By citing some of the methods used by agencies like the CIA, NSA, NSC, and FBI to circumvent the Freedom of Information Act—often with the cooperation of the judicial system—these essays clearly show that abuses of secrecy aren't limited to the withholding of information but extend to the absurd lengths taken to avoid disclosure.

Synopsis:

This book examines who in government is hiding what from the rest of us, how they're doing it, and why it matters.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

1. Introduction, Athan G. Theoharis

2. The Freedom of Information Act Versus the FBI, Athan G. Theoharis

3. The CIA and Secrecy, James X. Dempsey

4. "Not So Anonymous": Parting the Veil of Secrecy About the National Security Agency, Matthew M. Aid

5. "National Security" and Freedom of Information: The John Lennon FBI Files, Jon Wiener

6. Playing the Information Game: How It Took Thirteen Years and Two Lawsuits to Get J. Edgar Hoover's Secret Supreme Court Sex Files, Alexander Charns and Paul M. Green

7. The Endless Saga of the Nixon Tapes, Joan Hoff

8. The War over Secrecy: Democracy's Most Important Low-Intensity Conflict, Scott Armstrong

9. We Can't Yet Read Our Own Mail: Access to the Records of the Department of State, Page Putnam Miller

10. The John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board, Anna Kasten Nelson

Contributors

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780700609987
Editor:
Theoharis, Athan G.
Publisher:
University Press of Kansas
Editor:
Theoharis, Athan G.
Author:
Theoharis, Athan G.
Subject:
U.S. Government
Subject:
Civil Rights
Subject:
Freedom of information
Subject:
Government information
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - Civil Rights
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
Security classification (Government documents)
Subject:
Freedom of information -- United States.
Subject:
Politics-United States Politics
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Publication Date:
19980431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9.05x6.04x.59 in. .78 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics

A Culture of Secrecy: The Government Versus the People's Right to Know New Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages University Press of Kansas - English 9780700609987 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This book examines who in government is hiding what from the rest of us, how they're doing it, and why it matters.
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