The official budget for protecting America’s secrets is up to $11.37 billion, double the 2002 figure. That doesn’t include the black budgets of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the Office of of the Director of National Intelligence, which are themselves secret. Secrecy is a runaway train.
The official figure for documents classified by the US government last year is””hold your hats on this one””92,064,862. And as WikiLeaks managed to release hundreds of thousands of them online a couple of years ago, that’s meant a bonanza of even more money for yet more rigorous protection.
You have to feel at least some dollop of pity for protection bureaucrats like Fitzgerald. While back in 1995 the US government classified a mere 5,685,462 documents””in those days, we were practically a secret-less nation””today, of those 92 million sequestered documents, 26,058,678 were given a ”œtop secret” classification. There are today almost five times as many ”œtop secret” documents as total classified documents back then.
…So, today, the ”œpeople’s” government (your government) produces 92 million documents that no one except the nearly one million people with some kind of security clearance, including hundreds of thousands of private contractors, have access to. Don’t think of this as ”œoverclassification,” which is a problem. Think of it as a way of life, and one that has ever less to do with you.
Now, honestly, don’t you feel that urge welling up? Go ahead. Don’t hold back: That makes no sense!
“My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.” President Barack Obama