Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Administrative Secrecy.

One common criticism of President Bush's administration is its secrecy. This was one of the left's official talking points after the VP's hunting accident. Even without the hunting accident the left and the MSM have been fond of accusing the President and his administration of excessive secrecy.

They seem to claim this right to know everything. Now, we have laws on the books that spell out what an executive can keep secret and what they can not. These laws as we know exist in almost all levels of our government. This is not necessarily a bad thing but I hardly think it a dictate as important as the left and the MSM make it out to be. The implication of many of those claiming excessive secrecy is it is somehow unconstitutional, they say the people have a right to know.

I disagree with that assessment. We do not have a right to know everything. Desires are not necessarily rights, and too many confuse desires with rights. If a reporter can not find out what he wants to know well too bad, this does not mean the people withholding the knowledge are bad or acting with malevolent intent. Of course, if someone does leak the wanted information to the reporter than the reporter is within his/her rights to publish the information regardless of national security or other implications.

The difference is between knowing and publishing. If you know you are in your rights to publish if you don't know it isn't a right to know.

I will follow up on this theme today with a review of a National Journal article pointed out by Austin Bay.