Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Thoughts on transparency

Seems the next Secretarey of Defense has some thoughts on transparency in government.

From Robert M. Gates' 1996 memoir From the Shadows, as cited at Secrecy News and The Daily Dish:
I sat in the Situation Room in secret meetings for nearly twenty years under five Presidents, and all I can say is that some awfully crazy schemes might well have been approved had everyone present not known and expected hard questions, debate, and criticism from the Hill. And when, on a few occasions, Congress was kept in the dark, and such schemes did proceed, it was nearly always to the lasting regret of the Presidents involved. Working with the Congress was never easy for Presidents, but then, under the Constitution, it wasn't supposed to be. I saw too many in the White House forget that.
Hmmm... is he prophetic, perhaps... or does history just repeat itself, over and over and over again.

You can find the quote by searching inside the book at Amazon; try "awfully crazy schemes." Of course, it might be helpful to actually read the whole bloody thing...

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