Moynihan Commission On Government Secrecy

Moynihan Commission On Government Secrecy

Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, also called the Moynihan Secrecy Commission, was a bipartisan statutory commission in the United States created under Title IX of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1994 and 1995 (P.L. 103-236 SEC. 900) to conduct "an investigation into all matters in any way related to any legislation, executive order, regulation, practice, or procedure relating to classified information or granting security clearances" and to submit a final report with recommendations. The Commission’s investigation was the first authorized by statute to examine government secrecy since the Wright Commission in 1957.

The Commission’s final report, issued on March 3, 1997, was unanimous. Among its key findings were

  • that secrecy is a form of government regulation
  • that excessive secrecy has significant consequences for the national interest when policy makers are not fully informed
  • the government is not held accountable for its actions
  • the public cannot engage fully in informed debate

Sen. Moynihan reported that approximately 400,000 new secrets are created per year at the top level alone—Top Secret—the disclosure of any one would cause, as defined by law, "exceptionally grave damage to the national security."1 In 1994 it was estimated that the United States government had over 1.5 billion pages of classified material that was 25 years old and older.

In 1995, when President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 12958 regulating national security classification and declassification which established a system to declassify automatically information more than 25 years old, unless the government took discrete steps to continue classification of a particular document or group of documents.

Read more about Moynihan Commission On Government SecrecyMembers, Cold War Secrecy, Loyalty

Other articles related to "moynihan commission on government secrecy, government, commission":

Moynihan Commission On Government Secrecy - Loyalty
... a bureaucracy which could be used to injure the Government, or the national interest if revealed by disloyal persons to hostile nations or, for that matter, to hostile internal elements ... Civil Service Commission, established by the Pendleton Act in 1883, was debarring persons relating to “loyalty” as late as 1921 ... The Commission Report quotes Max Weber, In March 1947 President Truman issued Executive Order 9835, establishing the Federal Employee Loyalty Program, providing uniform investigation standards and ...

Famous quotes containing the words secrecy, government, commission and/or moynihan:

    Cruelty has a Human Heart,
    And jealousy a Human Face;
    Terror the Human Form Divine,
    And secrecy the Human Dress.
    William Blake (1757–1827)

    For the people in government, rather than the people who pester it, Washington is an early-rising, hard-working city. It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money.
    —P.J. (Patrick Jake)

    Children cannot eat rhetoric and they cannot be sheltered by commissions. I don’t want to see another commission that studies the needs of kids. We need to help them.
    Marian Wright Edelman (b. 1939)

    A commonplace of political rhetoric has it that the quality of a civilization may be measured by how it cares for its elderly. Just as surely, the future of a society may be forecast by how it cares for its young.
    —Daniel Patrick Moynihan (20th century)