WikiLeaks' latest dump shows the government's old way of keeping secrets no longer works

To the editor: The CIA ought to just pack up all its data and send them to WikiLeaks. It seems all the classified information is going to arrive there eventually. (“CIA’s apparent hacking techniques revealed in data breach,” March 7)

After nearly a century of classifying everything under the sun and then lying about it, average Americans are no longer accepting the default explanation of “looking out for the security interests of the country,” which on its face is absurd because there is no serious threat to the nation’s security.

We need a better way of dealing with sensitive information, where a bureaucrat can only classify information for a limited time — say, 90 days. After that period the classification should be reviewed by a panel, which can either extend the classification for another limited period or release it to the public. Eventually, the secrecy would be permanently revoked, leaving it up to Congress to pass a law classifying the information for good.

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