They call it “transparency,” and it’s all the rage in serious circles. Everyone wants more of it, as long as it’s not their own secrets being revealed. Those are much too important. So journalists will go to jail to protect their sources — i.e., keep them secret — to encourage whistle blowers to reveal government secrets.
Meanwhile the government stamps “CLASSIFIED” on cafeteria menus.
In her recently published book, “Presidents’ Secrets: The Use and Abuse of Hidden Power,” Mary Graham rampages through American history to show that it’s an old story: Presidents almost always try to keep information secret, and someone else is always trying to make it public.
There are some surprises. George Washington was pro-transparency; Woodrow Wilson anti. Much of the…