Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 1, 2015

It’s Time for a New Secrecy Regime

William Galston: “In the wake of Vietnam and Watergate, Congress and the executive branch pieced together a new strategy for managing this tension. Institutions such as congressional intelligence committees and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would ensure executive branch accountability while preserving necessary secrecy. The current surveillance controversy challenges the entire post-Watergate regime.”

“Up to a point, liberty and security can be mutually reinforcing. But at what point do they become opposed? This is not a judgment that can be left to experts in the executive branch. Ultimately, the people, acting through their elected representatives, must decide—and it is hard to see how they can do so unless all representatives, not just a select few, have the information they need to participate in such a decision.”

  • JoshSN

    Wait, this guy says FISC is somehow provides some sort of accountability? The definition of accountability is that someone has to give an account (mild definition) or be responsible (hard definition). How does a court, with trials in secret, where, most times, only government lawyers are allowed in, ever result in someone holding someone accountable?

    No one can ask for an accounting of what they do not know is going on.

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