RealNews

Bush team takes hit on secret files

The Bush administration is coming under fire for allegedly allowing political concerns to determine what it deems to be sensitive national security material after a series of document declassifications that critics contend were timed for strategic advantage.In several recent cases, the administration first refused requests for information by saying that releasing it would jeopardize national security, then released that same information itself at a moment when it became politically convenient to do so — leaving the impression that it was safe to release all along. After first refusing to allow Congress to see a memo about Al Qaeda from a month before the 2001 attacks, and then letting only some of the 9/11 Commission see it in private, the White House released the entire document to quell rising public pressure. After the Justice Department fought the American Civil Liberties Union in court to suppress statistics on how often it used the Patriot Act, Attorney General John Ashcroft called a news conference and announced them.Full Story

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