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Government secrecy up despite exposure of issue
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Seattle Post-Intelligencer/Cox News Service

Seattle Post-Intelligencer/Cox News Service, August 31, 2007
Posted: September 6th, 2007

Government secrecy is expanding at an unprecedented clip, despite growing public concern about barriers to information. reports that stamping government documents "secret" cost American taxpayers $8.2 billion last year -- a 7.5 percent increase over the year before. The coalition found that for every dollar spent declassifying documents, the federal government spends $185 to conceal government documents. Open-government advocates blame the policies of the Bush administration. "The current administration has increasingly refused to be held accountable to the public," said Patrice McDermott, executive director of the coalition of conservative and liberal groups concerned about government secrecy. "These practices lead to the circumscription of democracy." Among the findings from the report: Businesses enjoyed a no-bid process for 26 percent, or $107.5 billion, of the federal government's business last year. President Bush has issued at least 151 signing statements challenging 1,149 provisions of laws passed by Congress. The Defense Department has more than doubled in real terms the amount it spends on classified weapons acquisitions since 1995. The number of documents [classified in 2006] ballooned to 20.3 million, up by 43 percent. And those figures do not include the untold number of documents that are locked away by federal agencies in categories known as "pseudo-classification." These are unclassified documents that government bureaucrats deem too sensitive for public consumption. The report also found that the Bush administration has invoked a legal tool known as the "state secrets" privilege more than any other previous administration to get cases thrown out of civil court.

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