April 16, 1986 |
Members of a special House committee set up to investigate the state police agreed yesterday to keep secret the names of officers obtained from department disciplinary files. The committee, established by House Democratic leaders to look into allegations of racial discrimination and preferential treatment in disciplinary cases, voted unanimously to adopt the secrecy provision. The vote was necessary to resolve a legal challenge from the Conference of State Police Lodges, the union that represents state police officers.
September 29, 2006 |
The Inquirer yesterday asked a federal judge to reject a proposed confidentiality order in the case of two computer technicians charged with thwarting an FBI investigation of State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo. The public's interest in open and honest government outweighs any need for secrecy, the newspaper's lawyers said. "It is fundamental that the public is entitled to information about its government and those in whom the public has placed its trust," lawyers Amy B. Ginensky and Michael E. Baughman wrote on behalf of The Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, which are owned by Philadelphia Newspapers L.L.C.
July 20, 1987 |
When historians assess the decline and fall of President Reagan's credibility, they are likely to find that the Iran-Contra affair was a disaster rooted in obsessive presidential preoccupation with secrecy. Reagan brought with him into the White House a mistrust of the news media that had many sources. He resented Hollywood coverage of the breakup of his first marriage, and believed Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater had been unfairly treated by the press. The president also shared the view, expressed by Lt. Col. Oliver L. North in his six days of winning the hearts and minds of Americans on national television, that the Vietnam war had been lost on the home front, largely because of uncensored reporting.
January 24, 1995 |
The Clinton administration has gone public with an armistice in the Cold War: an executive order changing the rules of government secrecy in cases of national security. The order takes some important steps forward. But they are only the first steps toward reforming a secrecy system collapsing of its own weight. The order's most innovative section requires public release of secrets more than 25 years old. Agencies are to be given until the year 2000 to find and set aside information that is still sensitive, such as weapons design or the identities of spies.
August 7, 2002
A federal judge in Washington had no hesitation last week in ordering the Justice Department to reveal the names of almost 1,200 people it jailed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "Secret arrests are 'a concept odious to a democratic society,' and profoundly antithetical to the bedrock values that characterize a free and open one such as ours," said U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler, quoting an earlier ruling in her own decision. . . . The [U.S. State Department] continues to insist . . . that secrecy was necessary to keep information from Osama bin Laden and other terrorists still at large.
October 1, 2009
In a dozen or more legal challenges dating from the Bush era, the U.S. government's defense against allegations of torture or spying on American citizens has been to claim that litigation would jeopardize national security by revealing state secrets. That has prohibited litigants from their day in court. Even worse, the tactic deprives the American people of the chance to judge for themselves the legality and morality of antiterror strategies employed by the government. So it's welcome news that President Obama has pledged to curb the use of such state secrets claims.
July 26, 1987 |
Trapped in a hopeless position under Confederate guns at Vicksburg in 1863, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman knew there was no way his men could mount a successful frontal assault against the high ground commanded by the enemy. So he devised a plan. He stealthily dispatched men to a higher position off the Confederate flank, where they began digging channels to divert the waters of the Mississippi River and flood Confederate positions. It was an ingenious strategy, and one that could well have hastened a major Union victory in the Civil War. But it failed.
September 28, 2008 |
They have changed the sheets for world leaders. Popped champagne corks for mobsters. Lugged the suitcases of royalty. And delivered room service to Hollywood megastars registered under aliases. Oh, the stories the employees of the Philadelphia Four Seasons could tell. But won't. Of the several hundred loyal souls on staff, 31 have been working there since it opened 25 years ago. They are sworn to secrecy about the guests they serve. So they'll never reveal what happened in the summer of 1989 when the Rolling Stones blew through Philadelphia for the launch of their comeback Steel Wheels tour.
December 21, 2005 |
Claiming that his business and children need protection, a Main Line bank executive yesterday appealed to a Montgomery County judge to seal the record of any future settlement in the banker's divorce case. Such settlements are public under court rules in Montgomery County. The case was brought by Richard J. Green, chief executive of Firstrust Bank, who said he wanted court-ordered secrecy in place before the final decree is issued in his divorce from Marla Green. Firstrust Bank has 25 locations and 450 employees in the Philadelphia region.
November 4, 2003 |
The entrance is inauspiciously marked by hay bales. But there's no mistaking the seriousness of the high-level security. "You must leave at once; you're trespassing," barked a security guard, seemingly at odds with the tranquillity of pastoral Pennsbury Township. Well, maybe not so tranquil. In December 1978, police did unearth three victims of the notorious Johnston brothers gang uncannily close to filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan's latest movie site - a locale so shrouded in secrecy that some locals don't even know it's there.