May 16, 1996 |
Consider this scenario: A priest is summoned to jail to hear the confession of a man accused of murder. In the course of that penitential act, the confession is taped secretly; now the prosecutor may try to use it as evidence in court. Catholics are outraged, since for them, the confessional is sacrosanct. No one is allowed to invade its privacy. In fact, the privacy and secrecy of the confessional is so profound that if the priest-confessor were to violate it, he could be defrocked and made to do penance for the rest of his life.
October 15, 2003 |
A U.S. District Court judge last night refused to unseal any search warrants issued in the federal investigation that has enveloped Mayor Street. The decision by Chief U.S. District Judge James T. Giles came as prosecutors sought to preserve the secrecy of the investigation, saying they must "protect the ability" of law enforcement authorities to complete the inquiry. Philadelphia Newspapers Inc., which publishes The Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, had asked Giles to unseal search warrants issued in the investigation, which became public last week when city police officers found a sophisticated listening device in the ceiling of Street's City Hall office.
July 28, 1986
According to Gov. Kean, New Jersey's clemency process "has worked well. " So far, however, the people of the Garden State have had to take the governor at his word. They have no independent means by which to make that judgment. In New Jersey, the process by which a convicted criminal obtains a pardon, sentence reduction or commutation has been conducted in secret. Upon receiving a request for clemency, the state Parole Board conducts an investigation and makes a recommendation to the governor, who makes the final decision.
March 1, 1987 |
The roots of the Iran-contra crisis are embedded deeply in the six-year history of the Reagan administration, in the judgment of congressional experts and students of government. They involve an "obsession" with secrecy, a vast buildup in covert operations, a hands-off presidential management style, a "politicized" bureaucracy and "amateur night" staffing at the White House, according to these experts. Few of them agree with the assertion of presidential review board chairman John Tower that the affair was an "aberration.
October 16, 2001 |
We lost the Vietnam War for two reasons. First, there was no adequate occasion for our involvement: no threat to our shores or our people, no serious strategic stake. And second, our government was cowardly in its dishonesty. Put these factors together, and you have a formula for loss of popular support and national resolve. We deserved to lose. The current struggle is richly warranted. We have every reason - in fact, we have the obligation - to destroy the people who flew planes into our buildings.
July 23, 2001 |
One of the central principles of the Bush administration is to be as little like the Clinton administration as possible. On some matters, that's a very good idea. This makes you wonder why Vice President Cheney has been so adamant in refusing to release information about his energy task force. At the request of congressional Democrats, the General Accounting Office demanded last week that the vice president turn over material on how the administration developed its energy policy and who helped it make its decisions.
September 8, 1991 |
A little-known council, headed by Vice President Quayle and operated in secrecy, has been using its political clout to undermine federal health and safety measures at the request of business interests, two citizen advocacy groups have charged. Their report, to be released today, said the council had been instrumental in killing a ban on the burning of lead-acid batteries, delaying tough standards for medical laboratories, and weakening regulations designed to cut air pollution caused by electric power plants, to protect workers from formaldehyde and to preserve environmentally vital wetlands.
July 10, 2012 |
The 9/11 Commission more than a decade ago revealed the danger in keeping secrets on terror threats. But new data show that lesson hasn't been taken to heart. If anything, the same tight-lipped policies that kept federal antiterrorism agents from sharing tips about the World Trade Center and Pentagon plots are becoming more widespread, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, a think tank based at the New York University School of Law. The group cites a recent report by the federal office that oversees security classification, which shows a four-fold increase since 1995 in spending to keep information under wraps, with the cost conservatively estimated at $11.4 billion last year.
March 15, 2012 |
Tammy Lerner grew up in a big, close-knit family in central Pennsylvania. Everyone lived near one another, celebrated holidays together, and respected the elders as the strong-willed heads of the extended household. When some family members heard allegations that young Tammy and a couple of cousins were being sexually abused by two of their uncles, they protected their kin. The accused abusers, that is. "My story is not exceptional," said Lerner, now 41 and vice president of the Bryn Mawr-based Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse.
April 8, 1990 |
Shhhh! Don't tell anyone about that truck carrying a huge, ah, thingamajig through South Jersey - it's top secret. It's like this: Last week there was this truck crawling up Kings Highway, heading to Port Elizabeth from Joseph Oat Co. in Camden. Carrying an oblong cylinder, 30 feet by 16 feet, the truck meandered through Cherry Hill and Moorestown, where workers had to divert overhead wires and branches before it could slip through. Unnoticed. Dum, da-dum, dum. Enter Susan Levine, mother, citizen and photographer, taking the kids to school.