Keeping Secrets

"For the past three years, the Bush administration has quietly but efficiently dropped a shroud of secrecy across many critical operations of the federal government - cloaking its own affairs from scrutiny and removing from the public domain important information on health, safety, and environmental matters," report Christopher H. Schmitt and Edward T. Pound. "The result has been a reversal of a decades-long trend of openness in government while making increasing amounts of information unavailable to the taxpayers who pay for its collection and analysis." Schmitt and Pound have compiled a detailed report on the extent of the new secrecy and the impact it is having on Americans' right to know. Health and environmental activists are raising public awareness about the dangers of secrecy surrounding chemical sites with a new TV advertisement that concludes, "President Bush, don't let a Chemical 911 happen on your watch.