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Harry Truman understood the importance of open government in a free society. George W. Bush does not.

From the first days of his administration, President Bush has taken steps to tighten the government's hold on information and limit public scrutiny of its activities. Expansive assertions of executive privilege, restrictive views of the Freedom of Information Act, increasing use of national security classification, stonewalling in response to congressional requests for information - all these were evident even before the September 11 attacks. Since then, the clamps on information have only tightened.

Here, Public Citizen chronicles and documents the administration's obsession with secrecy, as well as the steps we, and others, are taking to fight it. By clicking on the links provided here, you can reach up-to-date summaries of each of the administration's major secrecy initiatives, with additional links from those summaries to key documents, such as executive orders, congressional materials, judicial decisions, and legal briefs filed by both sides in the court battles raging over these issues. We'll also provide links to other resources on the web, as well as information about how you can use the Freedom of Information Act to take on government secrecy yourself.

In the long run, we don't think Americans will put up with a government that operates on the principle of keeping them in ignorance. The more light we shine on these actions, the less likely they are to succeed.



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