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News Link • Central Intelligence Agency

Using the 'Top Secret' Stamp to Hide Lies and War Crimes

•, Conor Friedersdorf
 Is America's classification system legitimate? When leakers subvert it, should citizens cheer or condemn them? State secrets kept by the U.S. government have been under attack, most famously by Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, and Edward Snowden. Tens of millions of Americans defend at least some of their revelations, illegal or not—to the consternation of national-security-state officials and their allies, who have responded by defending America's classification system.

For the Obama Administration, this has meant an unprecedented effort to punish leaks it didn't opportunistically order with criminal inquiries and prosecutions. Some members of Congress have taken to denouncing leakers as traitors. And at venues like Lawfare, a group blog for the national-security establishment, the customary argument is that "the United States has the most expensive, elaborate, and multi-tiered intelligence oversight apparatus of any nation on Earth." There's no need for illegal leaks. Existing oversight is adequate.

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