Classified information was required to protect military secrets. This information included frequencies of electronic signals used in weapons systems and troop movement plans during wars. This type of classification is the easiest to defend.
The Intelligence agencies have classified the names of their agents classified to protect their identities and the methods they use and the plans they have.
This type of classification is harder to defend, because nations are sovereign. It is more defensible with nations that are hostile.
We do expect these agencies to keep track of the terrorists and criminal aliens we have and will be removing them permanently.
It also appears that politicians classify information that isn’t related to military or intelligence secrets and this is not defensible.
That’s why US citizens are not outraged by Wikileaks or whistle-blowers. They know that these sources may be tainted, but they actually see them as ensuring transparency.
This poses a problem for the military, the intelligence agencies, the politicians, the “beltway hawks” and the legislators, except some Constitutionalists, who want to protect citizen privacy rights.
US citizens do understand that industrial secrets are the property of the patent-holders and they generally support property rights.
US citizens do not trust government and that’s a good thing. We’ve heard a lot of goofy things from government and we’ve seen the disasters that have occurred from the “unintended consequences” of their actions. We suspect wide-spread systemic corruption is the reason for our distrust.
Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader