Chapter

Introduction

Jon Wiener

in Gimme Some Truth

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2000 | ISBN: 9780520216464
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924543 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520216464.003.0001
Introduction

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The story of the Lennon files is the story of a fourteen-year legal battle to win release of the withheld pages. It is also a story about the ways the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations resisted the requirements of the FOIA. The main issue in this book is not simply John Lennon. The basic subject is that government officials everywhere like secrecy. By keeping the public from learning what they have done, they hope to avoid criticism, hinder the opposition, and maintain power over citizens and their elected representatives. Classified files and official secrets lie at the heart of the modern governmental bureaucracy, and permit the undemocratic use of power to go unrecognized and unchallenged by citizens. However, democracy is not powerless before this practice. America has led the world in the fight against government secrecy.

Keywords: Clinton; Bush; criticism; democracy; secrecy

Chapter.  2460 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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