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Secrets and LeaksThe Dilemma of State Secrecy$
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Rahul Sagar

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691168180

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691168180.001.0001

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Bitter Medicine

Bitter Medicine

(p.181) Conclusion Bitter Medicine
Secrets and Leaks

Rahul Sagar

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter summarizes the book's main findings, beginning with the deep sense of anxiety that pervades contemporary discussions on state secrecy. This anxiety stems not from the concern that state secrecy is contrary to democracy but rather from the concern that the government can use state secrecy to conceal wrongdoing. The institutions charged with regulating the use of state secrecy, Congress and the courts, have struggled to detect wrongdoing owing to constraints of information and expertise. The book has also explored whether whistleblowing and leaking constitute legitimate means of regulating state secrecy. This chapter outlines some of the means by which we might minimize the downsides of our dependence on unauthorized disclosures of classified information and argues that we need to ensure how executives and those who watch over them will utilize responsibly the discretion they are bound to enjoy.

Keywords:   state secrecy, democracy, wrongdoing, Congress, courts, whistleblowing, leaking, unauthorized disclosure, classified information, executive

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