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Reinventing Transparent Government

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Publication Date: September 2008

Publisher(s): Century Foundation

Author(s): Patrick Radden Keefe

Special Collection: Presidential Advisory

Topic: Government (Central or federal government)
Politics (Political ethics)

Keywords: Presidential transition; Accountability; Responsible government

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States

Abstract:

In "Reinventing Transparent Government," Patrick Radden Keefe, fellow and expert on national security and civil liberties issues, calls for rolling back the secrecy of the Bush years and restoring transparency and accountability to American government. In the brief, Keefe explores the broad range of areas in which the United States government has adopted a policy of reflexive secrecy in recent years, and examines the extent to which that posture represents a departure from the American tradition of accountable, transparent government. Keefe makes five concrete proposals for specific changes a new administration could make to usher in a new era of sound, open, responsible government, and invokes James Madison' s admonition that "A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce, or a Trag."