2005-03-25

Bush-Regierung l��t immer mehr Akten verschwinden

--- W�hrend Rot-Gr�n sich weiter schwer tut mit dem geplanten Informationsfreiheitsgesetz, greift der seit �ber 40 Jahren g�ltige Freedoms of Information Act in den USA verst�rkt ins Leere. Denn der Vermerk "Geheim" oder auch verst�rkt einfach nur "Nur f�r den Dienstgebrauch" prangt auf immer mehr Regierungsakten: The government does a remarkable job of counting the number of national security secrets it generates each year. Since President George W. Bush entered office, the pace of classification activity has increased by 75 percent, said William Leonard in March 2 congressional testimony. His Information Security Oversight Office oversees the classification system and recorded a rise from 9 million classification actions in fiscal year 2001 to 16 million in fiscal year 2004. Yet an even more aggressive form of government information control has gone unenumerated and often unrecognized in the Bush era, as government agencies have restricted access to unclassified information in libraries, archives, Web sites, and official databases. Once freely available, a growing number of these sources are now barred to the public as "sensitive but unclassified" or "for official use only." Less of a goal-directed policy than a bureaucratic reflex, the widespread clampdown on formerly public information reflects a largely inarticulate concern about "security." It also accords neatly with the Bush administration's preference for unchecked executive authority. No comprehensive catalog of deleted information exists, which is part of the problem. What follows is a representative selection of categories of data that have been withdrawn from public access in the Bush years, with reflections on what they mean.