A flood of classified documents ignite a debate in America

Documents released by the Justice Department said they were found at Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago.


The discovery of secret classified documents in the homes of former US President Donald Trump, current Joe Biden, and former Vice President Mike Pence has re-ignited a debate about an old habit, represented by the US government classifying millions of documents every year under "secret" or "top secret" and other things. Similar ratings.

Nuclear secrets, names of spies, and diplomatic cables: Governments everywhere protect information that could compromise security, the names of spies, or relationships with other countries.

But the US secrecy machine is running into overdrive.

Every year, nearly 50 million decisions are made regarding the issue of classifying government documents in categories such as "unauthorized", "secret" or "top secret", according to a number of experts.

But many classified documents are not that sensitive, says Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official.

And he adds: Classifying military plans related to Ukraine in the classified category is legitimate.

But more questions are raised about the classification of a State Department telegram related to the foreign minister's arrival in Israel on Monday, when the news is already circulating in the media.

And when old documents are declassified, they can sometimes be entertaining, as when the CIA declassified documents dating back nearly a century in 2011, explaining how invisible ink can be made.

Riedel blames the tendency to over-classify documents on “bureaucratic laziness,” asserting that it is bureaucratically safe.

And if someone asks why the information reached public opinion, it can be said that it was leaked.

When former President Donald Trump left Washington, he took with him boxes of records that included top secret classified documents, prompting a search of his Florida home last summer.

Recently, a few classified documents were found in the homes of Vice President Mike Pence, and in the home of current President Joe Biden, dating back to the period when he was Vice President under Barack Obama.

Some might conclude that the procedures in place for dealing with classified information are too lax, says Elizabeth Goiten, national security expert at the Brennan Center for Justice.

But this is not the case.

"Protections for classified information are rigorous and extensive," Goiten wrote in The Nation magazine.

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