How to Fix It: Let the Sun Shine In

“There’s a famous line from National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy: ‘If you guard your toothbrushes and your diamonds with equal zeal, you’ll lose fewer toothbrushes and more diamonds.’ Right now all the resources are in classification and we need to get back into the declassification business, because that’s American history. And it’s also accountability. It isn’t just dusty stuff. If all these guys think that nothing is gonna come out for 100 years, they’re going to act a whole lot more boldly.

“And it’s not going to be simply a matter of flipping a switch to undo it. This default position to operating in the shadows is going to be somewhat appealing to whomever inherits that office. Even when Pelosi came into power and the Democrats assumed the majority in both houses, there was a predisposition toward secrecy. You’re going to have to bring in people dedicated to transparency, and you have to demonstrate that there are rewards for candor. We have to restore the protections of whistleblowers and also the encouragement and rewards. It shouldn’t just be that they don’t get crucified; it should be that they are again folk heroes, as opposed to traitors.”

Read an extended interview with Ted Gup about the Bush legacy here.