"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them."
- Patrick Henry
CC Image Courtesy of gregwest98 on Flickr
When national security concerns are heightened, information about the government's inner-workings are often at-risk of being concealed from the public. This has been shown time and time again throughout history, from the famous "Pentagon Papers" case that went all the way to the Supreme Court (New York Times Co. v. United States) to more recent concerns over how open military tribunals and trials for suspected terrorists should be. The common thread in all of these cases is that the government is attempting to censor information, and in doing so, is preventing the press from effectively censuring the government.
We here at the ACLU of Georgia believe that these attempts by government to obfuscate their inner-workings all too often boil down to violations of the First Amendment. We will continue to work to make sure that government information is available, so as to allow citizens, the press, and organizations like ours the opportunity to oversee, and sometimes challenge, our government. Without this role of civil society, the limitations on our government become all too faint.