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According to a survey performed for the Defense Department in 1996 it was found that the majority of US citizens believe that the government withholds too much information by classifying it as a secret In this book Secrecy The American Experience Senator Daniel P Moynihan reinforces that view This is a distinctive book with numerous weaknesses some errors and one great strength The weakness is that the book shows controversial arguments rather than a policy analysis Moynihan has a particular view he wants to advance and he is not interested in considering alternate explanations or exploring evidence that is contradictory with his view Moynihan marks the start of modern secrecy with the Espionage Act Most of the distinctive features of twentieth-century secrecy are rooted in the program to build the atomic bomb including vast secret budgets and cover stories I particularly enjoyed the book in that it told the truth of past events I did not like that the book was written from only Moynihans point of view and did not discuss other opinions I enjoyed the book because it is nonfiction and reveals the truth of secrecy in America Most importantly I found it interesting that this book was written by Senator Moynihan rather than by an ordinary person who would make many assumptions in order to write a book about secrecy This US senator from New York analyzes the roots of Americas obsession with government secrecy and pleads for its dismantling This book is not primarily an insiders account of the Government in action It is more ambitiously a historical assessment of the culture of secrecy particularly in the area of foreign policy Moynihan cites the CIAs failure to forecast the end of the Soviet Union as yet another deviation caused by secrecy In his view the CIA simply failed at its most important task It is possible that all of those who argue to the contrary are mistaken but
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