• Not all secrets are alike | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
    http://www.thebulletin.org/not-all-secrets-are-alike

    When it comes to national security, there are two kinds of secrets. One is the strict military secret. ...

    The second kind of secret is what anthropologists call the “public secret.” These are denied yet known.

    ...

    Often the state’s greatest rage is directed at those who reveal public secrets, not military secrets. ...

    Even before he was found guilty, Manning has been punished harshly. The United Nations special rapporteur on torture complained that Manning—held for months in solitary confinement, often naked, and deprived of sleep—had been subjected to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of Article 16 of the Convention Against Torture.”

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    ... there is a reason the top leadership of Al Qaeda has communicated for years by personal courier, and it would be a terrorist or insurgent with a very short life expectancy who would communicate by cell phone or unencrypted email. Snowden’s real crime was to reveal incontrovertibly what some already guessed and others might prefer not to know: The US government has secretly created a massive apparatus of domestic surveillance on the edge of the law.

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    “If you want a secret respected,” said Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, one of the country’s greatest commentators on secrecy, “see that it’s respectable in the first place.”