Secrecy | Chicago Reader

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Developed at the Sundance Institute, this polished talking-heads documentary considers the veil of secrecy that protects the national security state and compromises the principles of democracy. Video makers Robb Moss and Peter Galison begin with a practical and sharply focused question: whether the hoarding of information by government agencies actually enhances or inhibits our ability to respond to terrorist threats. But the debate loses its shape as they widen its parameters to include the morality of detainee abuse and torture, the unchecked power of the presidency, even the psychological and sexual aspects of secrecy. Having sacrificed depth for breadth, the video is nonetheless instructive in focusing on two landmark Supreme Court cases: United States v. Reynolds (1953), which established the State Secrets Privilege, and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), which pulled the rug out from under the Bush administration's military commissions. 81 min.

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