The government is terribly prone to over-classification. Many things which have no business being classified are, to the detriment of the public.
I’m not talking about nuke launch codes or anything like that. However, my bet is that the classification system is used to keep much information which has no bearing on national security locked away. Something bad happens in the military or with a defense contractor? Well then lock it up, encase it in top secret cement, and toss it into the bowels of Pentagon records where no one will ever see it.
I’m not the only one who thinks this is going on.
Classification would be well worth its cost if it were always justified by national security considerations. But that is far from the case. Blue-ribbon commissions and congressional committees dating back to the 1950s have noted that “overclassification” is the norm, not the exception. High-ranking intelligence and military officials have estimated that 50 percent to 90 percent of classified documents could safely be released. According to ISOO’s report, when members of the public ask agencies to review the status of classified documents, the agency declassifies some or all of the documents more than 80 percent of the time. In short, we are spending billions of dollars to protect information that does not need protecting.