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Gimme Some TruthThe John Lennon FBI Files$
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Jon Wiener

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520216464

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520216464.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

Conclusion: The Culture of Secrecy

Conclusion: The Culture of Secrecy

(p.100) Conclusion: The Culture of Secrecy
Gimme Some Truth

Jon Wiener

University of California Press

The Lennon files case implements a small but brilliant example of this larger problem—the culture of secrecy that undermines democracy. The Lennon files were not threatened with destruction or carted away in the middle of the night. Armstrong's lawsuit prevented their destruction, but the same issue arose when the Bush administration prepared to leave office. Bush asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to allow the destruction of records while they were appealing the restraining order Armstrong had won. The court refused. Then, on the eve of Clinton's inauguration, the Archivist of the United States, Don Wilson, signed a secret agreement granting Bush exclusive legal control over the e-mail tapes of his administration. Even when new legislation gave historians greater power to obtain particular documents than that provided by the FOIA, it still wasn't easy to prevail over the FBI and CIA, as the Kennedy assassination records demonstrate.

Keywords:   democracy, Columbia, inauguration, assassination, Don Wilson

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