Flap over unclassified documents does nothing but increase cynicism about government

By Michael P. Riccards

The recent discovery that Mr. Biden has classified material in various locations including his garage with his Corvette is cutting the party leaders.

Of course this comes after the Democratic prosecutors went after Mr. Trump and his slovenly movement of classified materials to a variety of places. Why a guy who never read briefing papers suddenly needed to refer to them is highly suspect but such is the man.

Biden called his predecessor’s behavior reprehensible. Neither man is on the top of his game to say the least.

About 1.2 million Americans have security clearance — not exactly a select club. Presidents not vice presidents can declassify materials. The security flap does nothing but increase our cynicism about our government. The media will play with story, and the presidents will escape punishment or even censure,

The real purpose of classifying materials is not to safeguard secrets from our foes but from ourselves. We now know that Nixon, Lyndon Johnson and Kissinger all acknowledged that the Vietnam war could not be won. But they pursued the conflict causing incredible U.S. and Vietnamese deaths. Why? For what reason? And administrations fought to keep confidential their secrets.  

This episode in hypocrisy will continue to feed talking heads for a good time. But neither men should be so weary that their defense is “I don’t remember.”  Senility is not a good defense. And why does an 80-year-old man need a Corvette?

Michael P. Riccards, a former college president. is the author of 30 books, including a two-volume history of the presidency, The Ferocious Engine of Democracy, and the recently published Woodrow Wilson as Commander-in-Chief. Riccards wrote this article for the Jandoli Institute.



Categories: Jandoli Institute, Media, Michael Riccards, Politics

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