Alex Massie

A Change to Believe In

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Not a bad start for the new President:

"For a long time now there has been too much secrecy in this city," Obama said. "The old rules said that if there was a defensible argument for not disclosing something to the American people, then it should not be disclosed. That era is now over. Starting today, every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information, but those who seek to make it known...

"The mere fact that you have the legal power to keep something secret does not mean you should use it," Obama said. "The Freedom of Information Act is perhaps the most powerful instrument we have for making our government honest and transparent and holding it accountable. I expect my administration not only to live up to the letter but the spirit of this law."

Add in the commitment to closing Guantanamo (but what about extraordinary rendition?) and there's every danger that one might have to start to, like, believe... Blimey.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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