Does Government Have A Right To Secrecy?

George Packer says yes:

There is an undeniable public interest in knowing, for example, that U.S. intelligence believes the Iranians are buying advanced missiles from North Korea, and that Gulf Arab rulers have been privately urging American military action against Iran. The question is, does that interest outweigh the right of U.S. officials to carry out their work with a degree of confidentiality?

Yesthe right. Lawyers, judges, doctors, shrinks, accountants, investigators, andnot leastjournalists could not do the most basic tasks without a veil of secrecy. Why shouldn’t the same be true of those professionals who happen to be government officials? If WikiLeaks and its super-secretive, thin-skinned, megalomaniacal leader, Julian Assange (is he also accompanied everywhere by a Ukrainian senior nurse?), were uncovering crimes, or scandals, or systemic abuses, there would be no question about the overwhelming public interest in these latest revelations. But the WikiLeaks dump contains no My Lais, no black sites, no Abu Ghraibs. The documents simply show State Department officials going about their work over a period of several years.

Greenwald turns the point on its head:

John Cole notes an added irony of the furor over this latest disclosure:  "I have a hard time getting worked up about it - a government that views none of my personal correspondence as confidential really can’t bitch when this sort of thing happens."  Note how quickly the "if-you've-done-nothing-wrong-then-you-have-nothing-to-hide" mentality disappears when it's their privacy and communications being invaded rather than yours.