Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

Second Department


First Advisor

Thomas Lobe

Second Advisor

Leo Zaibert




America, objectiveness, openess, security, media


This thesis explores the difficult task of finding a balance of secrecy and openness in America. The common notion is that America is an open society; however, with an intelligence community predicated upon secrecy, an imbalance of power between the Executive and Congress, a media which does not always report objective news, and a complacent American public, openness ultimately becomes more difficult to maintain. To find a balance, I propose a hypothetical spectrum of openness in which there is a straight line with two endpoints- one endpoint representing complete secrecy, the other complete openness. I argue that both ends of the spectrum are extreme and undesirable and that America’s goal should be to err on the side of more openness while maintaining responsible secrecy. By responsible secrecy, I mean secrecy that is justified under legitimate national security grounds whereby if the secret is leaked, American security interests are in jeopardy. To find the right balance, a number of factors must work together to promote openness: Congress, the Executive, the media, the intelligence community, and the American people.