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Secrecy -- With homeland security and the war on terror becoming increasingly important issues, the U.S. government has grown more and more secretive, allegedly to protect the country and save lives. But is this culture of secrets at odds with democracy? This documentary examines both the pros and cons of government concealment by focusing on classified secrets and the arguments the government makes in the name of national security.


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Release Date:
12 September 2008 (USA) See more »
Amidst the American hunger for instantaneous news and up-to-date "facts," this unflinching film uncovers the vast, invisible world of government secrecy. | Add synopsis »
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
An Interesting Look at the Balance Between Secrecy and Disclosure See more (6 total) »


Steven Aftergood ... Himself - Government Secrecy Project, Federation of American Scientists
Thomas Blanton ... Himself
James Bruce ... Himself - Senior Executive Officer, CIA, 1981-2005
Steven Garfinkel ... Himself - Director, 1978-2001, U.S. Information Security Oversight Office
Barton Gellman ... Himself - Reporter, Special Projects, The Washington Post
Sig Hecker ... Himself - Director, 1986-1997, Los Alamos National Lab
Neal Katyal ... Himself
Mike Levin ... Himself - Chief, Information Policy, National Security Agency, 1947-1993
Judy Palya Loether ... Herself - Father, Al Palya died in 'Reynolds' crash
Melissa Boyle Mahle ... Herself

Dan Rather ... Himself (archive footage)
Patricia Reynolds ... Herself - Widow of Robert Reynolds
Charles Swift ... Himself - Lt. Cmdr., U.S. Navy JAG Attorney for Plaintiff, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld

Ben Wizner ... Himself - Attorney for Plaintiff, El-Masri v. United States

Directed by
Peter Galison 
Robb Moss 
Produced by
Dan Cogan .... supervising producer
Jim Swartz .... co-executive producer
Original Music by
John Kusiak 
Cinematography by
Austin de Beche (director of photography)
Stephen McCarthy (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Chyld King 
Art Department
Elaine J. McCarthy .... background design
Sound Department
Coll Anderson .... supervising sound re-recording mixer
Mark Filip .... sound designer
Trent Richmond .... dialogue editor
Matt Snedecor .... assistant sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Joseph Christofori .... assistant camera
Phil Darrell .... gaffer
Tom Doran .... key grip
Brant Fagan .... steadicam
Music Department
P. Andrew Willis .... composer: additional music
Other crew
Caitlin Boyle .... associate producer
Maud Dillingham .... production assistant
Rich Remsberg .... archival researcher
Anne Stulz .... publicist
Linda Morgenstern .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
85 min
Sound Mix:


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
An Interesting Look at the Balance Between Secrecy and Disclosure, 27 September 2012
Author: gavin6942 from United States

Amidst the American hunger for instantaneous news and up-to-date "facts", this unflinching film purportedly uncovers the vast, invisible world of government secrecy.

This documentary appealed to me because government secrecy is something I deal with every day. As an organized crime historian, I frequently read FBI and police documents that were previously classified. In many cases, information that had never been known is now being brought to light because of the reports. So, the balance of secrets and publicity is important to me.

I do like how this documentary looks at many different angles. Although very short, it manages to look at how the press can hamper important national security issues by making secrets public. Conversely, it looks at how the government has a tendency to be overly protective of "secrets" that never should have been secret in the first place. And most importantly, it covers how different agencies fail to share information with each other -- the biggest problem in secrecy is the inter-agency rapport.

What is the answer to these important problems? I choose not to even offer such a suggestion. The documentary also never fully offers suggestions. But can you blame them? This could be the most important issue the federal government has to deal with.

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