On the 29th December 2009, President Barack Obama issued an executive order defining conditions on classifying information
This order prescribes a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national security information, including information relating to defense against transnational terrorism. Our democratic principles require that the American people be informed of the activities of their Government. Also, our Nation’s progress depends on the free flow of information both within the Government and to the American people. Nevertheless, throughout our history, the national defense has required that certain information be maintained in confidence in order to protect our citizens, our democratic institutions, our homeland security, and our interactions with foreign nations. Protecting information critical to our Nation’s security and demonstrating our commitment to open Government through accurate and accountable application of classification standards and routine, secure, and effective declassification are equally important priorities.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Sec. 1.7. Classification Prohibitions and Limitations.
(a) In no case shall information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail to be declassified in order to:
(1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;
(2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;
(3) restrain competition; or
(4) prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security.
Editors Note: Being Australian we are unsure of the gravity of breaching a US President’s Executive Order. If say there were a widespread and significant breaches of an Australian Minister’s directives then we would expect at least calls for a Royal Commission. However as the US President is Commander in Chief of the US military then could one expect widespread and significant breaches to be considered acts of mutiny? We draw attention to the Generals in ability to provide the Collateral Murder videos over multiple requests by Reuters. Seemingly their bureaucratic incompetence was a ploy to ‘prevent embarrassment’