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Setec Astronomy, Part I

Is the reference in the headline recognizable anymore? If not, it's from a key scene in the 1992 movie Sneakers, wherein the characters realize the mysterious phrase "Setec Astronomy" descrambles to "too many secrets." If you haven't seen the film, you should really consider it; even if it's three decades old, it's a great popcorn movie with a stellar cast (Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, Dan Aykroyd, David Strathairn, Ben Kingsley, River Phoenix, etc.). And yes, we know that Setec Astronomy is also referenced in Ready Player One.

We bring this up as entree to our ongoing discussion of classified documents. It would seem that we are not the only ones who think that maybe the federal government has too many secrets. Or, perhaps more precisely, too many things being treated as secrets that really don't need to be. There was an effort during the George W. Bush administration to cut back on overclassification that went nowhere. Now, there is some momentum in that direction once again. It's too early to say if anything will come of it, but at least people are talking. Of course, people also talk after mass shootings, and look how much that's accomplished (Hint: zero).

Last week, we asked for readers with expertise greater than ours to weigh in on the subject, and we were not disappointed. We're going to run some of the interesting responses here, and we'll run some more tomorrow:

Thanks, all! And, as noted, we'll have another batch tomorrow. (Z)

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