Author Mary Graham talks about her new book “Presidents’ Secrets: The Use and Abuse of Hidden Power,” which highlights three moments in history when the need for secrecy and openness clashed and when presidents’ choices altered American democracy: how the framers of the Constitution created a culture of openness that endured for more than a century; how the fear of communism led to a structure of peacetime secrecy; and how decades of excessive secrecy and revelation of abuses began a process of embedding presidents’ hidden exploits in checks by Congress and the courts.
The book also chronicles the steps and missteps of modern-day presidents that suggest a road map for presidential secrecy and openness in the digital age.
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