National security experts say federal employees with the authority to label a document "top secret" have every incentive to broadly use their classification powers and no incentive to use restraint with the files that cross their desk – which has ultimately led to the mass overclassification of information.
The "top secret" designation was intended to be applied to documents that must be kept out of the public eye to protect national security. But some transparency advocates argue classification is not only overly restrictive but that politics are playing a prominent role in classification status, whether it's done to promote a certain policy or support a particular narrative.
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