GEOFFREY STONE : Well, I think the comment was correct then, and I think it's correct today. I think that there's a temptation on the part of public officials to basically say, "We don't to be hassled, we don't want to be bothered, we don't want to be criticized, so we'll just do what's in the best interest of the country, and we don't have to tell anybody about it." And that's a huge danger in a democracy. And--but the fact that I accept that and passionately believe it does not mean that everything the government does in confidence and in secret should not be in confidence or in secret. The problem is where to draw the line.
So, yes, I would criticize the Obama administration, in general, for being overly concerned with secrecy and not being sufficiently transparent. The point I made earlier about overclassification is a good example. But at the same time, I do recognize that there are situations in which secrecy is critical, and the problem is being able to discern when that's necessary and when it's not. And to do that, you need to have people within the debate who are internally challenging the necessity for secrecy and confidentiality. I don't think the Obama administration has done a very good job of that.
AMY GOODMAN : Chris Hedges, just 30 seconds, and I know that you were attending the Bradley Manning trial, but linking the two.
CHRIS HEDGES : Well, we're talking about the death of a free press, the death of a civil society. This is far beyond a reasonable debate. We make the East German Stasi state look like the Boy Scouts. And if we don't wrest back this power for privacy, for the capacity to investigate what our power elite is doing, I think we can essentially say our democracy has been snuffed out.
AMY GOODMAN : Chris Hedges and Geoffrey Stone, I want to thank you for being with us. Geoffrey Stone, former dean at the University of Chicago Law School, now professor there. His recent piece for The Huffington Post is called "Edward Snowden: 'Hero or Traitor'?" Chris Hedges, longtime journalist, now senior fellow at The Nation Institute, foreign correspondent for The New York Times before that for 15 years, part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of global terrorism.