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Page added on March 15, 2005

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Post-9/11 secrecy produces some undesirable results

In Fall River, Mass., last year, the mayor wanted to find out more about a plan to store liquid natural gas in his city. The substance, if released, can cause a catastrophic explosion, and he wanted to be sure that safeguards were adequate to protect the public.

A 1966 federal law is supposed guarantee access to that information. But so far, he and other residents have received nothing but documents blacked out to the point of uselessness. The citizens of Fall River, it seems, will just have to take their chances.

Welcome to the world of post-9/11 secrecy, where bureaucrats are turning the notion of open government on its head. Federal, state and local officials are clamping down on information that would have been accessible just four years ago.

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