[EDITORIALS]Disclosure is a dutyIn connection with the controversy over the leaking of national secrets that was raised during the National Assembly’s inspection of the administration, the government has decided to refuse the Assembly’s request for information which it believes could have a serious effect on national security. At a glance, the government action seems to be appropriate.
But in the background is the administration’s psychology of superiority over the legislature and an intention to monopolize information. Accusing opposition lawmakers of “engaging in spy activities” and refusing to provide information to the Assembly were methods used by the military regimes.
The government’s behavior is childish and revealing. In practice, secrets that affect national security are classified and are not provided to lawmakers. We don’t know why they are making such a fuss now.
It seems that the government, making use of incidents in which some lower grade secrets were revealed at the Assembly hearings, intends to refuse to provide sensitive government information to the Assembly. If information is not provided to the legislature, which must enact laws and check and watch over the administration, how can it perform its duties properly?
If national secrets are leaked by the Assembly, the government can ask the legislature not to repeat the mistake and take legal action against those concerned. To prevent a leak of secrets provided to the Assembly, it must make provisions in the National Assembly Law or related rules and regulations.
The government said the material subject to refusal would be limited to national secrets that would have a “serious influence on national security.” But the term “national security” is comprehensive and vague in meaning. There is room for intervention by the administration on its own judgment.
The possibility of refusing material that the government doesn’t want to give to the Assembly has grown bigger. In this way, it will be difficult for the Assembly to get material from the National Intelligence Service and the Ministry of National Defense in the future. Nevertheless, the Uri Party accepted the government decision as an “inevitable measure.”
The Assembly inspects the administration representing the people. Providing the legislature with information and material to the maximum extent possible is the duty of the administration, not its right.