An interesting new article in Wired Magazine suggests that transparency is the new king and secrecy is dying. I agree that there are too many secrets, and wrote about the potential for "radical transparency" in everything from military operations to business back in 2004. The problem, as usual, is power, and the Wired article highlights this issue by ignoring it: transparency is good and secrecy is dying as long as it's profitable, and not before. There is a high cost to early adopters of radical transparency, and the failure to view this game as an infinitely iterated game will most likely prevent any adoption of radical transparency in most cases.
I'll go out on a limb and suggest that radical transparency ALWAYS makes sense IF you're the good guy. The quanum leap in radical transparency will not come until the public at large realize the corrollary to that rule: if you're not radically transparent, you're the bad guy.
This is so obvious as to be almost invisible.
Tony Snow: "...it's a reasonable and extraordinary effort on our part to help Congress do its job [by insisting that officials testify without a record and not under oath]"