The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them. The most iniquitous plots may be carried on against their liberty and happiness.
I am not an advocate for divulging indiscriminately all the operations of government, though the practice of our ancestors, in some degree, justifies it.
Such transactions as relate to military operations or affairs of great consequence, the immediate promulgation of which might defeat the interests of the community, I would not wish to be published, till the end which required their secrecy should have been effected. But to cover with the veil of secrecy the common routine of business, is an abomination in the eyes of every intelligent man, and every friend to his country.
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Patrick Henry, Speech On the Expediency of Adopting the Federal Constitution, Delivered in the Convention of Virginia (June 9, 1788)