The Bush Administration’s lust for secrecy is well documented. And as davidk at TPM Muckraker wrote recently, Bush and Company is "the most secretive administration in history."

But even so this latest gambit by the Administration is over the line. The Washington Post’s Walter Pincus reports on how earlier this month the Bush White House issued a memorandum outlining new Executive Branch rules on the handling of sensitive but not classified information. They coined the term "Controlled Unclassified Information" (How’s that for bureaucratic doublespeak?) for information so sensitive that its disclosure would create "risk of substantial harm." They replaced the term "Sensitive but Unclassified."

According to Steven Aftergood at Secrecy News, the definition of the information that qualifies as Controlled Unclassified Information is "vague and expansive," and adds that the new policy will do nothing to restore public access to government records that have been improperly withheld. smintheus at Daily Kos writes that the Bush administration used the writing of the new rules as an opportunity to expand the range of government secrecy. He adds that hyper-classification was already "out of control."

Hopefully the new occupants of the West Wing, whoever wins in November, will reverse the eclipse of transparency that is a primary legacy of the current occupants of the White House.