When archaeologists dig up a 10,000 year old village, and look at the tools, and the houses, and even the bones of the people, and figure out things about how they lived and died, I am thrilled. It adds to human knowledge, it puts a couple more pieces in the puzzle, and it’s necessary.
People 10,000 years ago weren’t leaving any written records for the future, partly because survival was more of a full time job than it is today, and partly because they hadn’t learned how to write yet.
When we get some new piece of information because something has just been declassified, it generally pisses me off. It’s information that would have been nice to know 50 years ago, and it was kept from us deliberately.
In 1969, about two months before the 1st moon landing, Apollo 10 circled the moon. While they were on the dark side, blocked from radio contact with the Earth, the astronauts heard a strange sound. A bit like wind, whipping through a narrow canyon; a whoosh and a whistle. The astronauts had no good explanation for it. Neither did NASA.
So, why did they keep it secret until now. Were they afraid that everybody would think it was aliens, and start running through the streets naked and breaking windows? Did they not want Russian scientists to know there were strange sounds over there?
Neither of those are good reasons. In this case, I think it just came down to habitual government secrecy. They are so used to not telling the public anything, that it has become their default mode.
And there’s no reason for it. Military secrets? Unless you’re actually at war, there’s no reason for those, and nobody should be at war with anybody. To prevent public panic? The public is just as likely to riot over a football loss (or a win, doesn’t matter) as they are to riot over something of substance. Second, that should be up to the public. If they want to panic, if that’s how they respond to the new information, then it’s on the public.
No, I am certain the reason governments keep secrets is because they don’t want their own people to know what they are up to, because what they are up to would not make them look good.
Let the truth be known. All of it. The truth will set us free.