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This article identifies several tools of information control that occur consistently throughout history. The government does not use all of these tools in every national security crisis. Nor does it always abuse them. However, the patterns that emerge suggest a certain predictability to (1) the government's actions during national security crises, and (2) the potentially negative consequences flowing from them that warrants our attention. Understanding this historical pattern of government action allows one to identify and potentially prevent future problems. This is especially important in the post-9/11 world in which the government has asked for and received controversial powers with respect to information control.



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