Administration Secrecy Gives Rise to Anxiety and False Reports (1913)
Interesting, and yet things never change. I don’t know if that makes you feel better or worse … but, here’s an article written in The Washington Post, exactly 100 years ago today. This article speaks to the same frustrations many express today.
If the State Department would issue each day, while the present widespread and very dangerous excitement over our relations with Mexico lasts, a simple and coherent statement of the status of affairs, much needless anxiety would be dispelled and the circulation of a great deal of falsehood would be checked. There is not the slightest indication that our relations with Huerta’s government have changed in the last 72 hours, but the rumors printed in that brief space of time have comprehended every possible disaster, including armed intervention and the open espousal of the cause of Carranza.
In regard to Mexico President Wilson has already cast aside most of the methods of old-fashioned diplomacy. Why should he not go a step further and discard its ancient tradition of absolute secrecy? Everybody knows now that a communication of some sort was lately sent to Huerta. Most of the excitement is based on the belief that that was an ultimatum and that war may follow. If the people knew the truth they would not be misled by rumors. There is no sign of war, but the administration is keeping up a needless and unprofitable show of mystery.