Daniel J. Metcalfe served as head of the Justice Department’s Office of Information and Privacy from 1981 to 2007. He now runs American University’s Collaboration on Government Secrecy at the Washington College of Law.

CJR spoke with Metcalfe about the secrecy-obsessed Bush era and the role of guidance from attorneys general in implementing the Freedom of Information Act.

Edited by Betwa Sharma

Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.