A caveat: no one’s a bigger fan of the Obama administration’s plans to make the workings of government more transparent and more easily accessible on-line. I think that, warts and all, it’s a great idea whose time has come. I think every citizen having an avenue to learn about how their tax dollars are being spent, especially right now, is a key to a vibrant democracy.

But this is getting ridiculous.

Now in all fairness, the publishing of pretty much every intimate detail of each of America’s civilian nuclear sites was not a planned part of administration policy. With that in mind, you have to ask yourself if the fact that we accidentally published nearly 300 pages of documents describing the locations and details of American nuclear power plants as well as fuel stockpiles like Los Alamos and Livermore being posted on the website of the Government Printing Office is any more comforting. 

Granted, most of the information contained in the report was available to inquiring public minds already. But posting 266 pages of material marked “highly confidential safeguards sensitive,” including a detailed map to the nuclear stockpile at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where much of America’s enriched uranium fuel is stored, just doesn’t seem like a good idea. It didn’t seem like a great notion to the Federation of American Scientists (whose website is inaccessible this morning, for some reason, though you can check it our here thanks to Google cache), either, who called attention to the report’s posting last night in a blog post that referred to it as “a one-stop shop for information on US nuclear programs.” I mean, there’s reasons that information is generally not collected in one place that’s easy for anyone to find.