The Madison County Record Sep. 6, 2013, 6:44am

It seems like everything’s “secret” or “confidential” nowadays. Are there suddenly more things that deserve to remain confidential, or is there an unconscious or deliberate classification inflation going on?

Do public bodies put together ambiguous reports on public matters and decide to label them “secret” just to make themselves look important, or is something sinister going on like a cover-up of illegal or unethical activities?

If public officials do this, they’re hiding information from the people they work for -- us, the citizens and taxpayers of America.

Imagine going to your doctor to get the results of some tests he did, only to have him say he’s sorry but he can’t share the information because it’s confidential.

You’d think he was joking or out of his mind and you’d set him straight real quick, reminding him that you were the patient and he was the doctor, that he worked for you (not vice versa), that you’d paid for the tests, and that you were the person with the absolute right to the information.

Someone needs to have a serious talk with Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson.

Last month, Gleeson sealed a case involving attorneys Robert Sprague of Belleville and Joseph Power of Chicago, confederates of St. Louis attorney Stephen Tillery who are  pursuing a birth-defect suit against Syngenta, maker of the herbicide atrazine, on behalf of two plaintiffs identified only as Jane and James Doe.

Someone should ask Gleeson why he sealed a case for plaintiffs using aliases to protect their already protected privacy. Even an otherwise trusting citizen has to wonder what’s behind this legal curtain of secrecy.

Someone should remind the judge that he works for us, the people with the most right to the information he’s chosen to hide from us.

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