This is from Paul Krugman’s blog:
Anyway, given the area I covered, I received a lot of classified reports from the CIA, the State Department, etc.. They had all sorts of warnings in capital letters on their covers: SECRET NOFORN NOCONTRACT PROPIN ORCON, I think, was the standard litany. And there was a security person who came through our offices at night, scooped up any classified documents we left out, put them in a safe, and issued citations. Between the number of classified documents I received and my continuing true identity as an absent-minded professor, I got a lot of citations — second only to Marty.And this is why all the frenzied outrage from the Republic Party about Hillary’s emails is such utter and complete chicken shit. There was a time when I too had access, as our embassy’s press attaché for the “secret” war in Laos, to a daily flood of highly classified material. Virtually everything we were doing in that misbegotten and murderous war made it into the newspapers in spite of (OK, a few times because of) my efforts.
But the reason I kept forgetting to lock the things up was that none of them — literally not one, during a whole year — contained anything actually sensitive. There was nothing in any of them you couldn’t have read in newspapers, or figured out for yourself given public information.
The real reason for much security classification, then and now, is to protect government officials from embarrassment or even incrimination. Another powerful reason is to make your stuff seem so important that your bosses will read it. (Equally important, of course, is to make yourself feel important.)