Justifying Government Secrets in a Democracy

Most important story in the news media at the moment is WikiLeak‘s release of secret US diplomatic cables.  Not really the content itself, but more the fact that this horrible person Julian Assange decided to make all these secrets public – secrets it would appear are essential for world safety.  This is much bigger than a few secret cables made public – this stabs at the very foundation of democracy.

The question is: “How can one have a democracy where government officials keeps their acts secret for the public”.  In a representative democracy, people cast a vote for certain people to represent them making decisions.  However, if those officials and politicians hide the true nature of their actions, then what are people supposed to vote for.  How can anybody possibly make a case for such secrets and still believe in democracy.