Larry Summers, who recently assumed the chairmanship of Bergsten’s advisory committee, has it right when he points to the unhelpfulness of those who would argue that
economists should stick with the mantra “freer trade is good” and not acknowledge in newspapers the implications of their models for fear of emboldening protectionists. This is a dangerous game. It is ethically problematic to withhold knowledge in fear of its misuse. It is likely over time to undermine the credibility of the experts who fail to share all that their science knows. And most importantly as demonstrated by recent debates the strategy of sweeping distributional issues under a rug and simply insisting on various kinds of dislocation assistance has been a political disaster for advocates of freer trade.
It is one of the problems I have with framing too — namely, that its proponents some times seem to care more about how the enemy camp might misuse your words and actions than about the correctness and nuances of your claims.
By the way, this argument of withholding knowledge by saying that it might be misused is not uncommon; recently, I had a very serious disagreement with my father on the same issue, namely, if the right to information act is helpful only to the mischief mongers. My stand: information and knowledge should be free and be available to everybody without any restrictions — in fact, this is the only way any misuse can be curbed in the long run.