Articles

Obama Era Secrecy?????

In President Barack Obama, shameful, U.S government on May 18, 2009 by Editor Z

Countless times I have knocked the secrecy and closed government policies of the Bush/Cheney administration as counter to democracy and foolish since a functioning democratic republic relies primary on a people fluent and well-informed with the intricacies of the mechanisms and powers of the institutions that serve as the structure of most of our societies. So when this happens within the four month old Obama administration it to is worthy of condemnation, especially since Obama railed against closed government polices that are a chief hallmark of the old regime.

Throughout the course of both the Democratic primaries and the general election Obama vowed an era of transparency that would put an end to such shameful practices. Well he has come through on such things as a presumption of disclosure in FOIA requests and the release of the torture memos, there is at least one office that like in the Bush/Cheney administration, is exempt from the Obama era transparency. Its now time for him to live up to his promises. After all the American people in a resounding referendum in November sent a message, they want unnecessary secrecy in government to end. Its that secrecy that those in power cling to that got us into this mess. Whether it be regarding the economy, Iraq, or the deterioration of America’s promise in the eyes of many overseas, as well as the demoralizing of American spirit here at home.

ABC News:

A sweeping new Obama administration openness policy doesn’t apply to a key White House office that supports most of Obama’s key staff and advisers, administration officials confirm. Rather, the Obama White House has opted to retain a Bush-era policy that blocks information about those operations from public release.

Just weeks after taking office, the Obama administration adopted an unprecedented policy of sunlight, directing bureaucrats across government to “apply a presumption of openness” regarding the release of documents to the public, according to a memo by Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder.

But in keeping with his predecessor’s position, Obama’s policy does not cover an important part of the White House: the Office of Administration, which oversees much of the day-to-day functions of the president’s own office and staff.

In 2007, then-president George W. Bush, whose penchant for secrecy was a reliable villain in Obama’s campaign speeches, became the first president to declare the White House Office of Administration off-limits to public inquiries. At the time, Bush was engaged in a heated court battle with good government groups over access to information about a massive batch of missing White House e-mails.

A federal court ruled in favor of the Bush administration, agreeing that the office was not technically an “agency” as defined by FOIA, and was not required to abide by the openness law.


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