Transparency Ends at the White House Door

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On his first day in office, President Obama vowed to create “a new level of transparency, accountability and participation for America’s citizens.” But the president has not lived up to his transparency rhetoric – and now even the left is taking note.

Liberal magazine Mother Jones laments this week that the Obama administration spent a record-high $12 billion in 2011 to keep government information classified. Since the process of classifying documents is itself classified, it’s impossible to determine the individual merits of those decisions. But it’s instructive to consider the government’s sweeping classification mandate with Obama’s initial pledge that transparency would be one of the “touchstones” of his administration. As he said back in January 2009:

“The old rules said that if there was a defensible argument for not disclosing something to the American people, that it should not be disclosed. That era is now over.”

Except, plainly, it’s not. And it’s not just the “American people” who are being denied access to government-related information. The president’s cheerleaders in the establishment media have been similarly rebuffed. In June, that frustration led Jill Abramson, the executive editor of the New York Times – hardly a right-wing tribune — to blast the administration for its hostility to media coverage and its tightfisted control over information, especially on national security. Abramson revealed that Times reporters who had covered national security issues for several decades had confided in her that “the environment has never been tougher or information harder to dislodge. One Times reporter told me, ‘The environment in Washington has never been more hostile to reporting.’” So much for a new era of accountability.

Obama’s broken promises on transparency are also evident in the administration’s aggressive pursuit of leakers, on whom journalists rely for scoops and inside information. That may seem unlikely, particularly in light of the recent spate of national security leaks from the administration. But those leaks, highlighting the administration’s national security successes — such as the drone program and the foiling of a terror plot through an audacious undercover operation — have largely served to bolster the administration’s public image. By contrast, the administration has come down hard on leakers it sees as damaging to its cause. In its first term, the administration has launched six prosecutions involving such whistleblowers — double the number under all previous administrations combined. Although most of these whistleblowers have leaked information to the media rather than to a foreign government, it speaks to the severity of the administration’s position on leaks that it has gone after them under the 1917 Espionage Act. The message is clear: Transparency ends at the White House door.

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  • poptoy1949

    I have lived during the administration of 11 Presidents. By far this administration is the least transparent of all. I laughed when I first heard the phrase "Chicago Thugs". I am not laughing anymore. Voters should be very afraid to put this gang back in for 4 more years.

    • Ghostwriter

      Not true,judeologue. Nineteen Muslims did it.

    • Foolster41

      Of course that has nothing to do with this article, or what that poster said. Your Judeophobia is showing.

    • Foolster41

      Actually, it appear that's all that you've said (over and over) so that makes you an anti-Semite and a spammer. Double offense. Reported.

    • Asher

      Its really significant to see what he promised the American people in the beginning and What he has really done with his policies, Totally the opposite and a very destructive agenda to boot!

  • Bobby195

    Hell, I'm stiil waiting for this brainstorms college transcripts that no one has seen yet.

    • mrbean

      That would be like waiting for Bill Clinton's state department and FBI records on his trips to Norway, Russia, and Czechoslovakia paid for by the Czechoslovakian Communist Party. Don't hold your breath.

    • Fred Dawes

      never going to see any real info on this monkey and when this monkey become the next 8 year monkey in office he will just say he is a Red/black dictator.
      Monkeys all over the world do that and he is as evil as hell just wait until he gets all the power of the monkeys behind what a fight this will be, one side fighting a freedom and laws the other jumping to monkey like ways'
      language of signs and the old sung of evil.

      What fun to come what hell to see and you all have it coming.

  • Johncdavidson

    This bunch contradicts itself so much, is it any wonder they use the 5th amndment so much while violating all the others.

    • mlcblog

      This morning on the radio, Bryan and Melanie were debunking a lot of O's folklore. For instance, his father is listed on the birth certificate as having been born in Kenya (which to me disqualified O as not having two US citizens as parents to add to the other qualification which is in doubt that he be born on US soil) and guess what?! This is rich!! Kenya was not a recognized state entity that year! It wasn't called Kenya until 2 yrs later.

      It was a hilarious program in that segment. Funny in that we laugh to keep from crying.

      • Johncdavidson

        Sadly, this whole scam will be written about for the next half century surpassing even the great train robbery & perhaps even Jack the Ripper. Hopefully not Hitler or Stalin's legacy. If he get 4 more years, maybe he'll top them, too.

      • Larry

        Sorry, but you are wrong on Kenya. It was a British colony, and it was called Kenya, just as the various British colonies in what is now the United States had names. If birth certificates had been around before Independence George Washington's would have read "Virginia".
        Anybody born in Kenya under the British rule had "Kenya" on their birth certificate. It didn't change it's name upon independence, unlike the Rhodesias, which became Zambia and Zimbabwe, it's been Kenya since the 19thC.

        • mlcblog

          OK. Sounds like you have more authoritative info. We better tell Bri and Mel.

  • Steve Chavez

    "Circle the Wagons" he said on his first day to his "Circle of Communists" with many still in the closet but some proudly saying they are "Socialist" even though "Socialist" is just the PC term really meaning "Communist!"

    Just wondering: Is Gitmo still open? NSA eavesdropping continuing? Drone attacks on a sovereign country?

  • jacob

    I was listenig yesterday to a recording of a 1961 President REAGAN speech prophetically warning us that
    there would be an "administration" ramming down our throats a compulsory health insurance as a first step
    to make Socialist our country….

    Coming November, lets see if our people fall stupidly for the same "CHANGE" and 'BREAD AND CIRCUS"
    the ancient Roman populace fell for….

    I drive a 1991 Honda and wonder whether all that people driving 2013 models can actually afford them….

  • Tom P. Ping

    Hey, Obama's mother-in-law lives in the white house, and naturally, she showers there.

    So transparency in the white house is the LAST thing I want.

  • Willy Rho

    Obama released a fraudulent Birth Certificate, fraudulent Selective Service Registration, a fraudulent Social Security Number and no reliable Identity documents. His SSN failed E-verify. The Demos tried 8 times to remove the Natural Born Citizen Clause between 2003 and 2008. Everything about Obama is deception and lies. The Great Deceiver is President of the USA. His mentors were Frank Marshall Davis, Vernon Jarrett, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dorn, Saul Alinsky and Cloward and Piven and Lad Putin. Does anyone think that he Loves Liberty and the USA? Only Fools.

    • mlcblog

      …and they are implementing the ClowPiv strategy of swellilng the welfare rolls in order to break the back of the US treasury and the US taxpayer as fast and as much as they can and not very transparently, either. It is all done quietly and sub rosa. Those phonies.

    • ellen

      People have been trying to change the Natural Born Citizen clause for decades. Back in the 1950s, they tried to do it pointing out that Irving Berlin, the man who wrote God Bless America, was not eligible to become president.
      It is not illegal or immoral or related to Obama (it could have been related to feelings about Irving Berlin, Henry Kissinger or Schwartzenegger) to desire to change the Natural Born Citizen clause.

      Obama's birth certificate and social security numbers are not fraudulent, and he has shown his birth certificate twice–short form and long form–and the officials in Hawaii of both political parties have confirmed the facts on them repeatedly, and they are further confirmed by Index Data (a public file showing the birth certificates on file by year that shows one for Obama under 1961) and by the birth notices in the Health Bureau Statistics sections of the Hawaii newspapers in 1961.

    • Asher

      If the social security number were really his, it would make him over 100 years old.

  • Ronald Johnston

    A total fraud against the American people!!!! This illegal alien, osama obama, was planted here to destroy this country!!!!!

  • DockyWocky

    The White House transparent?

    Come on now. It is damn near impossible to continue this Obama conspiracy if you expect transparency.

    It is hard enough taking over an entire country with an army let alone with nothing but deceit and sales pitches from our leader.

  • Reacher

    An honest, intellectually curious 4th Estate, could have a field day with this lawless, inept, and corrupted administration.

    Instead they are complicit in the Obama fraud by ignoring the crimes or reporting in a matter of fact fashion, with absolutely NO OUTRAGE…

  • stevefraser

    Stop whining about this trivia and go after O with hammer and tong! PLAY OFFENSE.

  • Fred Dawes

    This guy is a Imp of hell end of story

  • Anamah

    A real America's worst nightmare. We must wake up!

    • Fred Dawes

      People will wake up when obama rapes his wife murder his kids, the people of this country must be insane, if this was 1920 or 1930 0r 1940 0r 1950 obama would know what all puppets politcal monkeys knew that you can't rape Americans and live to tell the story, today you can rape americans and walk away and rape somemore.The USA Or as I call it THE former USA, Is doomed to become a third world monkey state.

      The only way to stop evil is to have a real SET If you know what i mean? and today most do not.

  • vilius

    Obama is a liar who needs to cover his heineous crimes against the American people

  • willr3

    Obama is a liar who needs to cover and hide all the lies he tells the gullible American People every day.