Even the Most Transparent Administration Ever Knows It’s Not the Most Transparent Administration Ever

The Department of Justice's inspector general has looked into the agency and confirmed in an audit what most people suspect: The DOJ is a disaster area when it comes to properly determining what should and shouldn’t be kept classified, and obviously not in the public’s favor. Slate reports:

President Obama has claimed his administration is the most transparent in history. But excessive secrecy is still a problem within the Justice Department, according to a new internal audit.

Earlier this week, the DOJ’s inspector general published a report reviewing how the department has been classifying information. The secrecy review, which involved the IG’s office conducting more than 100 interviews with officials from agencies including the FBI and the DEA, found that there was a “persistent misunderstanding and lack of knowledge of certain classification processes.” The audit criticized what it described as “deficiencies” in how the DOJ classifies information: In a review of a sample of documents, unclassified information was wrongly designated secret in several instances.

The overclassification of information has become a major issue for the U.S. government since 9/11, with a spike in sensitive national security-related programs leading to spiralling secrecy. In the realm of surveillance, in particular, extreme secrecy has become commonplace, with the DOJ and FBI often heavy-handedly redacting or withholding large portions of documents in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.  According to the Information Security Oversight Office, in 2012 alone, executive branch agencies issued more than 95 million “classification decisions.” That’s a 3 percent increase on the figure for 2011 (92 million), and a 25 percent rise on the figure for 2010 (77 million).

The report mentions that officials seem to have a blasé approach to classification and found 357 errors in 141 documents.

Read the whole story here.

Follow this story and more at Reason 24/7.

Spice up your blog or Website with Reason 24/7 news and Reason articles. You can get the widgets here. If you have a story that would be of interest to Reason's readers please let us know by emailing the 24/7 crew at 24_7@reason.com, or tweet us stories at @reason247.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Warrren||

    Not transparent? It's practically black!

  • ||

    I think the term is bi-racial. Or mulatto.

    Oh and...


  • Sevo||

    "But excessive secrecy is still a problem within the Justice Department,"

    You're too kind. How about:
    'Excessive secrecy has become the policy of this administration'

  • Mike M.||

    More like the most vile, despicable administration ever. He orders the IRS to persecute his political opponents like Dr. Carson, he leaves our men to be killed in Benghazi, makes up lies to explain it, and refuses to arrest the perps, he blocks 90 year old war heroes from visiting our memorials out of petty political spite, the list goes on and on and on.

  • SomeGuy||

    i think you even touched the less controversial ones too -_-

    We should make a list of all of them...would be interesting

  • SomeGuy||

    someone wants to start a google docs?

  • SomeGuy||

    ahh he is back!!!


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.