The Most Open and Transparent Administration In History?


At this point, there aren't many folks left who're still buying the Obama administration's increasingly pathetic promises to increase government transparency. President Obama still talks a good game on the issue, but in practice, the White House's approach to make government more open looks more like the installation of thick lead shielding. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation's David Sobel tells Politico's Josh Gerstein, "despite the positive rhetoric that has come from the White House and the attorney general, that guidance has not been translated into real world results in actual cases. … Basically, the reviews are terrible."

But it's still kind of impressive to see the number and variety of ways in which parts of the Obama administration have block or frustrated transparency efforts. Gerstein delivers a highlight (lowlight?) reel of the worst offenses, including multiple prosecutions of whistleblowers, meager  compliance from various agencies, and lengthy stalling tactics at the Office of Management and Budget.

The White House's defense? Well, Obama received an award for his transparency efforts (the presentation of which was closed to the press and not noted on the president's daily schedule). And his administration is working diligently to make information more accessible. A spokesperson tells Politico that "federal agencies have gone to great efforts to make government more transparent and more accessible than ever." Gerstein also reports that "administration lawyers are aggressively fighting FOIA requests at the agency level and in court — sometimes on Obama's direct orders."

NEXT: Non-Shocker of the Day: Mitt Romney Touted the Individual Mandate as an Example for the Nation as Recently as 2009

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  1. Ahh, have to go and remind me of the golden age of SciFi channel's programming with the Invisible Man pic. What next, long live Cade Foster? Good vs Evil? Rigel XVI?

  2. You know what they need? A Nobel Transparency Prize.

  3. Maybe they are referring to the way they leave all the computer and network security wide open. I predict that in the coming weeks the administration will begin to claim WikiLeaks as part of their transparency program.

  4. He's just looking out for your best interests.

    And he wouldn't use that strap on you if he didn't love you. Now shut the fuck up, Bitch!

  5. Can anyone find an Obama supporter that will change his or her vote because of this failed promise? Every one I ask about "hope" and "Change" and "bi-partisan" are all now "like the Republicans do it too."

    1. I saw something over at BuzzFeed about how Obama is getting his 2008 groove back. If that's a viable meme among the left, they're capable of distorting reality in any conceivable manner.

      1. TEAM BLUE doesn't even live in reality, dude.

        1. Thing is, reality doesn't care whether you believe in it or not.

      2. "...they're capable of distorting reality in any conceivable manner."

        Yes sir, that hits the nail on the head. The clearest example of this is every fucking thing they have ever done or said.

    2. Yep, "The Republicans are worse" is the favorite saying of nearly every liberal I know. They will go from that right back to talking about how much better Dems are without blinking an eye.

  6. Gosh, I dunno. I think this administration is pretty damn transparent, really.

  7. The nicest example of "parse what politicians say very carefully" from the article:

    One White House report last fall cited a 10 percent reduction in FOIA exemptions claimed and said backlogs at the Army were down 68 percent.

    However, the accuracy and significance of some of the data are disputed. A Justice Department report published last month said the FBI's oldest pending FOIA request, as of last fall, was from July 2009. That startled open-government groups, which say some of their requests from as far back as 2005 have not been fulfilled. The FBI says the requests were "closed," though the groups may not always have been notified.

    In other words, they're reducing the backlog-- by closing requests without responding or notifying the requester. But hey, the backlog is shorter!

  8. Hey er, guys, you are getting off message here. Those other candidates want to ban contraception or something or other.

    Why do you hate women?

  9. Time to go, Barry

    RON PAUL 2012!!

  10. This is just more proof that it's not what you do, it's what you say, or even more importantly: how you say it.

    Say you have the most open and transparent administration in history... then you do.

    Claim that you've lead the fight for fiscal responsibility while casting your gaze inspiringly skyward... well, it must be true.

    There are those who would claim that actions speak louder than words... they would apparently be wrong.

    1. It's the sad truth of partisans. They simply believe what is told to them, regardless of whether reality matches with it or not.

  11. You throw an invisibility cloak over government and -- ta-daa! -- transparency!

    Nothing to see here... move along.

  12. Obama received an award for his transparency efforts (the presentation of which was closed to the press and not noted on the president's daily schedule)

    Surely we've reached peak irony. Between this and Colorado DEA agent with the last name Roach.

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