19 Out of 20 Cabinet Agencies in the Most Transparent Administration In History Disregard Disclosure Law


Remember back in 2007 when Democrats staged a "Sunshine Week" designed, according to the Associated Press, to "highlight they say is a disturbing level of secrecy in the Bush administration"? Democratic media staffers told the press that they were upset in large part because seven executive had gone a decade or more without responding to legally required information requests.

Later, when their winning presidential candidate, Barack Obama, took office, he immediately promised to "usher in a new era of open government," promising to oversee "the most transparent administration in history."

Here's what transparency and accountability looks like under the most transparent administration in all of recorded time. Via Bloomberg News:

On his first full day in office, President Barack Obama ordered federal officials to "usher in a new era of open government" and "act promptly" to make information public.

As Obama nears the end of his term, his administration hasn't met those goals, failing to follow the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act, according to an analysis of open-government requests filed by Bloomberg News.

Nineteen of 20 cabinet-level agencies disobeyed the law requiring the disclosure of public information: The cost of travel by top officials. In all, just eight of the 57 federal agencies met Bloomberg's request for those documents within the 20-day window required by the Act.

"When it comes to implementation of Obama's wonderful transparency policy goals, especially FOIA policy in particular, there has been far more 'talk the talk' rather than 'walk the walk,'" said Daniel Metcalfe, director of the Department of Justice's office monitoring the government's compliance with FOIA requests from 1981 to 2007.

The Bloomberg survey was designed in part to gauge the timeliness of responses, which Attorney General Eric Holder called "an essential component of transparency" in a March 2009 memo. About half of the 57 agencies eventually disclosed the out-of-town travel expenses generated by their top official by Sept. 14, most of them well past the legal deadline. 

Outside of paid White House staffers, who continue to claim that the administration is as transparent as a newly Windexed window, is there anyone left who doesn't think the Obama administration's commitment to openness is a joke? This president and the agencies he oversees are just as indifferent to transparency as every administrion before, and perhaps more so. 

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  1. More like Peter “Alt Text” Suderman, amirite?!

    +3 internets. Epic.

  2. Remember back in 2007 when Democrats staged a “Sunshine Week”?

    The Democratic Party isn’t about issues anymore.

    It’s simply a cult of personality, and that is all.

  3. OT The coolest thing you are going to see today.…..ref=comedy

  4. They are the most transparently obvious liars, incapable of fooling anyone about what they are up to who isn’t wearing partisan blinders — perhaps that is what they meant?

    1. Yeah but that one agency in compliance, I bet they felt like total idiots upon finding out the other nineteen were not.

  5. […] a decade or more without requiring to legally required information requests.


    […] as indifferent to transaprency as every administrion before, and perhaps more so.


    I wonder how many of Obama’s supporters are aware of the reality of transparency within this administration.

    1. None, they don’t care about it. As far as they are concerned Obama said it, they believe it, so that settles it.

  6. Which one of the 20 departments wasn’t toweling the lion?

    1. Pacifically? I think for all intensive porpoises that doesn’t matter.

  7. We need a new tax credit written into the Code. Have a FOIA request that is not fully and timely honored = $10,000 credit.

  8. Regarding enforced ‘transparency’… when regulatory disclores reach a certain level they almost become a new mode of obfuscation… financial services being a prime example. Say someone is selling you a variable annuity…. they can hand you a prospectus and disclosures up the wazoo… but try getting a simple straight answer on “how much would I pay in net expenses over the life of the product?” The crazy thing is *he probably doesn’t even know*, because they are *designed to structure a fee schedule that is nearly impossible to understand. All he probably knows is his commission. Disclosures are sometimes simply a head fak

  9. Fake.. that is

    1. I dunno, a “head fak” actually worked pretty well in that sentence!

  10. The big scandal is that hardly anybody seems to care anymore about the horrible shit our government does.

    What good’s an FOIA request if people don’t care?

    1. That type of stuff was the last straw that made a libertarian out of me. I started out fairly TEAM RED back in the 1980s, but 27+ years of the DoD showed me that they had been ‘statistized’… TEAM BLUE has been shitheels for my entire life, so no going there…

      When I had just enough of the G not giving a damn about the poeple they allegedly serve, libertarianism beckoned. So, if we get more of the G exposed (by FOIA or whatever) it can make a few libertairians spring fully armed from brow of Nick Gillespie or whomever.

    2. Ken Shultz| 9.28.12 @ 1:37PM |#

      The big scandal is that hardly anybody seems to care anymore about the horrible shit our government does

      Perhaps worse: Intellectual Giants like Will Wilkenson engage in endless rhetorical parsing to the point where you can rationalize any behavior or non-behavior as either “not making a difference anyway” or “silly, non-pragmatic and unrealistic”…..mas-record

      This was in reference to Connor Friesdorf’s statement of support for Gary Johnson. Which, as far as i can tell, WW thinks is a childish, foolish, unrealistic, impractical position to take. While also deploring drone-assassinations, it appears he seems to be lining up to re-elect obama himself.

      Although I could be misreading him. The geneal tone of the ‘Democracy in America’ blog increasingly grates with me to the point where i can’t follow many posts to their conclusions. There’s just way too much ‘smug, intellectually superior, self-satisfied douchy-ness’ reeking from everything.

      1. “General” tone.

        I almost said, “Genial” tone.

        Fucking smartfone keybord

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