Obama Administration Eclipsing Bush Administration in Secrecy?

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The shadow of the head of U.S. President Barack Obama falls upon a copy of the U.S. Constitution as he makes a speech on America’s national security at the National Archives in Washington, May 21, 2009.
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

“This is the most secretive administration I have ever covered.”
– Helen Thomas, 2006

And in post-Bush Obama nation? How is that sunlight before signing and transparency-thingie going?

While there have been successes, there also have been some outrageous abuses of the public’s right to know, perhaps most notably in the Department of Justice’s refusal to disclose documents concerning the handling of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case. Two Panthers dressed in paramilitary clothes were videotaped maliciously blocking a Philadelphia polling place last November, making the criminal case against them open and shut. Last May, somebody under Attorney General Eric Holder dropped the three most serious charges against the menacing duo. Despite repeated inquiries by Reps. Frank Wolf of Virginia and Lamar Smith of Texas, as well as The Washington Times, the DOJ has refused to disclose key documents about the case.

Then yesterday, the Associated Press published the results of its in-depth study of how federal agencies have responded to Obama’s directive instructing them to comply with the FOIA more aggressively than was done under President George W. Bush. Unfortunately, according to the AP analysis, agencies have instead responded by being even more restrictive, using the law’s vague “deliberative process” exemption at least 70,779 times in nine months in 2009, compared to 47,395 times during Bush’s last full year in office. Eisen countered that there were “problems” with AP’s counting, which the news service denied. But one thing is crystal clear this week: Much more sunshine is needed in government at all levels.

14 Responses to “Obama Administration Eclipsing Bush Administration in Secrecy?”

  1. 1


    But Obama promised to be more open than,,,ahhh nevermind.
    Happy St.Patricks day everyone…Maybe we need a modern St.Patrick to cast the snakes out of DC?

  2. 2


    Being almost Irish as Darby O’Gill I see that Obama is a great lump of lying peat. He lies and hides the truth like an Orangeman. If he had a bit of truth in his Guiness he’d choke on it. Him and his banshee, Nancy should shrivel up like the wee folk on go chase their pot o’ gold in some other far off land, like Iran.

  3. 3


    Make up your mind: do you want government secrets in the open or not? When Bush was in power, cons thought that he and he alone should control the flow of information “for our own good” of course. But Obama does the same damn thing an you cons act as if the sky is falling.

  4. 5


    premium_subscriber, subscriber


    Give it a rest with your act already. Obama is the one who talked about having openness and transparency in his administration. When we bring up issues like this it is only because it shows another campaign promise broken. By standing in support of Obama like you do, and defending his actions like this, all you do is show that you too are an untrustworthy character.

  5. 6


    If the American people knew just what is going on in Washington DC today, there would be a revolution beyond all expectations. Sunshine would be the kiss of death for this administration. Besides “subjects” don’t need to know anything, but to follow orders from the leader.

  6. 7


    We want to know how much our government is selling us down the river, whether it is a conservative or liberal government. We don’t need to plaster military secrets all over and a real patriot could go along with that. As I recall Bush refused information on security reasons, but since Zero has given out plenty of ammunition against allies and security agencies, and harassed the CIA and SEALS, obviously security isn’t the concern. So one cannot escape the conclusion that some of these FOIA requests are being stonewalled because the public would not like the facts, if we knew them. If it’s a non-security matter and no laws are being broken (ahem), why not release the info? Oh, because they don’t want us to know the decision process, i.e. how many union bosses paid how much to whom, is my guess. Or maybe His Dimness understands that we really wouldn’t like to hear that Soros dictated a policy.

  7. 9


    But, but, but!

    BUSH DID IT TOO!!!! So now doing TWICE as often makes it OK, even in light of the fact that I hated it when Bush did it…half as many times and mostly for security reasons.

    Jeebus. Doesn’t saying that over and over start to EVER sound stupid to you NeoFacist’s?

    Joe got a speeding ticket for going 35 in a 25..The judge fined him $50, and sent him on his merry way, noting that the average speed on that particular street was 30.

    Bob was up next in the docket. He was charged with going 125 in a 45 zone. The judge impounded his car, suspended his license for 6 months, and fined him $1000.

    Bob was NOT happy, and he vowed to appeal based on the fact that the man known as Joe got such a deal for… (as Bob claims)

    “… doing the same thing as the guy before me…we were both speeding.”

    In the words of the great philosopher, Bugs Bunny:

    “Jeez, whatta maroon.””

  8. 10


    Obama has to keep all his dealings secret. If all his criminal acts became known, he knows he would be headed for prison with all this criminal friends he has deemed fit for service to his royal butt. If word got out, heaven help this poor excuse for a human being. It makes sense that if you are doing something illegal, you would want to keep it secret. Appointing all your friends and criminal cohorts to high offices makes sense too. They are afraid of getting caught, so they jump on the bandwagon to keep everything secret and away from the eyes of the public.

  9. 11


    Speaking of FOIA, I see the ACLU has filed one to learn our justification for hunting militants with drones. Pfft. This is another attempt to subvert the military.

  10. 14



    They give away state secrets, but won’t open the deliberations for that Health Scare monstrosity. And clowns like BRob want to equate state secrets with corruption. Sheesh!

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