President Obama’s Muddy Record on Government Transparency

FOIAJosh Gerstein reports in the Politico:

President Barack Obama set a high bar for open government, and he set it quickly. A minute after he took office, the White House website declared his administration would become “the most open and transparent in history.” By the end of his first full day on the job, Obama had issued high-profile orders pledging “a new era” and “an unprecedented level of openness” across the massive federal government.

But three years into his presidency, critics say Obama’s administration has failed to deliver the refreshing blast of transparency that the president promised.

“Obama is the sixth administration that’s been in office since I’ve been doing Freedom of Information Act work. … It’s kind of shocking to me to say this, but of the six, this administration is the worst on FOIA issues. The worst. There’s just no question about it,” said Katherine Meyer, a Washington lawyer who’s been filing FOIA cases since 1978. “This administration is raising one barrier after another. … It’s gotten to the point where I’m stunned — I’m really stunned.”

Read more: Politico

9 Comments on "President Obama’s Muddy Record on Government Transparency"

  1. Apathesis | Mar 6, 2012 at 8:54 pm |

    That Nobel Peace Prize he was so undeservedly awarded should be taken back.  This man is an embarrassment, among many in our nation.

  2. Jin The Ninja | Mar 7, 2012 at 1:18 am |

    Take note fans/slaves of infowars, this is the sort of legitimate criticism that everyone is referring to. This article is deconstructing actual policy, instead of attempting to rely on failed racist accusations, and insane connections to underground groups. The entire political system is corrupt, and there is plenty to discuss. I’m not saying this kind of mainstream narrative is the only legitimate narrative (most certainly am NOT), but simply re itereating repub talking points from 2008 only makes you  seem like servants of rush, koch, and jones, and forces the rest of us with legitimate concerns to divert our attentions to totally irrelevant things.

    •  Jin, Whitehouse dot gov never released photoshopped layers of skin pigmentation… only an amatuer piecemeal reconstruction of a document.  Loosen the grip on your little ninja sword, and surrender your keyboard crusade against all people you perceive to be racist. 

      Hey man.. We had a great two-year run between the 2004 elections and Crash winning best picture Oscar in 2005.  We sobbed and embraced in Grant Park…then Terrence Howard, Matt Dillon, and Ludacris bestowed to us the revelation; racism permeates our every living moment, and we all need to face up to it!

      Like a good little automaton, you have taken your programming quite well- You reliably and predictably place your little racist stickers on any event that you can draw any vague/irrelevant connection to skin color. 

      Congratulations, your brain is able to recognize the varied spectrum of light reflecting off the human epidermis.

      Oh, and show me a “servant” of both Limbaugh and Jones, and I’ll show you someone who suffers from dissociative identity disorder.

      You demand to elevate the conversation, yet you can’t see the irony of your unending dependency on race-baiting .

      • Jin The Ninja | Mar 7, 2012 at 5:06 am |

        my comment wasn’t really about race, but it’s very obvious why you chose that specific part. you don’t understand what being empathetic and what being an actual PoC means, and that’s okay, you don’t have to. all you have to do is maintain your petty little constructs and dead end political reasoning, and all is well.

        and for the record, crash was an horribly sh*tty movie, and very unengaged, i didn’t like it then, and in fact the more educated (schoolwise and consciousness wise) i became the more i read it differently, and the more i saw it deeply problematic.

        • Apathesis | Mar 7, 2012 at 6:57 pm |

           Which parts specifically?  What about it?  There are certainly plenty of criticisms to be had.  The over the top racism seemed contrived.

          And of course the only decent human being in the movie gets killed.  Poor Larenz Tate.

          • Jin The Ninja | Mar 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm |

            here is a basic summation of the argument, in which i wholly agree.


          • Apathesis | Mar 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm |

             I agree, the interactions were so ridiculous.

            I still enjoyed the film because of the drama, but the racism was just over the top and not believable.  Ludacris’ character was offensive.  It’s funny how the article mentions that because he was radical, he had to be made a criminal in order to brainwash people into making that crazy assumption.

            Then again, people were talking throughout the whole movie, so I may
            have liked it less if I weren’t distracted for a good portion of the

            Reminds me of Law Abiding Citizen.  It should have been an independant revenge/vigilante horror film where the good guy tortures the bad guy for two hours.  Instead, we get some weak bullshit that makes the good guy a deranged lunatic who will kill innocent people to exact revenge on the justice system because they gave a murderer/rapist a plea bargain.  All this so they can put the idea in everyone’s head that vigilante justice is always wrong, and that vigilantes are all crazy, bad guys.  More  “trust the legal system” bullshit.

            Higher Learning was bullshit.  How do you feel about it?

          • Jin The Ninja | Mar 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm |

            higher learning or vigilantism?

            i think there are serious problems with the privatisation of campus’ and education. I think the focus on ‘business’ and hard sciences for undergrads is completely backwards.

            it reminds me of living in asia, where all my relatives are engineers, traders, or brokers of some sort, and have no idea about basic humanities or social sciences, and most of them have graduate level education. they literally don’t understand my field of study. they don’t understand WHY someone would choose to not be a technocrat.

            i think university was far more conservative than the rhetoric surrounding it, everything was done in halves. The best departments were the ones whose funding was cut every 10 mins. Tuition fees and loans are a scam and theft of epic proportions. There are no human connections, just a bunch of admin, wealthy donors, and zombie students.

            However, there were a few profs in a few depts who made my time very worthwhile, who really wanted to broaden us, to challenge us, and subvert our teacher-student relationship.
            they outweighed much of the bad.

            But then again i actively sought out classes that would engage me. So i guess it’s what you define for yourself.

            there are much better ways to engage students than the current system.

            so while i don’t feel it was total ‘bullsh*t’ i feel that there is a lot of ‘bullshit’ that goes along with it.

          • Apathesis | Mar 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm |

             Oh, I meant the movie Higher Learning.  But I agree about everything else you said about college.  Tuition fees and loans are outrageous.  The bureaucracy involved in getting a simple answer from some of the faculty is awful.  It’s like dealing with the government…

            Everyone told me to go to college so I could become successful.  No one told me to find happiness, which I think is much more important.  Everyone stressed higher education so I could make more money.  My dad looks down on the lower class, and he’s a liberal Democrat.  No lie.  He regards people who are cashiers, construction workers, trash men etc like they are beneath him, as if they are lowly things to be in life.

            Money doesn’t guarantee happiness.  And while a higher education certainly works for tons of people, it isn’t for me… at least now.

            I don’t like structured learning.  I don’t like authority.  I don’t like bureaucracy.  I could possibly find something I love enough to study well and receive a degree, but I’ve never really enjoyed school.  It’s not for everyone.  I’d rather find happiness.

            If everyone received college degrees, who would support our nation?  Would everything be outsourced to poor, uneducated immigrant workers domestically and internationally?  The job market is shitty enough right now for college graduates.  I’d hate to see what it would be like if more folks went to college…

            Sociology and psychology are two things I think about if I were ever to go to school again.

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