Skip to comments.'Most Transparent' White House Dumps FOIA Regulations for Itself
Posted on 03/17/2015 9:46:43 PM PDT by Syncro
President Barack Obama says he's running the most transparent administration in history, but transparency advocates aren't applauding.
March 17, 2015 | 6:56 p.m. EDT
The Obama administration announced Tuesday it will ditch regulations that subjected large portions of White House correspondence to public records requests, a decision derided by transparency advocates who wryly noted it was issued during a week celebrating open access to government.
The notice exempting the White House's Office of Administration from the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act was contained in Tuesday's Federal Register, reversing a three-decade-old policy during Sunshine Week, the annual celebration of the FOIA law.
Anne Weismann, interim executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), says the step "makes mockery of the administrations commitment to transparency, especially given that it's Sunshine Week.
The White House has reversed a decades long practice of opening the files of [the Office of Administration] to the public, she says. Apparently they have abandoned even the appearance of transparency."
[READ: Obama Won't Disclose Spy Agency Budgets]
USA Today reports the change formalizes a 2009 appeals court ruling that found CREW did not deserve access to millions of Bush White House emails because the office is not subject to FOIA.
The appeals court ruled the White House still has to preserve emails under a different law, the Presidential Records Act, for release at least five years after the end of a presidential administration.
"This rule is published solely to align relevant provisions of the Code of Federal Regulations with well-settled law," the administration's public notice says, and therefore it does not require public comment or a 30-day delay in implementation.
Tom Fitton, president of the conservative transparency group Judicial Watch, tells U.S. News he doubts the move is merely long-overdue housekeeping.
[WATCHDOGS: Obama Administration Became Less Transparent Before Election]
I have no doubt this move is to try to cut off any public inquiry into Barack Obamas emails, Fitton says. We wont be put off and are taking steps to find out what the White House wants to hide about the presidents emails.
The White House has won other battles against transparency activists, such as a 2013 appeals court ruling against Judicial Watch that found the White House is not required to release its visitor logs. The White House began voluntarily releasing some visitor logs dated from Sept. 15, 2009, after a district court ruled in favor of a lawsuit from CREW that sought mandatory disclosure.
"I continue to be mystified as to how this administration, which came to office on the promise of positive change and transparency, continues to promulgate policies that are antithetical to that aim," says Jack Abramoff, a former Republican lobbyist who emerged from prison a transparency advocate. "Unless there are real national security issues involved, how can President Obama permit this?"
Obama has on several occasions claimed to run the most transparent administration in U.S. history an often-ridiculed assertion due to its unprecedented crackdown on leaks to the press and its withholding of documents relating to scandals, mass surveillance and policies such as assassinating U.S. citizens.
On Monday, Department of Justice leaders hailed Obama as a transparency pioneer at an event celebrating official openness.
The president compared transparency to sunlight, laying the groundwork for what we celebrate today, Melanie Pustay, director of the Justice Departments Office of Information Policy, said at the event, before the announced change.
And we don’t think we are under a dictatorship ... fools we.
In this case...
“...it was issued during a week celebrating open access to government.”
How can they make rules exempting themselves for FOIA laws. Can I exempt myself from laws I don’t like??
I’m still curious about his college grades.
Rules for thee but not for me.
That’s one reason most people get into politics.
He was too busy being prepped by his commie handlers for the presidency to take any classes.
I’m sure there is a forged transcript out there somewhere.
If he was on another ballot, I guarantee he would be elected again.
Yes, voter fraud is a tool used well and often in the last few elections.
Millions of illegal aliens voting along with millions of ACORN inspired votes.
The GOPe thinks they can get some of the illegal votes sent their way, so they won’t fight against the fraud.
Obama just brought in 10’s if not 100’s of thousand new voters over our southern border.
The dem voter fraud can’t be overcome at this point.
This is part of the Third World War. WWIII
We are in it now.
[[Can I exempt myself from laws I dont like??]]
No because you are not god-like
well let’s see now,
1: Control the internet
2: Control people via a scam ‘man-caused global wamrting’ fraud
3: Dictate to the people what is ‘fair’ and what isn’t
4: Take over the police force via federal police policies
5: Go after conservatives, Christians etc via the IRS
6: IGNORE congress and do everything via executive order
7: Intimidate the supreme court into voting for your unconstitutional policies
8: Stir up racial hatred In this country
9: Ruin businesses by driving up costs due to draconian rules regulations and taxes
10: Finally declare that you don’t have to provide any information fia the FOIA
Yep- We’re so glad this country elected a person to represent US- Thanks all you gimmedats who voted for this fella!
In the interest of smaller, simpler government, let me suggest they shorten the FOIA to just “FO”.
And no, it no longer means “Freedom Of”...
I’m aware of that, thanks for bring it to the thread.
There are ways to get around that if the GOP really wanted to.
And the fact that it exists does not make my statement “wrong.”
LOL FO ....FO BO FOBO
Like what? SCOTUS said "no."
I guess the Party could reincorporate. What I don't know is if GOP organizations can file suit within their States without coming under the consent decree. I would assume State AGs can bring criminal charges. I don't know about the DOJ but I would assume they can too.
BTW, after what McConnell and crew did in Mississippi to reseat Thad Cochran, they have a hell of a lot of chutzpah complaining about vote fraud.
I wish people would wake up and realize why the DemocRATS always say: “We are going to be the most transparent administration ever”.
The answer is: They say that because they want you to assume the other guy WAS NOT TRANSPARENT. This accusation of hiding things is always heaped upon an outgoing admin; that is the goal. You know - don’t look at me - look over there.
The Clintons did it when they were elected; and then the Obamas did it too. SEEMS TO BE ONLY THE DemocRATS who make such a declaration. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm? Selah!
So, if you’re really expecting any DemocRAT to really be transparent; you haven’t been paying attention.
He's an America-hating tyrant who thinks the rules don't apply to him.
It will be a longgggg time before another black man becomes president hecause of this fool...
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