White House Office Celebrates Sunshine Week by Thwarting Freedom of Information Act Requests
Civil liberties advocates now have yet another reason to say President Obama has broken his 2008 promise to run the most transparent White House in history.
The White House announced March 16 that it is officially ending the Freedom of Information Act obligations of its Office of Administration. The office is responsible for various record-keeping duties, including the archiving of email.
Interestingly, the news came on National Freedom of Information Day and during the annual Sunshine Week, which focuses on open government.
As The Guardian’s Trevor Timm reports:
“On the very same day as the administration was hailing its non-existent transparency achievements during an event for Sunshine Week, it was also permanently shielding a key White House office from the Freedom of Information Act (Foia). The White House Office of Administration, which is in charge of archiving White House emails, had accepted FOIA requests for 30 years, until the Bush administration convinced a court they didn’t have to in 2007. Open government groups are up in arms that the Obama White House is making Bush’s secrecy policy permanent and declaring the entire office off-limits to the public.”
The Guardian also pointed to an Associated Press study showing that Obama’s White House had actually, as Timm put it, “denied more Foia requests and censored more files than ever in 2014 – beating the record they set last year.” So much for progress.
–Posted by Roisin DavisWait, before you go…
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.Support Truthdig
There are currently no responses to this article.
Be the first to respond.