Transparency: Obama Bars Press from START Treaty Signing Ceremony

Guy Benson
Posted: Feb 04, 2011 10:28 AM
What the White House says:

My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

What the White House does:

President Obama signed one of his top foreign-policy priorities Wednesday, and set off a row with the White House press corps in the process.

The White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) sharply criticized Mr. Obama‘s decision to sign the New START nuclear-arms pact with Russia in a private Oval Office ceremony with virtually all of the press barred from the event.

The New START deal, key to Mr. Obama‘s hopes for a “reset” of troubled relations with Moscow, was one of the administration’s big victories in the closing days of December’s lame-duck session of Congress and the first major treaty ratified by the Senate since Mr. Obama took office.

The administration’s decision to block press access to the treaty signing comes after Mr. Obama and his deputies devoted considerable time late last year to the very public push in the Senate ratification battle.

One wonders why the Obama Administration would relegate the signing of such an empirically wonderful treaty to a no-frills, behind-closed-doors ceremony.  How odd.  And while we're on the subject of this president's "unprecedented level of openness," let's not forget the subject of Katie's post yesterday:

What the White House says:

Let’s be clear: promoting science isn’t just about providing resources – it is also about protecting free and open inquiry. It is about letting scientists … do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it’s inconvenient – especially when it’s inconvenient. It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda – and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.

-President Obama, March 9, 2009.

What the White House does:

RedState has uncovered evidence - confirmed by the CDC’s own press office - that the Obama administration is deliberately playing “hide the ball” on nationwide abortion statistics. For apparently the first time in 40 years, the CDC’s annual “Abortion Surveillance Report” was not published, and there are “no plans” for the data to be produced at this time.

In the wake of numerous damaging disclosures about unscrupulous practices by abortionists (from Kermit Gosnell to Planned Parenthood clinics across the country), the Obama Administration has apparently ordered that the only Federal government report on abortion statistics – again, a report that has run continuously for 40 years – be deep-sixed. The immediate question this raises is: what is the Obama administration trying to hide?

I believe there's a term or two for this sort of behavior.