Shameless: Obama Finding New Ways to Shatter Transparency Pledge

Posted: Oct 17, 2011 10:48 AM

We unmasked one shameless fraud earlier, so why not keep it rolling by highlighting another?  Let's revisit the "change" millions of Americans were hoodwinked by in 2008 and early 2009:


"The way to make government responsible is to hold it accountable.  The way to make government accountable is to make it transparent, so the American people can know exactly what decisions are being made, how they're being well made, and whether their interests are being well served...For a long time now, there's been too much secrecy in this city.  The old rules said that if there was a defensible argument for not disclosing something to the American people, then it should not be disclosed.  That era is now over, starting today."

Obama even devoted a cute little portion of the White House website to congratulating himself over how transparent and accountable his administration would be.  Flash forward to today.  Helen touched on these stories over the weekend, but I thought I'd underscore them again, just to emphasize what an imposter this guy truly is:

Story one - The White House has refused to turn over all Solyndra documents to House investigators:

House Republicans investigating the loan controversy had requested all internal White House documents about the issue. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee chair Rep. Cliff Stearns said that includes emails on the President’s Blackberry.  On Friday the White House Counsel sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee explaining they won’t comply with the request because it “implicates longstanding and significant institutional Executive Branch confidentiality interests.”

The response is hardly a surprise given past administrations’ refusal to comply with similar congressional requests. The difference here? President Obama is the first Chief Executive to carry a Blackberry, so it’s the first time a White House counsel has – even indirectly – turned down an attempt to peek at his email. Neither the Blackberry nor his personal email is explicitly mentioned in the letter.

But...I thought the era of not disclosing pertinent information about whether the people's "interests are being well served" over traditional legalisms was over.  Nah, that was all window-dressing to dupe his starry-eyed supporters into swallowing the whole change charade.

Story two: The administration is bending over backwards to block the release of White House visitor logs:

The Obama administration is appealing a judge's ruling that Secret Service records of visitors to the White House complex are subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.  The Justice Department filed a formal notice of appeal Friday afternoon regarding U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell's August ruling rejecting arguments that the so-called WAVES records belong to the White House even though they are maintained and used by the Secret Service.

The decision to appeal the ruling to the D.C. Circuit would appear to be in tension with Obama's repeated pledges to operate the most transparent administration in history. The White House announced in Sept. 2009 that it was voluntarily releasing the names of most White House visitors from Sept. 15 forward. However, the conservative group Judicial Watch sought information on visits before that date.  The position taken by the Obama Justice Department, namely that White House visitor records are presidential records and not agency records, is essentially the same one that the department took under President George W. Bush.

Scroll back up to the embedded video above, and note the bit that starts around the :20 mark.  Obama's super special transparency pledge was specifically about interpreting FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests, and affording historic deference not "to those who seek to withhold information, but to those who seek to make it known."  And now these clowns are jumping through legal hoops to deny the public access to visitor logs.  Say, didn't this president say something about visitor logs once?  Ah, yes:

As part of President Obama's commitment to government transparency, we are providing records of White House visitors on an ongoing basis online. In December 2009, we will begin posting all White House visitor records for the period from September 15th onwards under the terms of our new voluntary disclosure policy.

Aren't these people conscientious, even heroic, public servants?  They even crafted a voluntary disclosure policy to prove it!  Too bad it was all an utter sham.  One wonders what information they're hiding here.  Didn't they devise an infamous transparency end-run to avoid these inconveniences?