Opacity

President Obama says his administration is the most transparent in history. That’s an astonishing claim, since by most measures his administration is among the least transparent in history:

  • When his White House learns of wrongdoing in his administration, it employs one basic principle: don’t tell anyone, especially the president.
  • His administration has prosecuted more people for leaks under the Espionage Act than all previous administrations combined.
  • Under his administration, denials of Freedom of Information Act requests went up 50% in the very first year.
  • In a test by Bloomberg news, only one out of twenty cabinet-level departments answered an FOIA request within the time required by law. Only six responded at all. More broadly, only eight of 57 government agencies answered within the time required by law. About half never responded at all.
  • Those that did not respond at all include the IRS (special scrutiny for administration critics), Justice (journalist surveillance), State (Benghazi), UN Ambassador (Benghazi), HHS (illegal fundraising), ATF (Gunwalker), and Energy (Solyndra).
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