Well, better late than never.
“My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government.” – @BarackObama. How has he done?
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) December 4, 2012
Lousy. And yesterday, Milbank, who earlier this year lauded Obama as the first female president, penned a column expressing shock and disappointment at the Obama Administration’s lack of transparency.
— China is lying (@jtLOL) December 4, 2012
The Obama administration’s high level of opacity, though typical of modern presidencies, is troubling precisely because the president was so clear about his determination to do things differently. As recently as early last year, some open-government advocates were still hopeful, presenting Obama with an anti-secrecy award at the White House. But even then, there were signs of trouble: The award presentation wasn’t on his schedule and was closed to reporters.
Now the administration is maintaining silence as lawmakers prepare to pass one of the gravest threats to government transparency in years. A bill passed by the Senate intelligence committee would ban anybody but the top officials and public-relations staff at intelligence agencies from speaking to the media. The proposal, intended to crack down on classified leaks, would significantly set back freedom of the press, thwart whistle-blowers and squelch the airing of dissenting views on intelligence issues. This is part of a broader effort to make it a crime for national security officials to talk to reporters.
Consider the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, a bill with bipartisan support that would make it easier to track government spending by requiring agencies to report expenditures in a uniform way online. The legislation is so uncontroversial that it passed the House on a voice vote. But the Obama administration raised objections — and the transparency law has yet to see the light of day.
President Obama hasn’t been forthcoming about his policies and actions? Color us surprised! Conservatives are reminding Milbank that we’ve been shining light on the Obama Administration’s lies from day one:
Um, @milbank — isn't "opacity" one of those dog-whistle code words for closet racists?
— Stephen Green (@VodkaPundit) December 4, 2012