Tag: government transparency

All I Do, I Do For You

It’s not easy looking after the folks, not only because of pesky rules and regulations but the folks, being folks, really don’t know what they want anyway, that’s Obama’s job. The president has a vision, a game plan for what America should be, the folks used to be on board, not so much anymore, so sterner measures are needed and he is up to the task.

I’ve mentioned in other posts how by passing Congress with stuff he wants to accomplish, jobs bill , mortgage relief, and in the implementation of The Dream Act, is raising major eye brows. Now he wants to be the gate keeper and decide for himself what information will be made available through the FOIA process and what won’t:

A proposed revision to Freedom of Information Act rules would allow federal agencies to lie to citizens and reporters seeking certain records, telling them the records don’t exist.

The Justice Department has proposed the change as part of a large revision of FOIA rules for federal agencies. Specifically, the rule would direct government agencies who are denying a request under an established FOIA exemption to “respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist,” rather than citing the relevant exemption.

The proposed rule has alarmed government transparency advocates across the political spectrum, who’ve called it “Orwellian” and say it will “twist” public access to government.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t think he had it in him. Sure, he was great at voting “present” on legislation where he actually had to read a bunch of stuff first, or basking in the radiant adornment of a fawning crowd after another teleprompter gig, but this is big, this type of duplicity is major league. He has grown up right before our eyes.

And speaking of transparency:

Soup bone quote, “The FOIA is the most powerful instrument we have for making our government honest and transparent”.

Technically, this will save a lot of time and money. Used to be that denied (or redacted) documents asked for through FOIA could be legislated through the courts, making the government show a objective third person body why secrecy is needed over compliance. Now, nothing to litigate, the document does not exist (or so we say) now get off my lawn. To say that there is no prevarications in government, we all now how ridiculous that sounds, but in the past it was always done under the table, now they have official permission.

The whole purpose of the FOIA was transparency, if citizen had questions about the doings of government or government officials, they could get the info straight from the source, not relying on just what the politician said. They could hold the leaders accountable because through this process they would know what they were doing. Not anymore.

Orwellian, indeed.