The White House trolls transparency advocates.

It’s trolling them so. Darn. Hard: “The White House is removing a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act, making official a policy under Presidents Bush and Obama to reject all requests for records to that office… the timing of the move raised eyebrows among transparency advocates, coming as it did on National Freedom of Information Day.”  And it’s Sunshine Week!  Can’t forget that.


You get the feeling that USA Today is either scratching its head over the timing of it all, or at least trying to look like it’s scratching its head; while the change doesn’t actually make the White House’s emails permanently inaccessible*, the timing is odd.  As the article notes, the court decision that this action is based on happened back in 2009, and they’re just getting around to formally noting it now.  Then again, from 2009 to, oh, about two or so weeks ago the question was kind of obscure anyway for most people.  

But now that it’s come up that a former Secretary of State had actually created a shadow server for her emails – one that the administration never saw fit to comment on – well, best to kick that can down the road for at least another six years. By then Barack Obama will be long out of office, and probably happily retired, and will have the luxury of saying ‘no comment’ and making it stick. In the meantime, there’s no way to check whether the Obama administration ever pushed back on Hillary Clinton’s decision to flout State Department policy.  Oh, I know, I know: they didn’t push back. But the difference between what you can allege and what you can prove is often significant.


Via @gregorykorte.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: Don’t look at me. I didn’t vote for the guy, and transparency isn’t my top issue anyway.  But the people who did vote for Barack Obama and who do consider transparency one of their top issues should be embarrassed for themselves.

*As per the article, we’ll be theoretically able to see the White House’s emails… starting in 2021.  So maybe you’ll want to write some of your questions down.


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