To see what is right, and not do it, is want of courage, or of principle.
- Confucius, Chinese Ethical Teacher, Founder of Confucianism (B.C. 551-479)
disclosure of public information
On his first day in office, President Barack Obama ordered federal officials to “usher in a new era of open government” and “act promptly” to make information public. The White House blog vowed that it would be “the most transparent administration in history.”
It sounded like CHANGE was really coming with this new administration, but Obama wasted no time in completely abandoning all his lofty pledges of transparency.
The first promise broken was the Obama administration’s vow that the entire Obamacare debate in Congress would be broadcast on C-Span. The promise was abandoned completely, with the vast majority of the details of this legislation controlling 1/6 of our economy worked out in backroom deals with insurance companies, big pharma and the labor unions.
Obama also pledged that all legislation would be posted online for public review for five days before any votes would be made. It took the administration only five months to renege on that promise.
Then came the revelations that 19 out of 20 cabinet-level agencies under the Obama administration have failed to follow the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act, thereby disobeying the law that demands disclosure of public information. The Obama administration is now widely condemned as the worst administration on FOIA.
Under the Obama administration, we’ve also seen an unprecedented which hunt against whistle blowers, with Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department indicting six government workers under the act for leaking information. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, consider that until President Obama took office, there had been only three such cases in U.S. history.
All the more alarming is the cavalier way the law has been used to go after people who neither spied for other governments nor passed on classified information for financial gain. Previously, its harsh provisions were reserved for egregious crimes such as those of the double agents Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen. Five of the six recent cases the DOJ is involved in prosecuting involve leaks to the news media, most of which were by people who say they believed they were blowing the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse in government.
It’s just four of the many ways in which the Obama administration that promised to be “the most transparent in history” has become the most secretive and conniving government we’ve ever seen.
It’s yet another example of how the voters of America were sold a false bill of goods with all those lofty promises Obama made as a candidate. In reality, the campaign that marketed Obama in one-word slogans of HOPE and CHANGE turned out to be be and administration of FRAUD and SHAM.