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Obama's transparency: It's a mirage

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Friday, June 14, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
 

Confirming that the Obama administration's much-vaunted, supposedly unprecedented “transparency” is merely a mirage conjured by lip service, its Justice Department now says it hasn't challenged any federal agency's withholding of records sought via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests even once since 2009.

In a 2009 memo, Attorney General Eric Holder directed “federal agencies to update their FOIA regulations and operate under a ‘presumption of disclosure'” — yet “the number of FOIA lawsuits filed against the federal government has increased dramatically” under President Obama, The Washington Free Beacon reports.

This administration's FOIA problem was first uncovered in December via an audit by George Washington University's independent National Security Archive. When it sought FOIA-related details through a March FOIA request, Justice responded that the requested records “were exempt from disclosure.”

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform concerns about that FOIA request's denial led Justice to admit its utter lack of FOIA action — and to outrageously maintain that no problem exists. That's an assertion that borders on the Orwellian.

The Obama administration is so woefully disconnected from reality that its “transparency” is the polar opposite of genuine openness. It's a chilling approach to governing and has a chilling effect on government accountability's very basis: the people's right to know.

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