The New Era of Transparency

Barack Hussein Obama

1) has already forgotten,
2) is ignoring,
3) apparently never meant to keep

his pledge of a new era of transparency:

As a senator, Barack Obama denounced the Bush administration for holding "secret energy meetings" with oil executives at the White House. But last week public-interest groups were dismayed when his own administration rejected a Freedom of Information Act request for Secret Service logs showing the identities of coal executives who had visited the White House to discuss Obama's "clean coal" policies.

One reason: the disclosure of such records might impinge on privileged "presidential communications." The refusal, approved by White House counsel Greg Craig's office, is the latest in a series of cases in which Obama officials have opted against public disclosure.

Since Obama pledged on his first day in office to usher in a "new era" of openness, "nothing has changed," says David -Sobel, a lawyer who litigates FOIA cases. "For a president who said he was going to bring unprecedented transparency to government, you would certainly expect more than the recycling of old Bush secrecy policies."


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