Obama gets another undeserved award.

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Hello, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. Hello


    Do the liberals who give him these awards have any shame? They just gave the most secretive administration in history an award for transparency.

    President Obama finally and quietly accepted his “transparency” award from the open government community this week — in a closed, undisclosed meeting at the White House on Monday.

    The secret presentation happened almost two weeks after the White House inexplicably postponed the ceremony, which was expected to be open to the press pool.

    This time, Obama met quietly in the Oval Office with Gary Bass of OMB Watch, Tom Blanton of the National Security Archive, Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight, Lucy Dalglish of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and Patrice McDermott of OpenTheGovernment.org, without disclosing the meeting on his public schedule or letting photographers or print reporters into the room.

    “Our understanding going into the meeting was that it would have a pool photographer and a print reporter, and it turned out to be a private meeting,” Bass told POLITICO. “He was so on point, so on target in the conversation with us, it is baffling why he would not want that message to be more broadly heard by reporters and the public interest community and the public generally.”

    Just hours before the White House put off the original event, White House press secretary Jay Carney was defiant in his defense of Obama’s transparency record against criticism that it might have been premature.

    “This president has demonstrated a commitment to transparency and openness that is greater than any administration has shown in the past, and he’s been committed to that since he ran for President and he’s taken a significant number of measures to demonstrate that,” Carney said in a testy exchange with Fox News reporter Wendell Goler on March 16.

    The transparency advocates who presented the award to Obama say that the recognition is important, because despite the work left to be done, Obama has done a lot to change the government’s posture toward openness issues.

    But others believed the positive reinforcement was more than a little unnecessary.

    “I don’t feel moved today to say ‘thank you, Mr. President,’” said Steve Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. But he said he understands the award to be “aspirational,” in recognition of Obama’s potential to do more on the transparency front.

    “And in that sense, one could say it resembles the award at the Nobel Peace Prize,” Aftergood said. “It’s not because Obama brought peace to anyone but because people hoped he would be a force for good in the world, and maybe that’s the way to understand this award.”

  2. Hello


    The Democratic administration of Barack Obama, who denounced his predecessor, George W. Bush, as the most secretive in history, is now denying more Freedom of Information Act requests than the Republican did.

    Transparency and openness were so important to the new president that on his first full day in office, he dispatched a much-publicized memo saying: “All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA, and to usher in a new era of open government. The presumption of disclosure should be applied to all decisions involving FOIA.”

    One of the exemptions allowed to deny Freedom of Information requests has been used by the Obama administration 70,779 times in its first year; the same exemption was used 47,395 times in Bush’s final budget year.

    An Associated Press examination of 17 major agencies’ handling of FOIA requests found denials 466,872 times, an increase of nearly 50% from the 2008 fiscal year under Bush.

    As Ed Morrissey notes on the blog Hot Air, during a time of war and terrorist threats, any government can justify not releasing some sensitive information. And true, Obama had previously been a legislator, not an executive.

    But why make such a big campaign deal over a previous administration’s secrecy when you’re going to end up being even more secretive?

    On March 16 to mark annual Sunshine Week, designed to promote openness in government, Obama applauded himself by issuing a statement:

    “As Sunshine Week begins, I want to applaud everyone who has worked to increase transparency in government and recommit my administration to be the most open and transparent ever.”

    However, a new study out March 15 by George Washington University’s National Security Archive finds less than one-third of the 90 federal agencies that process such FOIA requests have made significant changes in their procedures since Obama’s 2009 memo.

    So, a day later, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel sent out yet another memo. Since the agencies ignored the memo from the president, they’ll all snap to when the staffer’s note arrives, don’t you think?

  3. Anyone else notice?

    The secret presentation of the “transparency” award.
  4. Ricter


    What I've noticed over the years is that every new administration is more secretive than the last.
  5. Hello


    Yeah i think your right on that, and the other thing i find amazing is that anti-war presidents end up getting into wars and adding troops to wars etc. etc. It sure makes one wonder who is really pulling the strings out there, and what these guys end up learning once they get elected which causes them to do a complete 180.

  6. pspr


    Maybe this award is deserved because I can see right through Obama.
  7. Hello


    LOL, i just spilled my coffee when i read this! :D
  8. Ricter


    The left/right dichotomy's main usefulness, and that's still not a lot, is for understanding domestic policy. It is useless for understanding foreign policy.