Bad news: Most Transparent Administration, Evah gets a pretty poor grade on FOIA requests

posted at 6:01 pm on March 13, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

And I quote:

My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

End quote. As we’re all very well aware by now, the rose-colored sentiments above haven’t remotely matched the Obama administration’s disclosure habits in practice; and really, why should they put in the effort to follow their pledge, when they’re perfectly well aware that they’re probably going to be able to get away with it? Paul Thacker at Slate sums it up pretty well: Despite his pledge to push for an especially transparent administration, President Obama has been fortunate enough to escape a lot of the usual scrutiny aimed at the White House because — drumroll please — he’s a Democrat.

Regardless of who occupies the White House, I understand that power wants power. Scrutiny just gets in the way.

President Obama is no different. Whether it’s responding to Congress, media questions, or FOIA requests, this administration is no better than its predecessor. The big difference: Obama is a Democrat. And because he is a Democrat, he’s gotten a pass from many of the civil liberty and good-government groups who spent years watching President Bush’s every move like a hawk. …

Most Americans don’t care about arcane legal battles over separation of powers between the White House and Congress. On election night, it was obvious that the issue had not resonated outside right-wing media circles. When it became clear that Obama was going to win, an employee with one of Washington’s watchdogs tweeted, “Now am I allowed to criticize Obama on drones & assassination & military commissions & secret memos expanding secret surveillance powers??” Maybe it’s a bad joke, but the implication is that she and her cohort had been withholding criticism of the president until it became clear that he had beaten Mitt Romney.

One might even to venture to argue that the Obama administration is worse than the Bush administration they’ve railed so hard against in certain respects, and they don’t seem to be making any conscientious efforts to improve on their less-than-stellar record, via Breitbart:

Pro-transparency organization Cause of Action has determined that President Barack Obama’s administration over the past year deserves no higher than a C minus for its compliance with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The group announced the new report with a new website it plans to use for “Grading the Government.”

“For an administration that claims to be, ‘the most transparent administration in history,’ a grade of C-, coupled with the finding that nearly three quarters of the offices were unable to respond to our request within a 30 day window and therefore noncompliant with the law, signals that perhaps this administration is merely average at best,” Cause of Action wrote in a report released on Wednesday morning.

The organization sent FOIA request to 114 individual offices in 16 different federal government departments in April 2012. Thus far, 29 offices have not provided any documents whatsoever, while 26 offices took longer than 90 days to respond. Of the 86 offices that did provide documents, Cause of Action said the average response time for the Obama administration was 75 days–more than double what’s legally required of them under FOIA (30 days).

Classic Obama administration: Talking the talk, but walking whatever walk they darn well please.


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President Obama is no different.

And yet the press and liberals insisted that he was, and anybody who disagreed was labeled a racist.

Socratease on March 13, 2013 at 6:03 PM

It’s clear that this regime is openly hostile to being held accountable for anything.

rbj on March 13, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Most crooked transparent administration, evah!

GarandFan on March 13, 2013 at 6:11 PM

I wonder how much information the MSM has but will not publish. That’s a big difference between their treatment of Bush vs. Obama.

Curtiss on March 13, 2013 at 6:16 PM

How does Obama’s transparency record compare to the previous administrations? Is he just disappointingly par for the course, or is he actually worse than Bush, Clinton or Bush Sr.

Time Lord on March 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Despite his pledge to push for an especially transparent administration, President Obama has been fortunate enough to escape a lot of the usual scrutiny aimed at the White House because — drumroll please — he’s a Democrat.

What was your first clue?

squint on March 13, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Ogabe demonstrated his disdain for transparency when he fired that Inspector General years ago for getting too close to the truth.

viking01 on March 13, 2013 at 6:21 PM

I disagree.

We have been provided with all the information we need. Just ask Jay Carney.

BobMbx on March 13, 2013 at 6:26 PM

How does Obama’s transparency record compare to the previous administrations? Is he just disappointingly par for the course, or is he actually worse than Bush, Clinton or Bush Sr.

Time Lord on March 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Well, he and Clinton both promised in their first Inaugural Addresses that they would be ethically superior to their Republican counterparts in that regard. In Clinton’s case, he promised “the most ethical Administration in history.” We all know how that turned out.

They’re the ones who set that bar, not their Republican opponents.

Del Dolemonte on March 13, 2013 at 6:27 PM

speaking of FOIA, the large climate email database has been opened. A couple hundred thousand emails, evidently. So this will take quite a while to sort thru.

IMHO, the damage has already been done wrt emails…but who knows what tidbits there are in there

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/13/climategate-3-0-has-occurred-the-password-has-been-released/#more-82057

and, of course, the lawyers for Steyn, NRO, et al. will no doubt be interested in M. Mann’s writings…and other people writing about him

r keller on March 13, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Some seriously Low-IQ Democrat Voters posting at the Slate Comments.

If Obama was guilty of anything the tea party would have impeached him by now and everything would be ground to a halt while boehner tried to take gingrich’s old powerwhore position to a new level.

Face it. you have nothing. Meanwhile, anyone care to help me ship gwb off to france to face his war crime conviction?

Fast & Furious wasn’t a crime.

Meanwhile, why have we not yet shipped off gwb to France to face his war crime conviction? Or the UK, or australia, or iraq, or malaysia? It wasn’t just the crazy islamists who convicted him at the kuala lampur tribunal

“It Burns!”

Del Dolemonte on March 13, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Pretty much all we’ve gotten on Benghazi was Shrillary beating her chest….

viking01 on March 13, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Benghazi…

Seven Percent Solution on March 13, 2013 at 6:40 PM

A solid C- for the SCoaMF here?

Proof that grade inflation has reached all new highs …

ShainS on March 13, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Benghazi…

Seven Percent Solution on March 13, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Who?
What?
Where?
When?
Why?
How?

Not a single answer among numerous multi-dimensional questions that should be, but aren’t being, asked.

“Impeachment or bust” should, but never will with this traitor, the House GOP rallying cry …

ShainS on March 13, 2013 at 6:46 PM

All the LIV cares about is who is up on Dancin’ With The Douchebags….

hillsoftx on March 13, 2013 at 6:47 PM

“It Burns!”

Del Dolemonte on March 13, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Please, Del, start your own blog.

Does MM know of your existence?

BobMbx on March 13, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Not a single answer among numerous multi-dimensional questions that should be, but aren’t being, asked.

ShainS on March 13, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Except CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson…but she is on an island of 4, the other 3 being Gilligan, Ginger and Mary Anne…

hillsoftx on March 13, 2013 at 6:49 PM

We’re free to ask for information. Barry’s WH is free to tell us to bugger off, ’cause no one can make this admin provide anything it doesn’t want to.

“Away with you, peasant!”

hawkeye54 on March 13, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Benghazi…

Seven Percent Solution on March 13, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Seven Percent Solution:)

Shinning the Light of Truth………….Le Clinky!!!

canopfor on March 13, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Speaking of FOIA, a person that hasn’t revealed his identity, calling himself only “Mr. FOIA,” has today released upwards of 200,000 emails from the climate perpetrators like Michael Mann (hockey stick fabrication), that, unfortunately he says, might also reveal “personally sensitive” info. It’s being called Climategate 3:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/13/climategate-3-0-has-occurred-the-password-has-been-released/

anotherJoe on March 13, 2013 at 7:08 PM

…their lies are transparent!

KOOLAID2 on March 13, 2013 at 9:11 PM

The Daniel Ellsbergs seem to be rather scarce when Libtards are in control. Coincidence? Hmmm…HMMMM?

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 13, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Crooks and liars = Democrats

Jaibones on March 14, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Three cheers for Cause of Action. They do great work!

Jaibones on March 14, 2013 at 9:53 AM