Obama administration fights to keep WH visitor logs secret
posted at 11:48 am on October 15, 2011 by Howard Portnoy
Remember when Barack Obama vowed that “transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency”? Clearly he didn’t mean his presidency, which has been so committed to secrecy that it excluded the press from an awards ceremony honoring Obama’s (get ready for it) transparency.
On Friday the administration filed a formal appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that Secret Service records of White House visitors are subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
In August U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell upheld a March 2009 FOIA request for White House visitor records made by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a DC-based watchdog group. Initially, the request was denied, prompting CREW to sue for injunctive relief.
The judge’s ruling rejected an argument by administration attorneys that the visitor’s log is the property of the White House even though it is maintained and used by the Secret Service. Ironically, the same argument was used by the Bush 43 administration, which candidate Obama roundly castigated for its secrecy.
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