Did Obama WH suppress online reports on security cost of daughter’s vacation?
posted at 1:33 pm on September 25, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
If the president of the United States wants to send his 13-year-old daughter on vacation to a country that is in the throes a bloody drug war, that’s his business. If the parents of 12 of his daughter’s friends agree to let their children go along, that’s their business. But if reports on the security costs of the trip are suddenly yanked offline by the president, that becomes the business of American taxpayers, who are picking up at least part of those costs.
That is what the watchdog group Judicial Watch claims happened. The group alleges that on March 19, the Obama White House ordered the removal of press reports detailing the trip, including news that Malia Obama was accompanied by 25 U.S. Secret Service Agents. Judicial Watch has accordingly filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks all and any records pertaining to the expenditure of U.S. Government funds to provide security and/or any other services.
At the time of the trip, the White House requested that news outlets desist from reporting on or photographing the Obama children when not in the company of their parents. At the same time, they refused to answer questions about the wisdom of sending said children into harm’s way. The reportedly took place days after the Texas Department of Public Safety issued a statement urging students on spring break “to avoid Mexico.”
This latest wrinkle, however, is not an indictment of the Obamas’ parenting skills. Rather, it’s a legitimate question about yet another inconvenient truth for the “most transparent administration in history.”
Judicial Watch notes that the administration has missed its deadline for compliance with the FOIA request. The organization’s president, Tom Fitton, speculates that “this stonewall is because of the embarrassment of the security costs for the Spring Break trip of the Obamas’ daughter.”
Judicial Watch previously obtained records from the United States Air Force and the United States Secret Service detailing costs associated with Michelle Obama’s controversial August 2010 vacation to Spain and a June 2011 trip to South Africa and Botswana, which are said to have cost taxpayers $467,585 and $424,142 respectively.
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