So Much For Transparency

It is disturbing to me, as it should be to any reasonable person, how secretive our government has become.  I know this sounds naive.  I know there is nothing we can really do about it, but that does not mean we should be complacent.  We should continue to demand our leaders are upfront with the American people.  We should make it an issue in EVERY election.  It can change over time, but only if we demand it.

The New York Times reports that Hillary Clinton used her personal email account during her time as Secretary of State.

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

Though this is not uncommon, it should be extremely disturbing.  Nearly every company in the country demands its employees use the corporate email account given to them.  This allows the company access to the email, it provides continuity and context.  It provides back up for disputes that may arise down the line; it answers questions that come up years after the person who held that position has moved on.  It is illegal, and it needs to change.

The Washington Times reports the EPA not only ignored FOIA requests from conservative groups, but they out and out mislead the court on their efforts to provide those documents.  Again, this is nothing new, but it does not mean we have to remain complacent.

In a scorching 25-page opinion, the judge accused the agency of insulting him by first claiming it had conducted a full search for records, then years later retracted that claim in a footnote to another document without giving any explanation for how it erred.

In her book Stonewalled, former investigative correspondent for CBS news Sharyl Attkisson argues the Obama administration has been the least transparent in modern history.  According to her, this is a widely held view from many in the media, though it may not be widely reported.  For an administration that ran its campaign on transparency and lifting the veil between government and the people, it is disturbing to hear these reports of blatant and wanton secrecy.  As far as Obama is concerned, he only has to repeat the mantra and make the claims of transparency, and all will believe it, accept it, and move on.  It is insulting.  After all of this, after Benghazi, after Gruber’s claims of hiding the details of Obamacare, after Pelosi stating we have to pass the bill before we can find out whats in it, after Hillary’s emails and Holder’s contempt, after NSA spying and all the rest of it – we find this page on the White House website.

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.

We may not ever be able to change the secrecy in our Government, but we shall NEVER accept it.

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