In the wake of the Hillary Clinton email scandal---where a Secretary of State made the decision to conduct 100% of State Department business on a private email server during all four years of her "service"---many concerned citizens are wondering if this administration has not crossed the line on what information is available to the public and what is censored under nefarious and contemptible exercises by your government and their administrators.
Last Thursday, (03-19-15), the United States Chamber of Commerce pointed out how egregious this administration has become when it comes to extracting government information that should specifically belong to the public:
"When President Obama came into office, he ordered Executive Branch agencies to “adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure.” A few years later, he bragged that his administration was “the most transparent administration in history.”
Now, he might want to step back from that with the Associated Press concluding that his administration “set a record again for censoring government files or outright denying access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.”
The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn't find documents and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy."
In this Chamber of Commerce report, they provide a perfect example of how and what this administration considers "transparency" on materials requested from the White House Council on Environmental Quality, (CEQ), as far back as 2010:
Now, mind you, this is information from a panel that works on climate change, not top secret classified material on how to prevent Iran from creating a nuclear weapon, or Chelsea Clinton's wedding plans. The Chamber of Commerce wonders if there might be a shortage of sharpies after their redaction's are preformed on this single document.
In another example of this administration's "delay tactics", the Competitive Enterprise Institute, (CEI), put in a request for information on EPA chief Lisa Jackson's "official" government emails, and discovered she has an alias email account under the name of Richard Windsor. The story, via the Daily Caller is another unfolding example of an administration with plenty to hide:
"In 2012, CEI requested records regarding Jackson’s alias email account under the name “Richard Windsor” — an address she used to communicate with government officials and green groups while avoiding federal transparency laws. CEI sued and eventually got 3,000 “Richard Windsor” emails from EPA, but that was only the tip of the iceberg. The EPA says there are about 120,000 records related to CEI’s Freedom of Information Act request, but the agency claims it can only process about 100 records per month — meaning CEI’s FOIA request will be fully processed in about 100 years.
“We have shown this administration using whatever tactics it can – even violating the law – to hide what is going on in our federal agencies,” said CEI senior fellow and attorney Chris Horner in a statement, “whether it’s Hillary Clinton’s personal email account, Lisa Jackson working with lobbyists on her own private account, utilizing text messages then destroying them, or this slow-rolling production of Richard Windsor emails for a century.” "And, what's got the CEI folks even further riled is the EPA's "selective" mode on who receives a waiver on information request:
"What rankles CEI most about the EPA’s slow record processing pace is that the agency has already been criticized in the past for stonewalling FOIA requests from conservative groups and states critical of agency rules.
In 2013, CEI obtained documents showing that since January 2012, the agency granted fee waivers for 92 percent of FOIA requests from major environmental groups all while rejecting or ignoring 81 percent of fee-waiver requests from conservative groups."Apparently, the EPA is following the Lois Lerner guidelines on how to process and provide "partisan information"---another fine example of Mr. Obama's transparent government. Again, this [information] is the property of the public, and they have every right to expect full disclosure in a timely fashion. Further, since our Department of Justice, (under AG Eric Holder or probable incoming AG, Loretta Lynch), has no interest in compelling OUR government institutions to provide the public with OUR DOCUMENTS, these egregious practices will continue unabated---with an "in your face" attitude.
Meanwhile, most the media will continue to stand by this administration's blatant, (and most likely illegal), practices and think Hillary's contempt for being transparent is no big deal, or, it's all a right wing conspiracy by a bunch of racist---the ultimate silencing tool of the left.