Transparency you can’t believe in … again
Meet the new boss, same as the old?
The Obama administration is fighting to block access to names of visitors to the White House, taking up the Bush administration argument that a president doesn’t have to reveal who comes calling to influence policy decisions.
Despite President Barack Obama’s pledge to introduce a new era of transparency to Washington, and despite two rulings by a federal judge that the records are public, the Secret Service has denied msnbc.com’s request for the names of all White House visitors from Jan. 20 to the present. It also denied a narrower request by the nonpartisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which sought logs of visits by executives of coal companies.
CREW says it will file a lawsuit Tuesday against the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service. (Updated: Here’s a copy of CREW’s complaint.)
The Obama administration is arguing that the White House visitor logs are presidential records — not Secret Service agency records, which would be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. The administration ought to be able to hold secret meetings in the White House, “such as an elected official interviewing for an administration position or an ambassador coming for a discussion on issues that would affect international negotiations,” said Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt.
A few of The Usual Suspects are grumbling a bit about this Obama flip flop, but don’t expect near the amount of outrage over this as we did during the Bush years when they tried to use the same arguments the Obama administration is using now.
And finally, considering the news via Drudge that ABC will be “turning over its programming” to the WH on the evening of June 24 for a WH ObamaCare special -which will exclude opposing voices – titled “‘Prescription for America,” is it now time to officially call the network the All Barack Channel?