FOIA lawsuits mount for ‘most transparent administration in history’

Barack Obama often refers to the historical aspect of many of his actions as President of the United States. Among these actions are “the toughest transparency rules of any administration in history… in history.”

Don’t take my word for it…

It’s almost ironic that Obama mentions his commitment to “rein in exploding deficits” in the same clip. His record in both areas is similar.

Obama campaigned on the promise of a new standard of transparency and once in office, instructed federal agencies to “adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and to usher in a new era of open Government,” as noted in a White House memorandum.

Another memorandum from the President, Transparency and Open Government, opens with;

“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.”

Amid laughter in the room, Obama’s then-White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced in April 2010 that “this is the most transparent administration in the history of our country.”

White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew said in July that the Obama administration “has been the most transparent ever.”

But an analysis of government requests filed by Bloomberg News has found an alarming number of transparency violations, particularly when it comes to the taxpayer-funded cost of travel by top officials.

The analysis reports that nineteen out of 20 cabinet-level agencies under the Obama administration have failed to follow the requirements of FOIA.

Bloomberg also reports that just as in most areas of government, FOIA personnel have grown under Obama, from 3,691 full-time personnel across all departments and agencies in 2008 to 4,400 in 2011, an increased of 19 percent.

In the face of all this, Washington Free Beacon columnist CJ Ciaramella reports that the number of FOIA lawsuits filed against the federal government has increased dramatically under the Obama administration.

The report points out that the number of FOIA lawsuits filed against the State Department rose by 111 percent in a two year period, by 60 percent against both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and by 50 percent at the Department of Justice.

Ciaramella suggests that federal agencies have largely ignored the executive branch’s directives and memos, particularly when it comes to updating regulations and complying with FOIA, giving reason to question Obama’s commitment here.

In that light, the report ends on a damning note, quoting Katherine Meyer, a Washington lawyer who’s been filing FOIA cases since 1978, who told Politico in March 2012:

“Obama is the sixth administration that’s been in office since I’ve been doing Freedom of Information Act work. … It’s kind of shocking to me to say this, but of the six, this administration is the worst on FOIA issues. The worst. There’s just no question about it.This administration is raising one barrier after another. … It’s gotten to the point where I’m stunned—I’m really stunned.”

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6 thoughts on “FOIA lawsuits mount for ‘most transparent administration in history’

  1. MS P says: >> Resign IMPEACH BO Joe Holder, Hillary & Kerry for Fast & Furious Borders Breach & Bengazi Assasinations Tryanny Treason

  2. Mary Marshall says:

    What Transparency, how about starting with him…does anyone know anything about the President that he didn't have covered up before he ran as Senator..carefully crafted to get where he is today…the low-information electorate would probably be astounded by his hypocrisy to get where he is. Then again, would they care as long as they continued to get their freebies. As far as the supposedly intelligent moonbats blinded by the stars in their eyes..(Stars of Hollywood) and the rich who don't have to worry where their next paycheck is coming from

  3. Joseph Jr. says:

    So what Obama is saying is a two foot thick piece of lead is transparent. He has yet to disclose where he was born . He has sealed every piece of information about his past. If I am to believe all his crap, then water is dry.

  4. Todd C says:

    You could say the Obama administration is operating like a hidden government putting in place their agenda with the cover of the complicit media and a propaganda campaign machine. Isn't that how Chavez became a dictator? Watch out for anyone asking for a third term for any reason.

  5. Dora says:

    So you say that as long as you are pres. you will not stop fighting? Well Guess what Mr pres. So long as you are president, "WE THE PEOPLE" WILL NOT STOP FIGHTING!! Did you know that We the People are picking up steam?

    I know you've heard that because Mr Clinton made mention…..Well as we grow STRONGER We'll have you to thank for that!

    "LAW" Latin At Work…..Conservatives!! Those that voted you in (with promises & papers of course) will now help get you out!

    By the way….Did you see the new clip on the obama cell phone lady? She hates you now! So Black conservative are steam rolling as well! It is all a beautiful thing! You are trying to divide us & we are now pulling together in a BIG way!

  6. Ladyliberty says:

    Only a REPRESENTATIVE government feels that it is accountable to its constituents, but a monarchy…NOT. This mcreature and his minions nevr meant to REPRESENT, but to RULE. King Obutthead considers it impertinence for the "little people" to expect transparency, much less truth or honor in the performance of his duties.

    Come to think of it, "Duties, what duties? I only have directives and distats. I AM King, you know".

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