As basically every major American news outlet has become fixated on a missing Malaysian flight and the annexation of Crimea, a profound revelation with serious implications was quietly released. In a study made public on March 18th by the government watch-dog group Cause of Action, it is revealed that President Obama rewrote the Freedom of Information Act only three months into his first term in office.
Washington Examiner shed’s light on this rewrite stating that, “The rewrite came in an April 15th, 2009, memo from then White House Counsel Greg Craig instructing the Executive branch to let White House officials review any documents sought by FOIA requestors that involved White House Equities”. The memorandum from Gregory Craig regarding document requests can be found in its entirety by clicking here.
The Obama White House effectively amended the Freedom of Information Act to create a new exception named the “White House Equities” to justify withholding information on government behavior from the public. In a move that should be headline news but isn’t, the adminstration has effectively crippled the FOIA process contrary to Obama’s promise of unequaled transparency.
It is important to remember that in a democracy that requires accountability with accountability requiring transparency, the Freedom of Information Act encourages accountability through transparency in ensuring we have an open government. The Act, according to whitehouse.gov, “should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails”. However, openness cannot prevail when the White House is allowed to consult all records involving an undefined term called “White House Equities”.
The term is substantially broad in scope for it expands the types of documents subject to White house review to include Congressional committee requests, Government Accountability Requests (GAO) and judicial subpoenas. The White House Equities term can be construed and abused to include any records the White House may be motivated in obtaining.
The investigation by Cause of Action labeled Grading the Government: How the White House Targets Document Requesters discloses multiple examples of abuse. One such example of abuse came about on January 16th, 2013, when then General Service Administrator (GSA) Deputy Press Secretary Dan Cruz emailed White House Assistant Press Secretary Matt Hehrich to alert him and inform him of a request from Brad Heath at USA Today. The press in our Country before Obama was allowed to do this under FOIA for the request simply asked for job descriptions and responsibilities of employees working in communications for Federal agencies.
Spotlighting this example out of the many given, we see how information of a FOIA request by USA Today regarding the fed goes all the way to the White House. In doing this, the White House Counsel’s office is now receiving, reviewing, and actually demanding access to information that it previously would not have been able to review under FOIA in the interest of the Obama adminstration.
The Associated Press exposed Obama’s “most transparent adminstration in history” fraud by releasing a statement declaring, “five years after Obama directed agencies to less frequently invoke a ‘deliberative process’ exception to withhold materials describing decision-making behind the scenes, the government did it anyway, a record 81,752 times”.
So while the mainstream media continues to follow news stories without any evidence of actual newsworthiness one must become informed on their own. Surprisingly by looking at the liberal biased New York Times, a quote and a fact of truth raises such alarming concerns.
Jill Abramson writes, “I spent 22 years of my career in Washington and covered presidents from President Reagan on up through now, and I was Washington bureau chief of the Times during George W. Bush’s first term. The Obama administration has had seven criminal leak investigations. That is more than twice the number of any previous administration in our history. It’s on a scale never seen before. This is the most secretive White House that, at least as a journalist, I have ever dealt with”.
Now we know why.