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http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/23/obama-spokesmans-debut-marked-by-discord/


by Joseph Curl

The White House press operation got off to a fumbling and stumbling start Thursday, with the day's opening briefers insisting on being identified only as "senior administration officials," followed swiftly by the new president's spokesman accidently outing one of the secret aides less than two minutes into his first White House briefing.

Although President Obama swept into office pledging transparency and a new air of openness, the press hammered spokesman Robert Gibbs for nearly an hour over a slate of perceived secretive slights that have piled up quickly for the new administration. It wasn't pretty.

"Why did the administration believe it was important for the American people not to know the name of the two senior administration officials who briefed us this morning on Guantanamo?" one reporter asked in the packed and steaming hot briefing room just off the White House West Wing.

"I hope that you all found the exercise that we did this morning helpful," Mr. Gibbs offered helpfully.

[It was more likely, "Who the hell do you think you are questioning us? We are the President!"]

"Do you know," the reporter followed, "that you've used ... one of those senior officials' first names several times in this briefing?" A very long pause ensued.

"I do," the spokesman said, his cornflower-colored tie suddenly looking a bit too tight. "Are we allowed to repeat that name?" Mr. Gibbs answered by citing as precedent of Brazilian soccer stars being known only by a single name - sure to one day be a classic White House non-answer.

Then it got uglier.

"How is it transparent," another reporter asked, "when you control the only image of the re-swearing - there's nobody in there but four print reporters, there's no stills, there's no television? And the only recording that comes out, as I understand it, is one that a reporter made, not one that the White House supplied."
 

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Wait til some of the 'releasees' from Guantanamo start killing people again.
They already have.....

After being released they have turned up in Afghanistan killing US troops.
 

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Not quite, CC. And now for something besides trivialities, distortions and exaggerations.

Obama gives new life to the FOIA
A transformative directive ordering compliance with the Freedom of Information Act marks bureaucracy's return to scrutiny.
January 23, 2009

In October 2001, the Bush administration took an administrative action that would prove sadly symptomatic of its rule. John Ashcroft, then the attorney general, issued a memorandum warning against casual release of information to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. Such releases, Ashcroft said, should be made "only after full and deliberate consideration of the institutional, commercial and personal privacy interests that could be implicated." In case anyone missed the point, Ashcroft added that any bureaucrat who said no to such a request could "be assured that the Department of Justice will defend your decisions unless they lack a sound legal basis." It goes without saying that Ashcroft did not promise any such defense of government employees who released information under the terms of the act.

If cavalier disregard of the law and the public's right to hold its government accountable were hallmarks of the recently departed administration, we can only hope that President Obama's response signals a new approach. One of his first presidential acts was to issue a memo to federal agencies on the Freedom of Information Act. It opens by quoting former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis' pronouncement that sunlight is the "best of disinfectants" and continues by trumpeting the act as "the most prominent expression of a profound national commitment to ensuring an open government." Where Ashcroft searched for excuses to withhold information, Obama directed all agencies to "adopt a presumption" in favor of releasing it.

That is a transformation of incalculable significance. It alerts agencies that they must use their offices to inform, even when what's revealed is embarrassing, not to shield or deflect. Moreover, it reverses the disastrous example that the Bush policies set for state and local governments. In Los Angeles and elsewhere, officials used concerns about security as a pretext to retreat from accountability, inhibiting scrutiny of police accused of misconduct and cloaking the salaries of public officials, among other dubious acts of secrecy.

The tension between a free society and a powerful government will never disappear entirely. But Obama's prompt action on the Freedom of Information Act restores balance to that debate. It should remind officials throughout the land that they must answer first to the public.
 

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Not quite, CC. And now for something besides trivialities, distortions and exaggerations.

Obama gives new life to the FOIA
A transformative directive ordering compliance with the Freedom of Information Act marks bureaucracy's return to scrutiny.
January 23, 2009

In October 2001, the Bush administration took an administrative action that would prove sadly symptomatic of its rule. John Ashcroft, then the attorney general, issued a memorandum warning against casual release of information to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. Such releases, Ashcroft said, should be made "only after full and deliberate consideration of the institutional, commercial and personal privacy interests that could be implicated." In case anyone missed the point, Ashcroft added that any bureaucrat who said no to such a request could "be assured that the Department of Justice will defend your decisions unless they lack a sound legal basis." It goes without saying that Ashcroft did not promise any such defense of government employees who released information under the terms of the act.

If cavalier disregard of the law and the public's right to hold its government accountable were hallmarks of the recently departed administration, we can only hope that President Obama's response signals a new approach. One of his first presidential acts was to issue a memo to federal agencies on the Freedom of Information Act. It opens by quoting former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis' pronouncement that sunlight is the "best of disinfectants" and continues by trumpeting the act as "the most prominent expression of a profound national commitment to ensuring an open government." Where Ashcroft searched for excuses to withhold information, Obama directed all agencies to "adopt a presumption" in favor of releasing it.

That is a transformation of incalculable significance. It alerts agencies that they must use their offices to inform, even when what's revealed is embarrassing, not to shield or deflect. Moreover, it reverses the disastrous example that the Bush policies set for state and local governments. In Los Angeles and elsewhere, officials used concerns about security as a pretext to retreat from accountability, inhibiting scrutiny of police accused of misconduct and cloaking the salaries of public officials, among other dubious acts of secrecy.

The tension between a free society and a powerful government will never disappear entirely. But Obama's prompt action on the Freedom of Information Act restores balance to that debate. It should remind officials throughout the land that they must answer first to the public.
You don't really beieve this sh$t you type ? Do You ?
mcgoo
 

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Not quite, CC. And now for something besides trivialities, distortions and exaggerations.

Obama gives new life to the FOIA
A transformative directive ordering compliance with the Freedom of Information Act marks bureaucracy's return to scrutiny.
January 23, 2009

In October 2001, the Bush administration took an administrative action that would prove sadly symptomatic of its rule. John Ashcroft, then the attorney general, issued a memorandum warning against casual release of information to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. Such releases, Ashcroft said, should be made "only after full and deliberate consideration of the institutional, commercial and personal privacy interests that could be implicated." In case anyone missed the point, Ashcroft added that any bureaucrat who said no to such a request could "be assured that the Department of Justice will defend your decisions unless they lack a sound legal basis." It goes without saying that Ashcroft did not promise any such defense of government employees who released information under the terms of the act.

If cavalier disregard of the law and the public's right to hold its government accountable were hallmarks of the recently departed administration, we can only hope that President Obama's response signals a new approach. One of his first presidential acts was to issue a memo to federal agencies on the Freedom of Information Act. It opens by quoting former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis' pronouncement that sunlight is the "best of disinfectants" and continues by trumpeting the act as "the most prominent expression of a profound national commitment to ensuring an open government." Where Ashcroft searched for excuses to withhold information, Obama directed all agencies to "adopt a presumption" in favor of releasing it.

That is a transformation of incalculable significance. It alerts agencies that they must use their offices to inform, even when what's revealed is embarrassing, not to shield or deflect. Moreover, it reverses the disastrous example that the Bush policies set for state and local governments. In Los Angeles and elsewhere, officials used concerns about security as a pretext to retreat from accountability, inhibiting scrutiny of police accused of misconduct and cloaking the salaries of public officials, among other dubious acts of secrecy.

The tension between a free society and a powerful government will never disappear entirely. But Obama's prompt action on the Freedom of Information Act restores balance to that debate. It should remind officials throughout the land that they must answer first to the public.
How does a generic piece on a memo of what he says should be done refute an admittedly slanted, but factual depiction of what was actually done?
 
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