Most Transparent Administration: Obama Denies Freedom of Information Requests At Record Rates
Kevin Glass | Mar 17, 2014
President Obama was swept to office amidst his pledge that he'd run the "most transparent administration in history." A new report out finds that he hasn't even run the most transparent administration since the previous one.
The Associated Press analyzed the federal government's own Freedom of Information Act data and found that federal agencies under President Obama have been as uncooperative as ever:
More often than ever, the administration censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, cited more legal exceptions it said justified withholding materials and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.
The government's own figures from 99 federal agencies covering six years show that halfway through its second term, the administration has made few meaningful improvements in the way it releases records. In category after category — except for reducing numbers of old requests and a slight increase in how often it waived copying fees — the government's efforts to be more open about its activities last year were their worst since President Barack Obama took office.
And 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.
Indeed, as the AP finds, the Obama Administration has seen the use of national security exceptions to FOIA requests jump markedly over the past few years:
This comes on the heels of a report that the United States has become increasingly hostile to the press - and is indeed behind countries like El Salvador, Botswana, and Suriname when it comes to freedom of the press.
Most transparent administration ever. http://townhall.com/tipsheet/kevinglass/2014/03/17/most-transparent-administration-obama-denies-freedom-of-information-requests-at-record-rates-n1810544