By Jerry Policoff, OpEd News, 10/25/11
One of the President Obama’s first promises after becoming President of the United States was a commitment to usher in a new era of unprecedented government transparency. Instead the Obama administration has exhibited what may be an unprecedented obsession with government secrecy including blocking numerous law suits by invoking the doctrine of “State Secrets.” The administration has even come up with an interpretation of the Patriot Act which many in Congress who have seen it claim is overly broad and bestows more power on the Executive Branch than was intended by Congress when they passed it.
Unfortunately those in Congress who have seen this document are not permitted to divulge its content, and we, the public, cannot see it because the administration has chosen to classify it as a “State Secret.” In other words, you might be doing something that the Obama Administration believes violates the Patriot Act, but you won’t know it until they indict you for breaking a law you did not know existed (I might be breaking it just by penning and publishing this article).
Now the Obama/Holder Justice Department is attempting to re-write the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), empowering or even compelling government agencies to deny the very existence of records they know to exist if they believe they are legitimately exempted from disclosure. Of course they are most likely the sole arbiter of whether they are indeed exempt from disclosure. In effect the Obama/Holder Justice Department wants to be free to legally lie about the existence of records in response to FOIA requests. Apparently they want to avoid the embarrassment and inconvenience of being officially rebuked by the courts for doing exactly that (lying to a Federal judge), as occurred earlier this year….
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