Obama's a serial liar. "Openness" was code language for America's most secretive administration. Subverting FOIA is one of many examples of Obama's rogue governance. Secrecy and public trust betrayal trust took precedence immediately.
As a result, vital public information's suppressed. FOIA "deliberative process (DP)" exemptions are abused, including withholding documents dealing with decision making issues. In Obama's first year, he invoked DP exemptions an astonishing 70,779 times.
Moreover, in year two, a National Security Archive study found "less than one-third of the 90 federal agencies that process such FOIA requests have made significant changes in their procedures," even on transparency issues.
Yet when questioned at a town hall meeting, Obama claimed his administration's the most transparent in modern history. Public ignorance lets him get away with it and much more. EFF said government secrecy under Obama reached "absurd (unprecedented) levels."
One of many examples involves a little-known provision of financial reform legislation. It says the SEC "no longer has to comply with virtually all requests for information releases from the public, including those filed under" FOIA requests. No wonder. Wall Street crooks wrote the law to assure business as usual and more.
Similar examples affect many other agencies, including the State Department, DHS, EPA and NASA. In December 2011, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and OpenTheGovernment.org found Obama's administration withheld information one-third more often than Bush in his last year in office. Imagine what's coming if he's reelected.
EFF called his Justice Department's attempt to change FOIA regulations perhaps his worst open government violation. Under a proposed rule, "instead of refusing to confirm or deny a document is in the Department's possession, the agency could 'respond to the request as if the excluded records" don't exist.
Mocking FOIA rights, it authorizes lying. After Congress and public interest groups complained, DOJ softened its rules. However, the Sunlight Foundation said DOJ revisions are still "worse than reported." They let reviewers dismiss requests for trivial reasons.
Obama's systematically trashing rule of law standards affecting domestic and foreign policies. He's killing "the very law (he) championed at the start of his administration." His transparency pledge became "a (sick joke) punch line rather than a re-election slogan."
As a result, freedom's on the chopping block for elimination unless mass public outrage stops it. There's no time to waste doing it, starting with killing ACTA.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Email address removed .
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.