Obama’s Open Government Promise Rates An F

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. P. J. O'Rourke BrainyQuotes

A new report which ranks the “openness” of government agencies came out today. Doesn’t it figure this would be released on a Friday when everyone is thinking about the weekend and not interested in reading the news? Very typical. It makes Friday the day I really pay attention to what is being reported.

P.E.E.R., Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility published its findings online.  You can view them HERE:

The agencies PEER rated are listed from “Strongest Plans” to “Weakest” which makes sense.  The obaminator’s direct sphere of influence rates dead last.  So, which offices pertaining to the obaminator had the transparency rating of weakest?

  1. Department of Treasury
  2. Department of Defense
  3. Office of Budget and Management (The Obaminator’s Office)
  4. Department of Energy
  5. Department of Justice (My personal favorite)

It is no surprise that the obaminator’s own household has failed the test of transparency. But the fact that we cannot trust in the Department of Justice means no justice for all. If you are a whistle blower, chances are you will be fired for trying to do the right thing. If you try to fight it a judge will simply tell you the firing was justified. This has happened time and again to so many scientists and managers who reporting waste, fraud, and other abuses of government.

To add insult to injury these departments then hire high-priced lawyers which are billed back to us to defend their actions against the whistle blowers. Fees at $450.00 per hour for the defense of those who were caught abusing their position to begin with.

Obama’s Broken Promise: Federal Agencies Not More Transparent Under Obama Administration

SHARON THEIMER | 03/16/10 11:54 PM

WASHINGTON — One year into its promise of greater government transparency, the Obama administration is more often citing exceptions to the nation’s open records law to withhold federal records even as the number of requests for information declines, according to a review by The Associated Press of agency audits about the Freedom of Information Act.

Among the most frequently cited reasons for keeping records secret: one that Obama specifically told agencies to stop using so frequently. The Freedom of Information Act exception, known as the “deliberative process” exemption, lets the government withhold records that describe its decision-making behind the scenes.

Change we can believe in? What change. Photo Huffington Post

For many of us this is NOT a surprise. The promised “Change We Can Believe In” that the obaminator ran on is just another lie from a presidential candidate. We did try to tell you so!  I know I personally raised red flags to warn as many as I could that this was NOT the person to elect.  But everyone looked at his skin color and his magnetic personality, not the facts, and voted someone ineligible into the White House.  If you read my blog back then you will know that I didn’t believe ANY of the candidates that the media pushed should be elected.

Equally disappointing, but of no actual surprise, are the ratings for the DOD and the Dept. of the Treasury.  With Timothy Geitner at the helm, (former head of the Federal Reserve), and his adviser Ben Bernanke, we were assured that no transparency would be forthcoming.

The whoppers the obaminator told us of “too big to fail” allowed banks to recoup their gambling debts and to steal trillions of hard working American’s dollars, (our great, great, great, great, grand kids will be paying this off), and give it to those who engineered both the crash on Wall Street, the bank failures, and the mortgage bubble where millions of Citizens lost their homes.  The Citizens of this country have repeatedly paid for their failure to see through a fake, a fraud, and a liar behind the media spin doctors barrage of hype and dazzle.

Want to know more?  Check out Architects of Destruction.

The good news is that there are those agencies which are working hard at transparency.  These too aren’t surprising, we begin with NASA.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has given us all long hours of viewing pleasure with their release of photos taken by the Hubble telescope and its replacement Herschel, the European Space Agency telescope.

Rankings for the top agencies in order of transparency are as follows:

  1. NASA
  2. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
  3. EPA (can’t imagine how they got here!)
  4. Dept. of Agriculture
  5. Dept. of Transportation
  6. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  7. Dept. of Labor

All other departments rank somewhere in the middle.  Sad to say the Veterans affairs office is in this category.  Those in the middle have lots of room to grow as far as transparency goes.  But they are not as bad as those the Obaminator directly oversees.  Transparency there is…ur…NOT.

Maybe the Obamination gets transparency, but the rest of us will have to wait …again.  We will have to see if the next man is an honest man because this one is anything but.

As an aside, the obama grand jury trial is today.  I hope you will be paying attention when the results are released.  Dr. Manning has gone through hell on earth to get this trial to court.  I know I will be anxiously standing by.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility has released the following:

AUDIT SHOWS WIDE VARIATION IN AGENCY OPEN GOVERNMENT PLANS —

The Obama administration’s December 8, 2009, Open Government Directive (OGD) required executive agencies to develop and post Open Government Plans by April 7, 2010. The OGD specified elements related to transparency, participation, and collaboration that must be included in the plans. The audit rated the extent to which agencies met the administration’s standards as spelled out in the OGD and allowed bonus points for actions that went beyond the OGD minimum. The audit found:

< SNIPPED >

The extremely low ranking for the plan developed by OMB is particularly noteworthy since OMB has responsibility for overseeing other agencies’ implementation of the OGD. Similarly, DOJ’s ranking at the bottom of the stack is disquieting given its charge to implement the Freedom of Information Act, a key public access law.

Change we can believe in? Still think so?  On his first day as acting POTUS, Obama vowed that his administration would conduct business in a much more detailed and open manner.  He has broken his vow so often no one even pays attention any more.  What does that say about us?

“Justice and power must be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just.” Blaise Pascal quotes (French Mathematician, Philosopher and Physicist, 1623-1662) Thinkexist

To underline the seriousness of the myth of the Obaminator’s transparency we have only to look to the multitude of lawsuits filed against the Interior Inspector General’s office, (IG), for Freedom of Information concerning its own investigations. One of these investigations concerns the sale of the Hubble Trading Post from the Navajo people to the National Parks Service. The Navajo trader, the last true Navajo to run the trading post, was deliberately put out of business by the park service in an investigation that went horribly wrong. The IG has repeatedly refused to hand over their investigative findings even after a lawsuit required them to do so.  Those documents, which were turned over in a * pulling teeth without Novocaine manner,* has resulted in documents so redacted they are illegible.

THE MYTH OF TRANSPARENCY IN THE OBAMA ERA

A typical example is the PEER lawsuit against the Interior Inspector General (IG) to force release of its long-stalled investigation into the Hubbell Trading Post scandal, in which one of the last authentic Indian traders was put out of business by a misguided and inept National Park Service investigation. The Interior IG would not release either the results of its investigation into the matter or the backup materials.

After PEER sued the IG in September 2009, the agency dribbled out a few documents but withheld most. Of 153 responsive documents identified by the IG, the agency refused to release more than half of them (84). It partially released 51 documents but many of these are so heavily blacked out (see below) that they are incomprehensible. In total, the IG only fully released 18 documents out of the 153 records.

Look at typical redactions by Interior IG

If you care to check out the document that PEER has you will see how unreadable it is. The IG’s office claims it is to protect the privacy of those in the case, yet those same individuals, (high government officials), have multiple other court records which are in the public record. Obviously a lie, and another whopper.

Freedom of Information Image gathered from http://www.learntarot.com/bigjpgs/swords08.jpg

If the Interior Office of the Inspector General can defy the courts, what hope do We the People have at getting real answers from * our * government?  Do we call Obama a liar?  What else is there?

Going to the website of the IG’s office the first thing which springs out at me is this:

Promoting excellence, integrity, and efficiency

The authority of the OIG is broadly defined to cover any information, allegation or complaint which gives the appearance of fraud, waste,abuse or mismanagement in Departmental programs or operations, including serious matters that could compromise the Department’s mission or threaten the integrity of DOI programs.

Looks good, means absolutely nothing obviously where freedom of information, government accountability, and the American people goes.  Are you surprised?  I didn’t think so.  Those in positions of power have sold their souls for money and justice, honor, integrity, be damned.  It is thoroughly discouraging to continue to see the corruption in the federal government on an almost daily basis.  The obaminator is no different than dubya or any of the other previous administrations. It seems we measure presidents by their ability to lie to us. The better the liar the more popular he is.

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Lord Acton (BrainyQuotes)

Proof of this saying is in our faces on a daily basis. I begin to wonder if all government officials are sociopaths.  Let’s see if the definition fits the officials in our government:

so·ci·o·path

–noun Psychiatry.
a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

That certainly seems to fit most of our government officials today in my opinion. But I am no-one, just a blogger who is fighting to save my country in the only way I know how, writing, exposing, and investigating what I find.

One of the things I see as most wasteful is the constant need for government agencies to have to go to court over and over again. It should be a very simple matter to make a FOIA request and an obligation of the government agency to turn over the information.  I can understand the need for secrecy in some cases, but others make no sense to me. I am reminded of a line in the movie: A Murder of Crows; “If not for lawyers, we wouldn’t need lawyers.”

Demotivation posters

The continual court proceedings are also billed back to WE the People. More waste of the People’s money, more delays, it is disgusting! No wonder there are so many lawyers in our country.

Recently the Senate voted to audit the federal reserve to find out where all the PEOPLE’S money went. One can only hope that some of the men and women tasked with this investigation actually do the job they are asked to do and that we will find some answers.

As a private corporation the federal reserve shouldn’t have any immunity.  However, the federal reserve was created by bankers with lots to hide.  The chances of us actually finding out anything useful is, well, astronomical?  You can also bet that the federal reserve, which has known this was coming for over a year, will have done everything in their power to bury, burn, destroy, or otherwise make disappear any evidence they don’t want us to find/see/know.

Senate votes 96-0 to audit Federal Reserve

The congressional audit would examine the Fed’s emergency aid program and disclose previously secret recipients of bailout money.

May 11, 2010|By David Lightman, McClatchy Newspapers

Under the plan, Congress’ Government Accountability Office would conduct a top-to-bottom audit of all the Federal Reserve’s emergency activities since the economic crisis began in December 2007. The Fed also would have to post on its website all recipients of money from the more than $2 trillion in emergency aid that’s been disbursed since then.

The Government Accountability Office, (GAO), did not participate in this PEER review.  There is no way for us to anticipate what the audit will, or will not, release when it finishes its investigation. In considering what congress has done lately I’m not sure that anything at all will come of this.  But there is always hope.  Hope springs eternal doesn’t it?

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~ by justmytruth on May 14, 2010.

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