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For Obama, “Unprecedented Level Of Openness In Government” Are Just Words

- December 4, 2012

Obama: "My Administration Is Committed To Creating An Unprecedented Level Of Openness In Government." (President Barack Obama, "Memorandum For The Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies: Transparency and Open Government," Press Release, 1/21/09)

  • The Washington Post 's Dana Milbank: It Is Becoming "More And More Clear" That Obama Open Government Promise Was "Just Words." "'My administration,' President Obama wrote on his first day in office, 'is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government.' Those were strong and hopeful words. Four years later, it is becoming more and more clear that they were just words." (Dana Milbank, Op-Ed, "The Open-And-Shut Administration," The Washington Post, 12/3/12)

TRANSPARENCY ADVOCATES ARE STILL LOOKING FOR LEADERSHIP FROM THE WHITE HOUSE

Politico' s Josh Gerstein: In 2010, Obama Promised He Would Make Progress On His Transparency Pledges, But "We're Not Doing Things Any Differently." "'In the beginning of 2010, [Obama] said he made a significant mistake by abandoning some of his pledges related to transparency,' said Josh Gerstein of Politico, 'and that going forward they would do things differently. Seems to me we are forward and it seems to me we're not doing things any differently.'" (Dana Milbank, Op-Ed, "The Open-And-Shut Administration," The Washington Post, 12/3/12)

Citizens For Responsibility And Ethics' Anne Weismann: On Transparency, "The Lack Of Effective Leadership In The White House, In The Executive Branch, Has Really Made It Difficult To Have More Significant Progress." "On Monday afternoon, open-government advocates assembled in a congressional hearing room to ponder what had become of the Obama administration's lofty vows of transparency. 'It's been a really tough slog,' said Anne Weismann of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. 'The lack of effective leadership in the White House, in the executive branch, has really made it difficult to have more significant progress.'"(Dana Milbank, Op-Ed, "The Open-And-Shut Administration," The Washington Post, 12/3/12

  • Weismann: "We Haven't Seen That Many, If Any, Legislative Initiatives From The White House." "The few advances that have been made are mostly administrative changes that will end with the Obama administration. 'We haven't seen that many, if any, legislative initiatives from the White House,' Weismann lamented at Monday's gathering of the open-government advocates." (Dana Milbank, Op-Ed, "The Open-And-Shut Administration," The Washington Post, 12/3/12)

"'They've Been Reluctant To Take Positions,' Said Hudson Hollister Of The Data Transparency Coalition, 'And Translate That To Real Action.'" (Dana Milbank, Op-Ed, "The Open-And-Shut Administration," The Washington Post, 12/3/12)

Federation Of American Scientists' Project On Government Secrecy Director Steven Aftergood: "By Certain Measures, 'Overall Secrecy Has Actually Increased Rather Than Declined." "By certain measures, 'overall secrecy has actually increased rather than declined,' said Steven Aftergood, who runs the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy. 'Criminalization of unauthorized disclosures of information to the press has risen sharply, becoming a preferred tactic. Efforts to promote public accountability in controversial aspects of counterterrorism policy such as targeted killing have been blocked by threadbare, hardly credible national security secrecy claims.'"(Dana Milbank, Op-Ed, "The Open-And-Shut Administration," The Washington Post, 12/3/12)

Sunlight Foundation's Daniel Schuman: "We're Placing A Lot Of Blame At The Administration… Or Maybe Blame Isn't The Right Word - Maybe Responsibility." "It was a more-in-sadness-than-in-anger critique of Obama often heard from the political left, and the moderator, the Sunlight Foundation's Daniel Schuman, was apologetic. 'We're placing a lot of blame at the administration,' he observed. 'Or blame isn't the right word - maybe responsibility.'" (Dana Milbank, Op-Ed, "The Open-And-Shut Administration," The Washington Post, 12/3/12)


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