The Associated Press didn’t really phrase it the way I did in the title, but they said essentially the same thing. This administration, which promised to be the most transparent ever, has set a record for refusing FOIA requests and for withholding government files.
They censor, delay and deny access of government records to the public.
The AP analyzed government files and found this administration took longer to turn over files and regularly refused newsworthy information.
Government agencies even admit that 1 in 3 cases were improper when challenged.
Government employees who look for records have been cut and unanswered requests have increased by 55% at the end of the year.
The figures come from all requests of 100 federal agencies during fy2014.
As requests for records go up, the U.S. government has spent $28 million on lawyers’ fees to keep records secret.
The White House brags about their transparency but, in their reporting of statistics, they routinely ignore records they couldn’t find, people who couldn’t pay, or requests improperly made. Even though they play with the stats, the record is pitiful.
“We actually do have a lot to brag about,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in reference to government transparency.
Last Wednesday, Earnest praised government agencies for releasing information without being asked, posting on the data.gov website (records of fertilizer consumption, college crime reports et cetera).
“When it comes to our record on transparency, we have a lot to be proud of,” he told reporters aboard Air Force One. “And frankly, it sets a standard that future administrations will have to live up to.”
The DOJ has also been congratulating agencies.
Even when they talk about their role in providing information, they are non-transparent. In other words, they lie.
The AP wrote, ” Anyone who seeks information through the law is generally supposed to get it unless disclosure would hurt national security, violate personal privacy or expose business secrets or confidential decision-making in certain areas. It cited such exceptions a record 554,969 times last year.”
The government is withholding data because it might be embarrassing though it’s against the law to use that as a reason.
Recently, the AP obtained completely blacked out records o the costs of Michelle Obama’s pricey dresses and one sentence was not blacked out. It read: “We live in constant fear of upsetting the WH (White House).”
Lies from the horse’s mouth:
More information available at AP’s Big Story
U.S. data: FOIA data