Another threat to Obama’s dictatorship has been removed. His own Inspectors General have been declawed and will be subject to bureaucratic rules and pretense and will have to request every record they need to do their job. So far, some in Congress have expressed outrage and Obama decided the issue with a simple memo from legal counsel.
Inspectors General, as government watchdogs, were always allowed to get whatever records they needed without obstruction by anyone. Now they will experience only obstruction. Don’t be surprised if important public records never see the light of day.
Last August, 47 Inspectors General (IGs) wrote to Congress complaining that at least three agencies were blocking access to information they needed to do their jobs. The DOJ says that employees – IGs – have no right to certain records.
There had been 20 years of unbroken cooperation prior to this. DOJ Inspector Michael Horowitz had written to Congress four times pointing out that no funds can go towards blocking the inspectors general’s access.
Michael Horowitz is chairman of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency which oversees all government watchdogs and also sets policy.
He went before Congress last September.
The Department of Justice asked the U.S. Attorney General’s Office of Legal Counsel whether the FBI or the DOJ IG is right. Unsurprisingly, the Office of Legal Counsel issued a memorandum which states that the FBI can use the Patriot Act to withhold wiretapping, surveillance, and credit records from the DOJ IG.
Inspector Horowitz said the disappointing decision seriously “undermines” the ability of IGs to do their jobs and will prevent them from accessing necessary records for audits, reviews, and investigations, and is contrary to the principles and express language set forth in the Inspector General Act.
This decision comes from the most transparent administration ever. Undermining is the goal. If there is one thing the Obama administration doesn’t like next to whistleblowers, it’s watchdogs.
Speaking to Congress and writing them letters made no difference. All it took was a memo from the Office of Legal Counsel to circumvent all of them.
Inspectors General will have to get permission from the agencies they scrutinize to gain access to wiretaps, grand jury, and credit information under new rules introduced by the Obama administration.
“Without such access, our office’s ability to conduct its work will be significantly impaired, and it will be more difficult for us to detect and deter waste, fraud, and abuse, and to protect taxpayer dollars,” Inspector General Michael Horowitz said in a statement, according to the Washington Post.
The department’s refusal to provide records on a timely basis as required by law wastes months in bureaucratic roadblocks and frustrates the independent oversight Congress created inspectors general to provide,” said Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, and Reps. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and John Conyers of Michigan, in a joint statement, according to the Post.
Now it’s enshrined dogma that all agencies will have neutered Inspectors General.
This is just one more decision under our dictatorship by memorandum that has been the hallmark of this administration. Barack Obama is ruling by memos, rule changes, policy directives and guidance issuances. The president has been doing this since 2009 and it escapes notice. Though just as powerful, they don’t have the same public oversight as executive orders, allowing him to operate in relative secrecy while in plain sight.
Memoranda can circumvent Congress and have the same force of law as executive orders. They are insidious and permeate every agency in the Executive Branch.
This administration is forever changing the way government does business and has effectively eliminated the threat of whistleblowers, has successfully diminished FOIA, and now they are blocking their own government watchdogs.
The administration is doing this because Obama sees the presidency as all powerful. He has no regard for our Constitution unless it’s to use it to justify his unlawful acts. He seeks to hide what he is doing from the public for whom he has no respect unless they agree with him 100%.