Posted in Political Issues, tagged Catherine Popoi, Department of Homeland Security, DHS, FOIA, Freedom of Information Act, Hillary Clinton, Janet Napolitano, Organizing for America, President Obama, Willard "Clint" Carte on March 30, 2011 |
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A political hack given a job by Obama so he can block FOIA request? This is Obama’s type of transparency. What else would you expect from a community
Mike Riggs reports, via The Daily Caller:
New emails and testimony from Department of Homeland Security FOIA officer Catherine Papoi reveal that a former Obama campaign staffer repeatedly asked Papoi and her team to redact portions of “politically sensitive” documents, as well as portions of documents that were already publicly available.
Smell the transparency?
Papoi, who came under fire at DHS for complaining that “sensitive” FOIA requests were being vetted by political employees, testified on March 3 that Willard “Clint” Carte, a DHS attorney with the title of “confidential assistant,” attempted to block a FOIA request for DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano’s calendar in which Napolitano’s secretary had referred to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as “Senator Clinton.” According to Papoi’s testimony, Carte asked that Clinton’s title be changed on the calendar in order to spare the department “embarrassment.”
“The front office wanted that changed before the response went out the door and we were pushing back saying that once you cast your net and retrieve a record, you can’t alter a record because of mere embarrassment,” Papoi said in her testimony.
According to Papoi, FOIA officers are told they can only “cast their net” one time. “Once you have retrieved the records, they lose…the living nature where they are evolving, and the statute requires that you retrieve the records and then process them,” she testified. “DOJ has also opined that you don’t cast your net twice, you cast once. You retrieve the records and you process them. So [the front office, where Carte worked] also suggested making the changes and then recasting our net, and it was explained that also was unacceptable.”
When asked why she refused, Papoi said, “Ultimately that is my job, and I have to be able to sleep at night knowing that I am doing the right thing.”
In a statement to Politico, a DHS spokesperson denied charges of meddling, saying, “In no case did this process inhibit documents from release under FOIA and only attorneys and other FOIA professionals determined the substance of redactions.”
The lies of the Obama administration continue to be exposed.
But Carte, a graduate of West Virginia University Law School, isn’t just an attorney. According to a campaign database maintained by George Washington University, Carte served as the new media director for Obama For America, Obama’s general election campaign group in West Virginia. Carte also appears as an administrator of several groups hosted on Organizing for America’s website, including “West Virginians for Obama,” “Marshall University Students for Barack Obama,” “In Support of Change,” and others.
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Those ‘fat-cat’ bankers, as Obama is fond of calling them, do not want their names out in the public. Too bad.
The Supreme Court let stand a ruling that the U.S. Federal Reserve must disclose details about its emergency lending programs to banks during the financial crisis in 2008.
A group representing major commercial banks had asked the high court to reverse a ruling by a federal appeals court that required disclosure of the lending records.
The justices rejected the banks’ appeals. The Obama administration said the appeals should be denied.
It said the financial overhaul law adopted last year set new standards on releasing information about emergency lending programs and the law required the disclosure in December of much of the data at issue in the cases.
Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, and News Corp’s [NWS 17.69 0.54 (+3.15%) ] Fox News Network had sought the bailout details under the federal freedom of information law, which requires government agencies make certain documents public.
Where was the liberal media? ABC, CBS and NBC didn’t feel this was important information for Americans to have?
The two news organizations opposed the appeals, telling the Supreme Court the appeals court decision was correct on the merits and that further delay in releasing the remaining records would be unwarranted under the law.
The appeals court ordered the disclosure of borrowers’ names, loan amounts and loan dates for transactions at the Fed’s discount window and from its emergency lending facilities.
The Clearing House Association, representing the largest commercial banks that hold more than half of all U.S. deposits, appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the emergency lending data should be kept secret.
They wanted to hide how much $$$ they received from the taxpayers.
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Looks like someone is benefitting from their association with the Obama regime and their takeover of the college loan industry.
The Daily Caller reports:
A key watchdog group issued a legal filing Thursday demanding e-mails and other documents from Education Department Sec. Arne Duncan and his top aides under the Freedom of Information Act relating to the influence of Wall Street short sellers on a controversial new regulation governing for-profit or “career” colleges.
The filing is the latest step in a lawsuit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed in October to compel the release of documents under the law.
After dragging its feet for months – and suddenly facing legal action – the Education Department released almost 2,000 pages of documents in late December, according to CREW’s March 17 filing.
However, the agency did not search for documents from Arne Duncan, his top aides in the Office of the Secretary, or several other top officials. CREW is now demanding in court the Education Department produce documents from those officials.
The documents are important because they could show the extent of involvement by Wall Street short sellers at the top levels of the agency in a bitter fight over strict new regulations of the for-profit education sector.
This is in reference to the Obama regime taking over the college loan industry.
Critics of the schools pushing the regulations say they trick unprepared students into enrolling with false promises of high wages from the jobs they’ll get after graduation, leaving taxpayers on the hook when those students default on their student loans.
The administration loves to put the taxpayers on the hook for most things.
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Has Obama kept any of the promises he made as a Senator besides redistribution of wealth? This is another article about Obama hiding records, and we all know he is good at hiding records.
WASHINGTON — Two years into its pledge to improve government transparency, the Obama administration took action on fewer requests for federal records from citizens, journalists, companies and others last year even as significantly more people asked for information. The administration disclosed at least some of what people wanted at about the same rate as the previous year.
Wonder how many of these requests were for Obama’s own records? He sealed these records shut with his first executive order…his first week in office and has spent millions to keep them secret. Even Obama’s preferred reading, the Huffington Post, pointed out this violation of transparency.
People requested information 544,360 times last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act from the 35 largest agencies, up nearly 41,000 more than the previous year, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of new federal data. But the government responded to nearly 12,400 fewer requests.
The administration refused to release any sought-after materials in more than 1-in-3 information requests, including cases when it couldn’t find records, a person refused to pay for copies or the request was determined to be improper under the law. It refused more often to quickly consider information requests about subjects described as urgent or especially newsworthy. And nearly half the agencies that AP examined took longer – weeks more, in some cases – to give out records last year than during the previous year.
The government’s responsiveness under the Freedom of Information Act is widely considered a barometer of how transparent federal offices are. The AP’s analysis comes a day before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining the Obama administration’s progress.
There were some improvements. The administration less frequently invoked the “deliberative process” exemption under the law to withhold records describing decision-making behind the scenes. President Barack Obama had directed agencies to use it less often, but the number of such cases had surged after his first year in office to more than 71,000. It fell last year to 53,360. The exemption was still commonly invoked last year at the Homeland Security Department, which accounted for nearly 80 percent of cases across the whole government.
If it was up by 71,000 in Obama’s first year and still up by 53,360 his second year, where is the improvement? This means in Obama’s first two years, his agencies still used the exemption more than Bush. Wonder how lefties feel about this?
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Posted in Political Issues, tagged Attorney General Eric Holder, Department of Justice, DOJ's Civil Rights Division, Freedom of Information Act, J. Christian Adams, liberal bias, National Public Radio, New Black Panther Party, voter intimidation, Voting Rights Act on February 11, 2011 |
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Former DOJ lawyer J. Christian Adams, now a whistleblower, reveals new liberal bias at Eric Holder’s Justice Department. Recall Adams was the one who alerted the public about how the Holder DOJ dealt with the Philadelphia New Black Panther Party and their alleged voter intimidation in the 2008 election.
Now Adams alleges a new example of exceptional bias at Holder’s DOJ with his claim that the DOJ often ignores or delays FOI requests from more conservative entities, but liberal entities get immediate service. Adams offers the following:
“The documents show a pattern of politicized compliance within the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. In particular, I have obtained FOIA logs that demonstrate as of August 2010, the most transparent administration in history is anything but. The logs provide the index number of the information request, the date of the request, the requestor, and the date of compliance.
For example, Republican election attorney Chris Ashby of LeClair Ryan made a request for the records of five submissions made under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Ashby waited nearly eight months for a response. Afterwards, Susan Somach of the “Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda,” a group headed by Rev. Joseph Lowery, made requests for 23 of the same type of records. While Ashby waited many months for five records, Somach waited only 20 days for 23 records. Under the Obama DOJ, FOIA requests from conservative media never obtained any response from the Civil Rights Division, while National Public Radio obtained a response in five days.
In 2006, Charlie Savage, then at the not-yet-insolvent Boston Globe, requested all of the resumes of the recently hired attorneys in the Bush Civil Rights Division — including mine. DOJ leadership was convinced rushing out the resumes of dozens of lawyers far before the deadline was a good thing. …
Continue reading Snidely\’s article>>>
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Posted in Political Issues, tagged Darrell Issa (R-Calif), Department of Homeland Security, DHS, FOIA, Freedom of Information Act, Obama, political appointees, President Obama, transparency on February 2, 2011 |
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Obama and his minions are still picking politics over transparency. It seems any questionable FOIA request is sent to Obama’s political appointees who then scrutinize and reject the request.
TheDC Exclusive– The Obama administration snubbed top GOP oversight official Rep. Darrell Issa on his first major document deadline as new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sending a short letter promising to comply in response to a major information request that was due Saturday at noon.
But Issa is hitting back Tuesday with a demand key documents be sent in two days.
The Obama snub is the first sign of how the administration will respond to demands for documents and testimony by key officials from Republicans in control of the House now that the GOP holds the power of congressional subpoena.
A Jan. 28 letter from the Department of Homeland Security promised to cooperate with Issa’s document request sent Jan. 14 – but Issa’s deadline for the documents expired the next day.
“I asked DHS to produce this information by Jan. 29 – two weeks from the date of my second letter,” Issa says in his Feb. 1 reply to the deadline snub, “The department gave no indication that it would not be able to comply with the deadline.”
Further, Issa charges that top DHS officials actually instructed career employees not to search for the documents he is requesting.
“I was disappointed to learn that on or about Jan. 20, 2011, DHS’s Office of General Counsel instructed career staff in the Privacy Office not to search for documents responsive to my request,” Issa says in the Feb. 1 letter.
Issa is requesting documents from DHS about political interference with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the agency.
In July, the Associated Press reported top DHS officials told career employees to steer sensitive FOIA requests to Obama’s political advisers for unusual scrutiny.
FOIA requests by lawmakers, watchdog groups and journalists were subjected to the special political reviews.
In his response to the deadline snub, Issa demands a set of key documents in two days, including e-mails between key DHS officials and the Obama White House.
Looks as if Obama and his minions have something to hide. The talk about transparency is just that…all talk.
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Posted in Political Issues, tagged Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Bob Marshall, climate change, climate research, FOIA, Freedom of Information Act, global warming, Greenpeace, Michael Mann, Pat Michaels, University of Virgina on February 1, 2011 |
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Now why would the University of Virginia refuse to release climate research documents of a known climate fraud such as Michael Mann. Mann is the global warming alarmist who used fraudulent data to produce his fraudulent hockey-stick graph. The University of Virginia eventually turned over the documents for Prof. Pat Michaels but claimed the documents of Prof. Michael Mann were burned.
You see, Prof. Michaels was a climate change denier while Prof. Michael Mann was a climate change alarmist. The university doesn’t want to show the world Mann’s fraudulent research.
The Daily Caller reports:
For months, the University of Virginia has been involved in a legal battle with state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli over an investigation into government grants given to a university professor who allegedly used the money to falsify research supporting climate change. Now, some are also accusing the university of treating a professor whose views do not exactly accept the mainstream view of man-made global warming unfavorably.
At issue are the documents and research materials of two former university professors: Pat Michaels and Michael Mann. The university received Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for research materials from both professors, but its response to the respective requests has left some accusing the school of bias.
When Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall submitted a request for the research materials of Mann, he was told by university officials that the documents had been destroyed because the professor was no longer an employee.
When Greenpeace, a national environmental advocacy organization, requested the same materials for Michaels, university officials promptly began the process of complying with the FOIA and told the organization how much the fee would be.
But in an interview with The Daily Caller, Michaels said that when he found out about the disparate treatment, he called the school but it â€œbecame pretty obvious they did not want to talk to me.â€
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Looks like some political cronies of Obama are trying to keep something a secret. This is “transparency,” Obama-style.
Washington – A House committee has asked the Homeland Security Department to provide documents about an agency policy that required political appointees to review many Freedom of Information Act requests, according to a letter obtained Sunday by The Associated Press.
The letter to Homeland Security was sent late Friday by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. It represents an early move by House Republicans who have vowed to launch numerous probes of President Barack Obama’s administration, ranging from its implementation of the new health care law to rules curbing air pollution to spending in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Associated Press reported in July that for at least a year, Homeland Security had sidetracked hundreds of requests for federal records to top political advisers to the department’s secretary, Janet Napolitano. The political appointees wanted information about those requesting the materials, and in some cases the release of documents considered politically sensitive was delayed, according to numerous e-mails that were obtained by the AP.
The Freedom of Information Act is supposed to ensure the quick public release of requested government documents without political consideration. Obama has said his administration would emphasize openness in providing requested federal records.
According to Issa’s letter, Homeland Security’s chief privacy officer and FOIA official told committee staff in September that political appointees were simply made aware of “significant and potentially controversial requests.”
Mary Ellen Callahan told them that political appointees reviewed the agency’s FOIA response letters for grammatical and other errors and did not edit or delay their release, the letter states. She also told the committee that Homeland Security abandoned the practice in response to the AP’s article, according to Issa’s letter.
Continue reading about Obama\’s brand of transparency>>>
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Posted in Political Issues, tagged civil rights, Democrats, disclosure, Freedom of Information Act, Judicial Watch, Justice Department, New Black Panther Party, Obama Administration, President Obama, transparency, voter intimidation on December 14, 2010 |
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They say sunlight is the best disinfectant. Maybe this is why the Obama administration is blocking transparency on the decision to drop charges against members of the New Black Panther Party. Sunlight is Obama’s kryptonite.
The Washington Post reports:
Judicial Watch is exposing the emptiness of open-government promises by President Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. These Democrats have stiffed the legal public-interest group’s Freedom of Information requests related to the Justice Department’s dismissal of a voter-intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party. Judicial Watch’s Dec. 7 filings reveal the false basis for the administration’s novel claims of “privilege” against disclosure.
Judicial Watch says Justice has withheld “approximately 80 documents in their entirety.” The department claims many are protected by the “deliberative process privilege.” That exemption from disclosure is intended to provide for what the administration calls “a more fulsome decision-making process” without fear of staffers being embarrassed by suggestions they made merely to examine all sides of an issue.
Courts long have established that this privilege applies only to memorandums that are “pre-decisional.” Once a decision has been made and enacted, the deliberative process has ended. Many of the unreleased documents were created after Justice ended the Black Panther case and thus clearly were not part of the deliberative process. Judicial Watch bolsters its common-sense argument by citing the Supreme Court precedent in NLRB v. Sears (1975): “Communications made after the decision and designed to explain it are not privileged.” Case closed.
The disputed documents remain important for understanding how the Black Panther case was bungled and also for examination of the more serious issue of whether Mr. Holder’s team as a matter of policy shows a “hostility to race-neutral enforcement” of the laws. On another level, what’s highly disturbing is what Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton calls the Obama administration’s “contemptuous attitude” toward the public’s legal rights to government transparency. Claiming pre-decisional privilege for actions taken after a case is over is contemptuous of the public’s right to know.
Mr. Obama and Mr. Holder repeatedly have promised what the president called “an unmatched level of transparency, participation and accountability across the entire administration.” Mr. Holder likewise advertised “a presumption of disclosure to all FOIA requests.” That Holder quote is from March 15. The next day, Associated Press ran a story that the liberal Huffington Post headlined “Obama’s broken promise: Federal agencies not more transparent under Obama administration.” By August, the left-leaning Sunlight Foundation headlined a report saying the White House “Abandons commitment to transparency.” On Dec. 8, Sunlight Executive Director Ellen S. Miller concluded, “Simply put, the president’s commitment to transparency is not yet living up to its full potential.”
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Posted in Political Issues, tagged Bush Administration, disclosure records, federal workers, FOIA, FOIA exemptions, Freedom of Information Act, Obama Administration, President Obama, Supreme Court, transparency on December 12, 2010 |
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Cough…transparency, smamparency. Obama is all about the status quo and has used more FOIA exemptions than….BUSH!
MIke Riggs reports, via The Daily Caller:
Here’s what you won’t hear in the White House’s aggressive castigation of Julian Assange and Wikileaks: The Australian activist is doing the U.S. government’s job better than the U.S. government. The success of Wikileaks is a harsh reminder that while a small group of rogue hackers can destabilize international diplomatic relations, the federal government still cannot — or in some cases, refuses to — release non-classified documents to the public upon request.
In March, the Associated Press reported that FOIA exemptions rose during Obama’s first year in office. In October, we reported on a survey that found many federal workers tasked with responding to FOIA requests don’t know how to do their jobs, and that their bosses don’t either. More recently, the Electronic Frontier Foundation uncovered arbitrary and conflicting redactions in identical sets of FOIA documents.
This is how our government works. Inefficient at everything it does…except spend our money and tax us more.
Now even the Supreme Court seems to think that the Freedom of Information Act is in need of a major overhaul: During a hearing last week, every justice but one was “surprisingly hostile” to a oft-used government argument for withholding information.
Milner v. Department of the Navy, which the Supreme Court heard at the beginning of this month, is a direct challenge to one of the federal government’s most popular excuses for withholding information: exemption 2. The definition of this exemption is specific enough for a troglodyte to understand: Agencies can deny requests for information “related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency.”
Here’s the full rule:
(b)(2) EXEMPTION 2 Internal Personnel Rules and Practices. This exemption exempts from mandatory disclosure records “related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency.” Courts have interpreted the exemption to encompass two distinct categories of information:
(a) internal matters of a relatively trivial nature–sometimes referred to as “low2″ information; and
(b) more substantial internal matters, the disclosure of which would risk circumvention of a legal requirement–sometimes referred to as “high 2″ information.
According to an AP report released in March of this year, use of this exemption by federal employees has skyrocketed under Obama. While there are many exemptions to choose from, exemption 2’s definition has been expanded over the last several decades by countless federal employees, and upheld by the typically liberal 9th Circuit Court.
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