Â Â “My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.Â We will work together to ensure the public trustÂ and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.Â Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.Â Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about whatÂ their Government is doing. Â Information maintained by theÂ Federal Government is a national asset.Â My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, toÂ disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use.”Â (WhiteHouse.gov)
The president may be committed to an “unprecedented level of openness in Government” but it is unprecedented only because few administrations have been so opaque.
The expectation of transparency created by President Barack Hussein Obama hasÂ morphed Â into a veil of secrecy which threatens to make the Obama administration the most clandestine government in America’s history made even more secretive by media acolytes which aid and abet the administration’s shrouded activities.Â
It seems that virtually everything of consequence Obama does is cloaked in mystery and hidden from the public eye or restricted to carefully-selected witnesses such as his immigration reform summit.Â Inexplicably, Al Sharpton was invited to that confab.Â Even more inexplicably,Â governors of every border state were not.Â Â
Last month, Obama added an almost-comical touch to his secretiveness by accepting a transparency award behind closed White House doors.Â This week, Press Secretary Jay Carney added to the comedy but telling reporter Jay Kinsolving at a news briefing, “I’m not going to take your questions.”Â Kinsolving had planned to ask about Obama’s openness.Â
Aside from the entertainmentÂ value of those incidents, the administration’s lack of transparency is unsettling to say the least.Â Â
From the outset of the Obama administration, it seems Democrats led by the president have acted overtly and covertly to conceal the inner workings and informationÂ available toÂ the federalÂ government, that “national asset,”Â from the scrutiny of the public eye.Â The Congress set the tone of secrecy most notably with their closed-door machinations in writing the language of Obamacare which was so secret thatÂ then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi admitted no one had read before it was voted into law.Â
Perhaps what’s most sinister about the lack of transparency is the concerted effort at creating the appearance of open government, from the WhiteHouse.gov misleading declarations of transparency to being the first administration to publicize theÂ logs for visitors to the executive mansion.Â The only problem, a significant one, with the logs is that they’re woefully incomplete.
As the non-partisan, public watchdog Center for Public Integrity reveals, the visitor logs primarilyÂ list the names of people on tours and attending public functions, which may be interesting but totally useless as far transparency is concerned.Â Absent from those logs are the names of the movers and shakers.Â As the CPI reports, the logs omit the identities ofÂ thousands of visitors, â€œincluding lobbyists, government employees, campaign donors, policy experts,” as well as the names of first family buddies.Â
Press Secretary Carney explained the omissions by saying thatÂ it was not a matter of trying to conceal information but becauseÂ they were “not designed for public release. They are designed for security reasons.â€Â
The CPI noted that among those omitted were “more than 205,000 visits, including many that involved small meetings with the president and his key aidesâ€ and that “less than 1 percent of the estimated 500,000 visits to the White House in Obamaâ€™s first eight months” were identified: http://bit.ly/fViNFdÂ Â
That’s an awful lot of “security.”Â
Considering Obama’sÂ penchant for secrecy, it’s no wonder the administration is hiding the names of hundreds of thousands of White House visitors.Â Could they have included his mentor and ghostwriter Bill Ayers or radical Democrat Party financier George Soros?Â How many union bigwigs slipped in unobtrusively with demands in hand?Â How often did ACORN and NOW and LGBT reps and banking execs drop by just to chat?Â Did Rev. Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright pop out of the woodwork and through the White House back door?Â
We may never know all whoÂ have visited 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue over the past 27 months.Â What we do know is that President Obama’s pledge of transparency in government is as transparently fraudulent as hisÂ integrity.Â Â