Transparency You Can Bereave In

Now that the Associated Press has finished fact-checking Sarah Palin’s book, they have a little time to do some homework about Obama and members of his administration — something that might have been helpful had it been done in 2008.

First, for a little perspective, there’s this from the White House website:

My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

With that in mind, there’s this from the Associated Press:

The government’s use of legal exemptions to keep records secret rose during President Barack Obama’s first year in office, despite promises of increased openness, an Associated Press review found.

The review of annual Freedom of Information Act reports filed by 17 major agencies found that overall, the use of nearly every one of the open-records law’s nine exemptions to withhold information rose in fiscal year 2009, which ended last October.

Among the most frequently used exemptions: one that lets the government hold back records that detail its internal decision-making. Obama had directed agencies to stop using that exemption so frequently, but that directive appears to have been widely ignored.

Major agencies cited that exemption to refuse records at least 70,779 times during the 2009 budget year, compared with 47,395 times during President George W. Bush’s final full budget year, according to annual FOIA reports filed by federal agencies. Obama was president for nine months in the 2009 period.

There is simply no way an increasingly monstrous and power-hungry government can or will allow itself to be “transparent,” no matter how much lip service it gets — it’s a paradox.

For what Obama, Pelosi and Reid have in mind for the country, to be truly transparent would be like covering themselves in honey and walking into the bear cage at the zoo — and unfortunately they’re not that stupid. Their version of transparency is holding up a cinder block and telling everybody it’s cellophane. Some believe it, but that number is decreasing quickly.

We might not be able to see through their government, but we can see through them, and that’s what really matters. If that’s what they mean by pledging to be more transparent, then Mission Accomplished!

Update: The transparency continues.

Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: