10-26-2011, 12:26 AM
Secret Government Workshop on Transparency Exposed
Only in Washington would you see this irony..
Quote:Secret Government Workshop on Transparency Exposed
Judicial Watch FOIA Document Obtained (5 Pages)
Judicial Watch Obtains Documents Detailing Secret Department of Justice Transparency Workshop
Saturday, 22 October 2011 15:01
By Tom Fitton
Only in Washington would political appointees think it appropriate to keep secret a government workshop on transparency. And only in Washington would a politician promote his efforts on transparency while simultaneously taking steps to keep the American people in the dark about their government.
But that’s exactly what the Obama White House did on December 7, 2009. And Judicial Watch now has the evidence to prove it.
On Monday, we released documents detailing the Obama White House decision to close to reporters a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) training workshop conducted by the Office of Information Policy (OIP) in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). JW obtained the documents from the OIP in response to a FOIA request filed on the same day the workshop was held.
The documents consist of a series of emails between White House staff and the Director of the OIP. And here are a few key excerpts from these emails demonstrating what disrespect this White House has for transparency:
* “I am going to touch base with my public affairs office re your suggestion to get their reaction. I, personally don’t object as my message is the same whether the event is open or not. Our concern had been solely with the inhibiting effect it would have on the gov’t ’ees [employees] who might not speak freely if press are there.” — Melanie Pustay, OIP Director, to Blake Roberts, Deputy Associate White House counsel, December 6, 2009.
* “Ok – please don’t have them reach out to any reporters before I clear w/ wh [White House] press.” — Blake Roberts to Melanie Pustay, December 6, 2009.
* “After talking with… ben labolt [then-Assistant White House Press Secretary], the decision is that the training will be closed to the press.” — Gina Talamona, Press Release Deputy Director for the DOJ to Melanie Pustay and Brian Hauck, Counsel to the Associate Attorney General, December 7, 2009.
* “I think you have the right to give closed training when you want it.” — Brian Hauck to Melanie Pustay and Gina Talamona.
The documents also include a statement by OIP Director Melanie Pustay regarding previous FOIA workshops: “So far I have always held parallel sessions, one for agency ‘ees [employees] and then one that is open.”
Now that’s interesting. A different workshop for “public view” than the one the employees are getting behind closed doors.
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