What Happened to Transparency?

08 January 2014 |permalink | email article

When Presidency Obama took office in 2009, he promised a “rare level of openness in government. The day after his inauguration, he wrote. “The government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculation or abstract fears. In the latest reminder that the Obama administration has failed to live up to the promise, the Justice administration has failed to live up to that promise. The Justice Department last week week won its fight to keep secret a memo that outlines the supposed legal authority for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to collect Americans’ telephone and financial records without a subpoena or court order. Edward Snowden’s unauthorized secret mass surveillance programs have forever changed the public discussion about the relationship between national security and the protection of privacy and civil liberties.

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