Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Obama blocks access to visitors log?

Well so much for transparency.

The Obama administration is fighting to block access to names of visitors to the White House, taking up the Bush administration argument that a president doesn't have to reveal who comes calling to influence policy decisions.

Despite President Barack Obama's pledge to introduce a new era of transparency to Washington, and despite two rulings by a federal judge that the records are public, the Secret Service has denied msnbc.com's request for the names of all White House visitors from Jan. 20 to the present. It also denied a narrower request by the nonpartisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which sought logs of visits by executives of coal companies.

I can understand the need for occasional secrecy in case of emergencies or secret negotiations, but it's the people's house and we should know who the President is seeing. The Federal Bench agrees with this reasoning, and no amount of hokey-pokey between the President's office and the Secret Service is going to change the fact that this looks like a LACK of transparency, which is something we've suffered for too long to take lightly, now.

Barry, come on. Tell us who you're meeting with. We have the right to know. And if you have to do something secret, meet them at a Parliament Funkadelic concert.


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