Chaffetz: Obama Fails Transparency Test

In a USA Today op-ed, Rep. Jason Chaffetz says the Obama administration has consistently flouted laws intended to ensure open and accountable government.

Writes Chaffetz:

When President Obama took office, he vowed to run “the most transparent administration in history.” As his presidency draws to an end, those words would be laughable if the issue were not so serious.

 

At nearly every turn, this administration has blocked public disclosure and ignored almost every law intended to ensure open and accountable government.

 

Hillary Clinton’s private email server is just the latest, most public example. Numerous other incidents involve the concealment of documents, providing only partial information, slow-walking congressional requests and using private email accounts and secret meetings to avoid official records-keeping laws. These sorts of tactics have become common practice for this administration.

 

The most brazen examples occasionally get media attention: Former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson created a fictitious email address under the alias name “Richard Windsor,” hiding official actions from public scrutiny. But more typically, the pervasive stonewalling does not make headlines.

Congress isn’t alone on the Obama administration’s enemies list. According to ananalysis of federal data by the Associated Press (AP), the Obama administration set new records two years in a row for denying the media access to government files. According to the AP, “The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn’t find documents and refused a record number of times to turn over files.”

 

Moreover, in an unprecedented letter to several congressional committees, 47 inspectors general, who are the official watchdogs of federal agencies, complained that the Justice Department, EPA and others consistently obstruct their work by blocking or delaying access to critical information. Worse yet, the White House and Secretary Clinton refused to install an Inspector General during her tenure at the State Department.