Obama Secretly Rewrote Freedom of Information Act to Exclude Him and All WH Docs

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By: Rob Miller –  Joshuapundit  – Cross-Posted at the RightPlanet

It has come to light the President Obama, who promised the most transparent administration history was lying to the American people – again.

On April 15, 2009, a mere four months after he was sworn into office, the president decided to secretly rewrite the Freedom Of Information Act, which is designed to inform the public and provide oversight of various government activities and behavior to keep any of what it called “White House equities” from being released without a White House review:

The rewrite came in an April 15, 2009, memo from then-White House Counsel Greg Craig instructing the executive branch to let White House officials review any documents sought by FOIA requestors that involved “White House equities.”

That phrase is nowhere to be found in the FOIA, yet the Obama White House effectively amended the law to create a new exception to justify keeping public documents locked away from the public.

The equities exception is breathtaking in its breadth. As the Greg memo put it, any document request is covered, including “congressional committee requests, GAO requests, judicial subpoenas and FOIA requests.”

And it doesn’t matter what format the documents happen to be in because, according to Greg, the equities exception “applies to all documents and records, whether in oral, paper, or electronic form, that relate to communications to and from the White House, including preparations for such communications.”

This secret rewrite basically stopped federal agencies from answering FOIA requests which might include “White House equities” within the 20 days required by law, and their is no time limit on how long a ‘review’ might take.It locks away

Since the White House gets to decide for itself what “White House equities” consist of and how long the White House feels like taking to review review requests which might possibly include them, what the president and his team have effectively done is to make the FOIA law meaningless. They can label nearly everything as a ‘White House Equity’ and stonewall and exclude the public and the media forever,or pick a time to sign off on whatever gets released when it’s politically advantageous, if at all.

In one case cited by Cause of Action, the response to a request from a Los Angeles Times reporter to the Department of the Interior for “communications between the White House and high-ranking Interior officials on various politically sensitive topics” was delayed at least two years by the equities review.

“Cause of Action is still waiting for documents from 16 federal agencies, with the Department of Treasury having the longest pending request of 202 business days.

“The Department of Energy is a close second at 169 business days. The requests to the Department of Defense and Department of Health and Human Services have been pending for 138 business days,” the report said.

By the way, rewriting a portion of existing law secretly like this by the Executive Branch without going through congress is not only highly unethical, it is illegal and unconstitutional. It is a clear violation of President Obama’s Oath of Office and de facto grounds for impeachment all by itself.

An actual Speaker of the House who had respect for congress and  cared about the Constitution  would make a major public stink, bring charges in the House and submit them to the senate for trial to force the Democrats to vote against such an outright violation of law – if they dared. Unfortunately, John Boehner isn’t that kind of Speaker.

© 2005-2014 by Rob Miller

About Ask Marion

I am a babyboomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us. So far... we haven't done very well!! Favorite Quotes: "The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy"; "Do something that scares you every day!"; "The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place". At age 62 I find myself fighting inoperable uterine Cancer and thanks to the man upstairs and the prayers from so many people including many of my readers from AskMarion and JustOneMorePet... I'm beating it. After losing our business because of the economy and factors related to the re-election of President Obama in 2012 followed by 16-mos of job hunting, my architect-trained husband is working as a trucker and has only been home approximately 5-days a month since I was diagnosed, which has made everything more difficult and often lonely... plus funds are tight. Our family medical deductible is 12K per year for two of us; thank you ObamaCare. But thanks to donations from so many of you, we are making ends meet as I go through treatment while taking care of my father-in-law who is suffering from late stage Alzheimer's and my mother-in-law who suffers from RA and onset dementia as well as hearing loss, for which there are no caretaker funds, as I continue the fight here online to inform and help restore our amazing country. And finally I need to thank a core group of family, friends, and readers... all at a distance, who check in with me regularly. Plus, I must thank my furkids who have not left my side through this fight. You can see them at JustOneMorePet.
This entry was posted in Knowledge Is Power, News and politics, Politics, Progressivism, Wake Up, Watch the Other Hand, You Be the Judge. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Obama Secretly Rewrote Freedom of Information Act to Exclude Him and All WH Docs

  1. Pingback: The Wrap at Ask Marion 3.23.14 Thru 3.30.14 | askmarion

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