For the Department of Homeland Security, “the system worked.” Over the past year, the Department has tried to protect itself from annoying and unwanted requests for information that they were legally required to provide through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), according to a report by AP:
“For at least a year, the report states, ‘the Homeland Security Department detoured requests for federal records to senior political advisers for highly unusual scrutiny, probing for information about the requesters and delaying disclosures deemed too politically sensitive…’ That’s according to nearly 1,000 pages of internal e-mails obtained by AP.”
Most disturbingly, the requesters themselves became targets of government investigation. FOIA documents are intended by law to be freely accessible to all American citizens upon request. The intent of the law is subverted if one becomes too intimidated to ask for the information due to the potential for government retribution. The AP story also reports that Career employees “were ordered to provide Secretary Janet Napolitano‘s political staff with information about the people who asked for records…” The information could include where they lived, whether they were reporters, even about the organizations where they worked.
DHS management also wanted to know if a member of Congress was making the request, whether they were Democrats or Republicans.
Coincidentally, this policy was immediately rescinded just as the AP got their hands on the DHS internal e-mails.
This subterfuge over FOIA requests is not unique. Requests have been ignored or refused by other government agencies under the Obama administration. Internal FCC letters concerning discussions of “talk radio” have been concealed from FOIA requests. Requests for climate change data from NASA have been denied. FOIA record requests were ignored by the Holder DOJ concerning the New Black Panther voter intimidation case. And of course all FOIA requests for Obama’s historical documents, particularly the infamous phantom birth certificate, have been vigorously fought in court and the requesters publicly ridiculed.
To me, this proves that cockroaches and progressives cannot stand the light of day.
- Tomorrow’s Hearing Will Be Quite Interesting… (theartofaccess.com)