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2 Live CREW: Transparent As They Wanna Be

By ObamaNerd July 23, 2009



[caption id="attachment_10168" align="alignright" width="340" caption="Obama doing his best Bush impression. "]Obama doing his best Bush impression.  [/caption]

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, will soon file suit against the Obama Administration for withholding certain information from a public records request the group made around the health care debate. 

Specifically, CREW sent a letter to the Secret Service asking for the names of the 18 health care industry execs who visited with Obama recently to talk about health care reform, as well as details about the meeting. Although the White House did release a letter, written by House Counsel Greg Craig, telling CREW who visited and whenthey claimed that any other information about the meeting was exempt from public disclosure.

Sounding scarily familiar?

It might—if you're a conspiracy theorist.  Some people think we heard the same argument from the Bush Administration in 2001 over their Energy Task Force (a la Cheney).  Further, these people would argue that by withholding this information, Obama is breaking his pledge of open and transparent government, and that because he's breaking that pledge, there really is no difference between his administration and the Bush Administration when it comes to protecting their own asses from scrutiny.

These people also wear tinfoil hats and watch "X-Files." I suspect they also enjoy killing kittens and gays for sport.

For you O-lovers out there who are concerned, let me calm your nerves: We are not repeating history and certainly not THAT history. 

I have a perfectly reasonable explanation for this and it's called the junk email folder.  Sometimes emails from my friends go to my junk folder on accident and I go for weeks without seeing invites to P. Diddy's pool parties. Did CREW bother to check their fucking junk mail folder?!  Did they?!  Clearly not.

Just so I could feel better about what those meanies at CREW are doing and to underscore my point that Obama is on the right side of transparency and good government I took a little stroll over to the Google to see if I could find some quotes from our beloved President O about either transparency and the health care debate or about the Energy Task Force secrecy of yesteryear.  Here are the results of a few quick searches on the internets:

Jan 2009, White House web site: " My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration...Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.  Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use." 

Word. Totally down with that!

Sept 2008:  Chester, VA Campaign Stop:  "We'll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies."

When is that televised negotiation happening exactly?  I need to set my TiVo, guys!

July 2008, "If he [Obama] were elected president, his inclination would be to be much more transparent than this particular White House has been,” said Greg Craig, a senior adviser to the Obama campaign.  As an example, Craig said the secrecy surrounding Cheney’s energy task force “is not in Obama’s DNA.” 

There you have it.  No reason for concern, CREW.  Greg Craig, the same person who penned your response above, SAYS it's not in Obama's DNA. 

So I strongly suggest before you go tossing around frivolous lawsuits that you check your junk mail folder for the full disclosure followup email.  It's sitting there.  I am sure of it.
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