POLITICO ~ President Obama’s muddy transparency record

By JOSH GERSTEIN at Politico |3/5/12 4:52 AM EST

“Obama is the sixth administration that’s been in office since I’ve been doing Freedom of Information Act work. … It’s kind of shocking to me to say this, but of the six, this administration is the worst on FOIA issues. The worst. There’s just no question about it,’ said Katherine Meyer, a Washington lawyer who’s been filing FOIA cases since 1978. ‘This administration is raising one barrier after another. … It’s gotten to the point where I’m stunned — I’m really stunned.’…..The administration has embarked on an unprecedented wave of prosecutions of whistleblowers and alleged leakers — an effort many journalists believe is aimed at blocking national security-related stories. ‘There just seems to be a disconnect here. You want aggressive journalism abroad; you just don’t want it in the United States,’ ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper told White House press secretary Jay Carney at a recent briefing for reporters.” … READ ENTIRE POLITICO ARTICLE


About Sharon Kramer

Hi, I'm an advocate for integrity in health marketing and in the courts.
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6 Responses to POLITICO ~ President Obama’s muddy transparency record

  1. Dana Toliver says:


    & please excuse my typos….. caught them after I hit the post button

  2. Dana Toliver says:


    With all due respect, you totally missed my point and please don’t mix my comment up with someone elses. My comment is seperate from anyone else’s comment. It appears to me that you are trying to hash your point across about this one particular person and article. I was simply speaking in general terms not necessarilly specific to this person or article. If you read and understood my comment then you would never have included me in your response back or felt the need to respond back in any way!

    You state and I quote:
    “Please don’t let yourself be fooled. Stop “looking for a fight” with information provided by partisan blogs. Focus on NEWS, not blogs, or editorials. Save your energy for the REAL fights that lie ahead of us, with the REAL enemy.”

    1. I am NOT fooled (don’t know where you come off with that idea based off of my comment?)
    2. I’m NOT looking for a fight (it’s seems as though you are the one looking for a fight)
    3. I only focus on TRUTH!!! (to assume I only focus on blogs is very narrow minded of you)
    4. It seems as though you are the one who needs to save your energy for the real fight….

    It is very clear to me that your only intend is to spread hate; well mine is to spread LOVE, PEACE & TRUTH!!! I am sorry you misunderstood my comment!

    You also stated and I quote:
    “The lawsuit has absolutely nothing to do with “whistle blowers” or “transparency” of government.”

    1. I NEVER said anything about the lawsuit being about whistleblowers or transparency!

    My point was not about the context of what was in the article or the lawsuit but you clearly misunderstood that!

    It would behoove you to NOT put words in people’s mouths!

  3. joseph salowitz says:

    I’m sure if Katy and Dana take the time to read the law suit that Josh Gerstein refered to, in his Politico article

    Click to access ciarecssuit.pdf

    and the “C.I.A. Freedom of Information Act” annual report http://www.foia.cia.gov/txt/annual_report_2008.pdf
    that the lawsuit claims is not being enforced, they will see that the lawsuit has absolutely nothing to do with their concerns. The lawsuit is simply a complaint the the C.I.A. is not moving “fast enough”, and “cheaply enough” to provide requested information. The lawsuit has absolutely nothing to do with “whistle blowers” or “transparency” of government.

    The Politico article was written by a right-wing conservative, with conservative credentials [the New York Sun], as an exercise in “political propaganda” against President Obama and his administration. Please don’t let yourself be fooled. Stop “looking for a fight” with information provided by partisan blogs. Focus on NEWS, not blogs, or editorials. Save your energy for the REAL fights that lie ahead of us, with the REAL enemy.

  4. Dana Toliver says:

    With just skimming through all the posts, the bottom line is whether you agree with Josh’s perspective or not, we can all agree that there is a serious problem with all governments around the world speaking the truth to the citizen’s of the world. It has been proven time and time again that most politicians, presidents, government officials lie and cover up what they so choose to then it comes out 10, 20 years later that they lied! It serves no purpose to keep pointing out one politician, president or government official in an article because it wouldn’t make a difference if it was Kermit the Frog as president or Ms. Piggy; the agenda stays the same the lies will keep coming and things still need to change for the better not worse!! What needs to be wriiten is how ‘the system’ around th world really works, who’s really running things and what we can do to change and actually fix it!

  5. katy says:

    Hi Joe,

    I don’t agree with your evaluation of situation. I happen to be in a position that I am keeping up on lack of protection for whistle blowers these days. I also follow problems with Freedom of Information requests being granted on state and federal levels. So while I don’t agree with you, I do agree with your right to have your opinion heard. That’s what it is really all about, isn’t? Transparency and the right to speak what you believe to be the truth in America, whether others agree with you or not!

  6. joseph salowitz says:

    It would take much too long to verify the author’s [Josh Gerstein] statements, as he conveniently fails to give links to the specific cases he is referring to, so, I have sent you, below, the biographical info that I could find on him. One of his previous jobs was working for the New York Sun [Sun info follows bio info]. I live in New York City, so I can verify that the Sun [ceased print edition in 2008] was one of the most FASCIST RAGS ever sold in New York City.

    If you wallow in the pig sty with other pigs, you emerge from the sty as a pig.

    If you understand the political bias that he has, then you can read his work with the intellectual awareness that it requires. Unfortunately, most of my fellow countrymen/women have lost that “questioning perspective”, when the read, or view, anything that appears online.

    God help the United States of America !
    Your mold buddy, Joe

    Josh Gerstein is a White House reporter for POLITICO, specializing in legal and national security issues. Gerstein joined the pathbreaking political news outlet just before President Barack Obama’s inauguration and has reported extensively on how Obama’s pledge to close the Guantanamo Bay prison for war-on-terror captives went awry. His articles also have explored how expectations that the Obama administration would dramatically reform the legal architecture of the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism policies have proven to be mistaken.

    Gerstein has covered the Supreme Court nominations of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, the Obama administration’s little-heralded crackdown on leaks and the surprisingly icy relationship between the press and the Obama White House.

    From 2003 to 2008, Gerstein was The New York Sun’s national reporter and covered national politics, terrorism trials and other legal stories of national significance. He was one of few national reporters to provide in-depth coverage of the legal saga of Sami Al-Arian, a former Florida college professor who has spent nearly two decades under the scrutiny of federal prosecutors over his ties to Palestinian Islamic jihad. Gerstein also covered the trial of Lewis Libby, the Bush White House aide who was convicted on obstruction of justice charges in the investigation of the CIA leak and who later had his jail sentence commuted by the president.

    Gerstein worked for ABC News from 1995 to 2003. He was what has come to be called an embed on the 1996 presidential bid of former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kansas). Gerstein later spent five years covering the White House for ABC as a producer and correspondent. He was on the White House beat during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and when President George W. Bush faced the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    In the weeks that followed, Gerstein was among the first to report on a policy that made many immigration cases closed to the public. He also wrote for the New Republic about the Justice Department’s aggressive use of material witness warrants to detain those suspected of having ties to terrorism.

    From 2002 to 2003, Gerstein was the Beijing correspondent for ABC. He made a series of trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan, reporting for programs such as “Nightline” on the messages received by the families of Guantanamo prisoners and the precautions taken to protect U.S. diplomats. He reported for “World News Tonight” on the SARS crisis from the deserted streets of China’s capital and from the rural farms in Guangzhou, where the virus was thought to have originated.

    Prior to joining ABC, Gerstein worked in CNN’s investigative unit and covered terrorism-related stories, such as the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

    Gerstein attended Harvard College and received a Bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in government. He’s also the author of a 1991 Massachusetts law, requiring college and university police departments to keep a public log of arrests and reported crimes.

    While not a lawyer, Gerstein’s an expert on the Freedom of Information Act and has pursued several lawsuits seeking records on federal contracting, allegations of abuse of detainees at Guantanamo, use of the sneak-and-peek provisions of the Patriot Act, and the government’s handling of leaks of classified information.
    The Sun was founded by a group of investors including publishing magnate Conrad Black, with the intent of providing an alternative to The New York Times, featuring front page news pertaining to local and state events, in contrast to the Times’ emphasis on national and international news. It began business operations, prior to first publication, in October 2001.
    The newspaper’s president and editor-in-chief was Seth Lipsky, former editor of The Forward. Its managing editor was Ira Stoll, who also served as a company vice-president. The paper’s motto, displayed on its masthead and website, was “It Shines For All”, also the name of a blog that was part of the Sun’s online presence. Stoll had been a longtime critic of the Times in his media watchdog blog smartertimes.com. When smartertimes.com became defunct, its Web traffic was redirected to the Sun website.

    Published from the Cary Building in lower Manhattan, it ceased print publication on September 30, 2008. Its website resumed activity on April 28, 2009, but only contains a small subset of the original content of the paper, mostly focusing on editorials rather than news content.

    Editorial perspective and reception

    Editor-in-chief Lipsky remarked that the paper’s prominent op-ed page would champion “limited government, individual liberty, constitutional fundamentals, equality under the law, economic growth … standards in literature and culture, education.” Another goal, said Lipsky, was “to seize the local beat from which The New York Times was retreating as it sought to become a national newspaper.” Stoll characterized the Sun’s political orientation as “right-of-center”, and an associate of Conrad Black predicted in 2002 that the paper would be neoconservative in its outlook.

    The Sun’s roster of columnists included many prominent conservative and neoconservative pundits, including William F. Buckley, Jr., Michael Barone, Daniel Pipes, and Mark Steyn.

    The Sun supported President George W. Bush and his decision to launch the Iraq War in 2003, and courted controversy with an unsigned February 6, 2003, editorial arguing that protesters against the war should be prosecuted for treason. The paper also urged strong action against the perceived threat of the Islamic Republic of Iran and was also known for its forceful coverage of Jewish-related issues and advocacy for Israel’s right of self-defense as evidenced in articles by pro-Israel reporter Aaron Klein.

    The Sun established a readership niche for itself in New York. Alex Jones of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy said, “It was a newspaper especially savored by people who don’t like The New York Times, and there are plenty of those in New York.” The paper also scored more scoops than would be expected for its size and Stephen B. Shepard, dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, said that its effective coverage of local news earned it a place in the New York media world. Accordingly, it was known as a good place for young, ambitious, scrappy reporters to start out in.

    According to Scott Sherman, writing in The Nation in April 2007, the Sun was “a broadsheet that injects conservative ideology into the country’s most influential philanthropic, intellectual and media hub;


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