Saturday, January 24, 2009

Transparency In Government

President Obama has reversed an order issued by the Bush White House which limited the flow of information to the public. And he has gone a step further, directing that there be a presumption that information is public. So that the necessity for people filing Freedom Of Information Act requests to get to the public record will be minimized.

The Bush administration limited the scope of Freedom Of Information Act Requests in the name of national security after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Obama is making it clear that as much information as possible should actually be offered to the public, disseminating it, for example, via government websites.

Imagine that. An informed public. Aware of what the people they've elected and those who are payed by their tax dollars are doing.

This directive is getting less attention than, for example, his order to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center. But in the long run, it probably has even larger implications.

He promised reform and openess in government. And it seems that this new president is bent on carrying out that pledge.


Anonymous said...

Looks like we are returning to pre 9/11. Different world we live in today. Not sure if this is a good move but hes the man in change and he is the one that will take the heat.

Anonymous said...

Considering that less than a week into his term he's already proving to be a bumbling idiot surrounded by people (of his own choosing) whose honesty is questionable (to say the least), this, too, will backfire on him.

Anonymous said...

Thirty-eight years ago my uncle, aunt and cousin were killed while taking a MAT flight back from Hong Kong to the base in Taiwan. They left behind two sons, who luckily didn't go on that trip. The story the family was given was that the plane flew in to a mountain. That story always sounded fishy to me.

Another aunt, my late uncle's sister, was in constant contact with the Airforce trying to elicit the correct information. She did receive some information under THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT but most of the pages were heavily redacted as one my surviving cousins and I were to learn upon cleaning out her apartment after she died.

We took a friend of hers out to lunch where he told us that the plane had actually been shot down by the Chinese. Apparently, Airforce friends of my family were informed and told my aunt the truth.

If you are old enough to remember, this was when Quemoy, Matsu and the Pescadora islands were an issue between the United States and China. So it took us 20 years to learn the truth. It didn't bring back beloved family members but it did make more sense to us then the original story and brought about "closure." Truth is a wonderful thing.


Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that Obama is saying that there will be more transparency in Government when he himself is unwilling to allow records about himself to be open.

It would be good if Obama tried to do something postive for a change instead of putting all his energies into contradicting Bush or the actions of the Bush administration. He has 550 election pledges to go at after all.

Silvia said...

It is a great STEP ! Obama takeing this decision, Information is the basic need for learning, knowledge,for take conconscious and be involved, be listened and could get the right expalanation to many doubts and deal with the uncertainty . Of course there are many kind of information , we should select, be careful , and as is opened information should be opened interpretation being able to acces everything we want to research , of course security is the issue and how the information is managed , the right of free ,open information is one of the human rights ,
Obama is leading to a real change since the basis , you cant do nothing better if you dont clean the house , transparency , this is not against of out of control , it demands more control ,auditing is one of them , if there were enough auditing experts in many classified information sources the situation would totally different .

Anonymous said...

You haven't changed always making sure the public knows, way back to you Citizen Patriot Days. I have news for you number the same. JT

Anonymous said...

It looks as though Obama does not understand the word, transparency! Where are the right records re: his birthplace? His records from Columbia, This is trasparency Obama style