Government Transparency Hits Record Low

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

“It’s National Security”…Government Transparency Hits Record Low in 2012 Under Obama

Surprise, surprise... the 'most transparent administration ever' is, well, the least transparent.  Not that any of you are shocked by this revelation, but a new report by the Associated Press demonstrates just how secret our government and intelligence agencies have become.  Not only did they claim “national security” over and over like a bunch of drunk parrots, they also claimed the need to protect “internal deliberations.”  Specifically, the number of times the government withheld or censored reports in 2012 was 479,000 times, up 22% from 2011.  The CIA denied 60% of requests, up from 49% in 2011.  From the Associated Press:

The AP examined more than 5,600 data elements measuring the administration’s performance on government transparency since Obama’s election.


When the government withheld or censored records, it cited exceptions built into the law to avoid turning over materials more than 479,000 times, a roughly 22 percent increase over the previous year.


In a year of intense public interest over deadly U.S. drones, the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, terror threats and more, the government cited national security to withhold information at least 5,223 times — a jump over 4,243 such cases in 2011 and 3,805 cases in Obama’s first year in office. The secretive CIA last year became even more secretive: Nearly 60 percent of 3,586 requests for files were withheld or censored for that reason last year, compared with 49 percent a year earlier.


U.S. courts are loath to overrule the administration whenever it cites national security. A federal judge, Colleen McMahon of New York, in January ruled against The New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union to see records about the government’s legal justification for drone attacks and other methods it has used to kill terrorism suspects overseas, including American citizens. She cited an “Alice in Wonderland” predicament in which she was expected to determine what information should be revealed but unable to challenge the government’s secrecy claim. Part of her ruling was sealed and made available only to the government’s lawyers.

Think about how scary that is.  Judges just accept government claims and then the public isn’t allowed to see the relevant parts of her ruling.

Let’s now finish with this statement from Alexander Abdo, an ACLU staff attorney for its national security project:

"In some ways, the Obama administration is actually even more aggressive on secrecy than the Bush administration."

Full article here.

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DJ Happy Ending's picture

It's all Bush's fault.

Hopium Dealer's picture

5 years later, Liberals use the same talking points.

James_Cole's picture

It's not Bush's fault, it's not Obamas fault it's the peoples fault. You want more government accountability? Demand it. You don't live in fucking North Korea.

FeralSerf's picture

You're right.  North Korea doesn't kill its citizens with UAVs or get involved in undeclared wars for resources everywhere.

Monedas's picture

The Korean War was naked agression, idiot !  North Korea is too cheap to waste UAV's on killing their serfs .... starvation and firing squads and gulags are much cheaper !  What a completely brain dead cunt post you are make ?

Monedas's picture

Communists will sell us the crude oil .... to make the napalm .... we dump on them !

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

"The Korean War was naked agression"

Which side are you referring to here?'s picture

On the spectrum of evil, I think the governments of US and North Korea are pretty close but for very different reasons. 

narapoiddyslexia's picture

According to George Washington's contemporaneous blog the citizens have record transparency [??] while according to this blog the government has record opacity??

Sounds like everything is according to plan...



GMadScientist's picture

I'm going to start a WH petition for eliminating all WH petitions that ask for something Americans already have.

I don't think it will get enough signatures.

Am I clear? ;)'s picture

Regardless, it pays to prep no matter which country you live in...

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Three is at least some truth in what you say, James_Cole.  We get what we voted for.

Dealyer Turdin's picture

That's not what your Diebold said.  Dadum SHick!

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Me neither I was in the 1% that voted Gary Johnson.

spankfish's picture

I used to write in Gus Hall for shits and giggles.  When friends would ask me who I voted for I would tell them.  Always got puzzled looks.  Nobody knew who he was.

I have always wondered when we would go full bore to whatever was the latest "ism" is anyway.  We seem to fast approaching a very ugly new "ism", I don't know what they will call it.  It seems to be a mashup of all the other "isms". 

This last election I wrote in the Riot Dog.  Next election I am writing in "shits and giggles"... that's if we have an election or I haven't been droned.

Oh, just got back about a week ago from a well deserved vacation.  Did the whole Simon Black thing in Chile... just kidding.  Did go to Chile though.  Great beer, wine, food and two legged Ferrari's.


GMadScientist's picture

So next year you'll vote in Pinochet.

ejmoosa's picture

The higher voter turnouts have gone, the more certain those that won believe they were put there to fuck over those that lost.

You really think if we had 100% turnout, that somehow all our rights would be magically protected?

It's the Judicial System that is destroying us.  They have had the power to say "No".

But they do not.

It's now up to the states to nullify the unconstitutional laws.



CheapBastard's picture

Some veterans are waiting six months to see VA doctors to fix their broken dentures or artificial knees and at least two veterans died last year from diseases “due to delay in care” at their local VA hospitals, according congressional testimony delivered Thursday.

Meanwhile, staffers at several Veterans Affairs medical centers were found to have rigged computer records to make it appear as though there are little or no wait times for ex-service members when, in reality, backlogs for veterans needing exams and treatment can span six to eight weeks, additional testimony revealed.

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

That is nothing new. My grandfather who is in his 90s now is a WWII vet and what takes 6 months to get done for most everyone else with the VA they fast track him because of his WWII service and it gets done in 3 in most cases.

nmewn's picture


One can get hold of all kinds of information these days that goes unreported on by government media the inspector generals report on the Department of Injustice...

– “Many of those individuals told the OIG that they believed that the reason the voting rights laws were enacted was to protect historic victims of discrimination and therefore the Section should prioritize its resources accordingly. Additionally, some of these individuals, including one current manager, admitted to us that, while they believed that the text of the Voting Rights Act is race-neutral and applied to all races, they did not believe the Voting Section should pursue cases on behalf of White victims.”

– Threats were made to African American employees by other Justice Department staff.
The threats were made because the black employees were willing to work on cases like the New Black Panther voter intimidation case and a case in Mississippi involving a black wrongdoer and a white victim. I testified about this disgusting hostility toward race-neutral enforcement of the law, and today’s report confirms it took place.

– Attorney General Eric Holder was approached by Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King: King complained about cases that Voting Section Chief Chris Coates was bringing. Coates had brought and managed the New Black Panther voter intimidation case.
Holder greenlighted King: do what was necessary to take care of Coates.

– Attorney General Holder told us that he understood from what others told him that Coates was a divisive and controversial person in the Voting Section and that one concern about Coates was that he “wanted to expand the use of the power of the Civil Rights Division in such a way that it would take us into areas that, though justified, would come at a cost of that which the Department traditionally had done, at the cost of people [that the] Civil Rights Division had traditionally protected.”

Full report here:

nmewn's picture

I can't lay finger to the passage that relates to this law...maybe I have your edited edition ;-)

GMadScientist's picture

So people suffering from ailments that don't require immediate action...are prioritized accordingly.

The horror.


DJ Happy Ending's picture

I don't understand why James Cole is getting junked, he is right. The people get what they deserve.

If they were smart enough to see past the false Repub/Dem choice, they could change everything.

North Koreans don't have that choice, even if they were smart enough to use it wisely.

Anusocracy's picture

Those of us who don't vote and don't want government are getting what all of the others deserve.

Most people are biologically designed to believe in government and not to believe in freedom. The 1% for freedom are screwed.



James_Cole's picture

Most people are biologically designed to believe in government and not to believe in freedom. 

What does that even mean 'believe in freedom'? People say stupid shit like that all the time as if it means something. 

dunce's picture

Tis pity youhave to ask.

James_Cole's picture

It's a type of nonsensical word combination popular in political / ad slogans. Things that make people feel good but on closer inspection are meaningless.

Romney's "Believe in America" - what the fuck does that mean?? That I believe it exists? Sure, i'm pretty certain it exists. Do people not believe it exists? Is there some inference here that if I beleive it exists and say its name 3 times it will magically sprout wings and fly? 

Anusocracy's picture

It means believing that freedom will work much better than government currently does. I certainly do, given the hundreds of millions killed by government in the twentieth century. And maybe $100 trillion stolen, And $10s of trillions of property destroyed.

And actually, I modified a quote from a scientist for that post.

de3de8's picture

And now they are being psychologically trained to vote for fee stuff.

James_Cole's picture

Who needs outright totalitarianism when you have the best PR money can buy? 

The fact that someone on here would even entertain a comparison between living as a national within North Korea and living on American soil as an American shows how effective the PR is. 

Hopefully it'll work out like the ending to the wizard of Oz, "what?? I had a brain the whole time???"

Gazooks's picture

no, you woke-up in a black and white shit-hole Kansas farm house

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

James touches on an uncomfortable truth. They did have a viable third choice in Gary Johnson who though he ran on the libertarian line was the conservative candidate that was ridiculed by the establishment (like Ron Paul). The same candidate that voters ignored who didn't vote because they were turned off by Romney or held their noses voting for him is now reemerging in the Republican Party as Rand Paul.

IridiumRebel's picture

Methinks you are getting junked because many on here believe that our election system is a Diebold farce and that voting is much like political circle jerking. Feels good but in the end it's just a handjob.

just a dude's picture

Demanding accountability and actually getting it are two entirely different things.  Thinking that demanding accountability from a government that has overtly displayed zero concern for accountability or transparency for years is delusional.  How can anybody expect an institution whose members are just waiting to be bribed (oops, I mean lobbied) with counterfeit money (oops, I mean unlimited, fiat currency) to respond to demands for accountability?

Widowmaker's picture

Because that is so effective in the bastardized states of corporate lawlessness.

TARP = record bonuses for fags while the straight rot.

Get a fucking clue.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

"You want more government accountability? Demand it."

Truth is treason in an empire of lies.  So, in demanding it, we'd be legally committing treason (note the new definitions of "terrorism" and "combatant").  Yet, you say:

"it's the peoples fault"

You, sir, have your head in the sand.

jballz's picture

5 years later, dumbfuckers disease still compels the masses to delude themselves into the liberal/conservative fiction while both sides ass rape them into eternal bondage to their nonpartisan overlords.


kill yourself. Or at the least please don't reproduce.

williambanzai7's picture

It is now a War Crime to report a war crime.

Gazooks's picture

run that that by Bradley Manning

JustObserving's picture

Secrecy is preferred when you are doing illegal and unconstitutional actions.  It doesn't help you win Nobel prizes.

Yes, we can  - get away with anything.

wee-weed up's picture

Government transparency is an oxymoron... giant shrimp!

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Or "genuine artifical leather" "military intelligence" or "free sex"

AssFire's picture

 Obama, he is most transparent to me...I see exactly what  he is trying to do.... and it is socialism.

A Lunatic's picture



A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce, or a tragedy, or perhaps both.

-James Madison-

ACP's picture

No, no, Obama just mis-spoke...

He didn't mean transparent, he meant to say translucent.

Yeah, that's it, that's the ticket!

wee-weed up's picture

Obama wouldn't know transparency even if he could see his own lying purple lips shining though it!