Saturday, July 24, 2010

Homeland Security Proves Effective at Protecting Itself

For the Department of Homeland Security, “the system worked”. Over the past year, the DHS has tried to protect itself from annoying and unwanted requests for information 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 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, according to nearly 1,000 pages of internal e-mails obtained by The Associated Press.
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. Per the report:
Career employees were ordered to provide Secretary Janet Napolitano's political staff with information about the people who asked for records — such as where they lived, whether they were private citizens or reporters — and about the organizations where they worked.

If a member of Congress sought such documents, employees were told to specify Democrat or Republican.
Coincidentally, this policy was immediately rescinded just as the AP got their hands on the DHS internal e-mails.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 And of course all FOIA requests for Obama’s historical documents, particularly the infamous phantom birth certificate, have been vigorously fought in court and the requesters publicly ridiculed.

Update: The SEC has exempted itself from FIOA requests.

To me, this proves that cockroaches and progressives cannot stand the light of day.

Andrew Thomas aka Angel
edited version published in

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