President Obama published a memo to the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies on transparency in government. You can read the whole thing here. It says in part:
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.
“… consistent with law and policy …” Those should not be weasel words, but they are. What happens when it is the Administration’s policy to deceive the public?
Obamacare happens. Benghazi happens. Fast and Furious happens. The IRS 501(c)3 debacle happens. NSA overreach happens. The unemployment statistics falsification happens.
The expectation that the government is lying happens. That expectation is becoming so pervasive that even the main steam media is having to take notice and challenge White House claims.
It really doesn’t matter whether the screwups are the result of incompetence as Chis Christie suggests (“they’ve never run anything before”) or corruption or some mix of them plus other factors. The result has been increased transparency. Folks are now looking for the gotcha, the weasel words, or the flat-out lie in whatever comes out of the White House, and, with that increased attention, are beginning to see right through the PR.
(H/T, Instapundit) Well, yes, those of us who were working in the news business back in the early ’70s do see certain similarities to Nixon.
I have to tell you that is exactly the approach that the Nixon administration took. They said, “These are all second-rate things. We don’t have time for this. We have to devote our time to the people’s business.” You’re taking exactly the same line they did.
Yes, but what other line is left for them? The White House staff clearly isn’t able to tell the truth. Consider Preiffer’s rant to Chris Wallace about the irrelevance of facts.
What did the President know, and when did he know it? And where was he and what was he doing when he got told?
You know, I’m beginning to look forward to the day when this generation’s Fred Thompson asks the analogous question to “Mr. Butterfield, were you aware of the existence of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the President?”
UPDATE—Stacy McCain offers the Cliffs Notes version of the White House response: “Shut up, Republicans!”
I don’t know, Brain … having the IRS audit the Justice Department’s phone calls about Benghazi … I mean, who would be left to blame for the next scandal?
And then you pay for what you got. Folks elected a Chicago politician, and now they’re surprised by scandals.
And then there was last week, one of those exceptions that proves the rule—especially for the Main Stream Media. Da Tech Guy has some thoughts on conventional wisdom, Benghazi, the IRS, and gun control.
I’m beginning to hear rumblings of “just like Watergate” in discussions of both the Benghazi and IRS v. Tea Party stories.
Really? Watergate, after all, was only a third-rate burglary according the administration in the White House at the time.
I suppose that having a body count has kept the White House from pooh-poohing the attack on the consulate as merely a “third-world mugging,” but the IRS story is already being pitched as overzealous low-level workers exceeding their authority.
Ah, what difference, at this point, does it make?
Not long after the attack on the consulate, the President answered a Denver newsman’s question about Benghazi with these words:
I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure we are securing our personnel and that we are doing whatever we need to. Number two, we are going to investigate exactly what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Number three, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice.
We know from Greg Hick’s testimony that special forces were ordered to stand down rather than provide assistance. Why wasn’t the President’s order (number one above) carried out? If it was, in fact, given?