During Barack Obama’s presidency, he touted himself and his administration as the “most transparent in history.” However, as time went by that claim seemed misleading as the American people witnessed corruption and scandal riddling his office. From Hillary Clinton’s email coverup to the Benghazi hearings the American people knew that Obama and his administration were not in the business of being entirely truthful the masses. Now, after a year of Barack Obama out of the White House, the truth of how non-transparent he was has been revealed and how much money he used to keep that hidden from the public.
When Barack Obama campaigned for president way back in 2008, he promised the American people more transparency in the government. Of course, that promise resulted in cheers from his audience as people were clamoring for change in the White House. Though as time went by that promise seemed to be lost as Obama continued to hide behind executive privilege and government bureaucracy. Politico reported back in 2012, that while Obama promised to deliver a refreshing blast of transparency it turned out to be anything of the sort.
“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.”
Now, it has been over a year that Obama has been out of office and the American people are beginning to see just how unethical he was. In a recent report by CBS News, it was discovered that Obama spent an astronomical amount of money to defend its refusal to release federal records under the Freedom of Information Act.
Here is more from CBS News:
“The Obama administration in its final year in office spent a record $36.2 million on legal costs defending its refusal to turn over federal records under the Freedom of Information Act, according to an Associated Press analysis of new U.S. data that also showed poor performance in other categories measuring transparency in government.
For a second consecutive year, the Obama administration set a record for times federal employees told citizens, journalists, and others that despite searching they couldn’t find a single page of files that were requested.
And it set records for outright denial of access to files, refusing to quickly consider requests described as especially newsworthy, and forcing people to pay for records who had asked the government to waive search and copy fees.
The government acknowledged when challenged that it had been wrong to initially refuse to turn over all or parts of records in more than one-third of such cases, the highest rate in at least six years.
In courtrooms, the number of lawsuits filed by news organizations under the Freedom of Information Act surged during the past four years, led by the New York Times, Center for Public Integrity and The Associated Press, according to a litigation study by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. The AP on Monday settled its 2015 lawsuit against the State Department for files about Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state, at AP’s request, and received $150,546 from the department to cover part of its legal fees.
The AP has pending lawsuits against the FBI for records about its decision to impersonate an AP journalist during a criminal investigation and about who helped the FBI hack into a mass s******g suspect’s iPhone and how much the government paid to do it.
Of the $36.2 million in legal costs fighting such lawsuits last year, the Justice Department accounted for $12 million, the Homeland Security Department for $6.3 million and the Pentagon for $4.8 million. The three departments accounted for more than half the government’s total records requests last year.
The figures reflect the final struggles of the Obama administration during the 2016 election to meet President Barack Obama’s pledge that it was “the most transparent administration in history,” despite wide recognition of serious problems coping with requests under the information law. It received a record 788,769 requests for files last year and spent a record $478 million answering them and employed 4,263 full-time FOIA employees across more than 100 federal departments and agencies. That was higher by 142 such employees the previous year.
A spokesman for former President Obama did not immediately respond to an email request for comment late Monday. The White House under Obama routinely defended its efforts under the information law in recent years and said federal employees worked diligently on such requests for records.”
Any person in the government should not at all try to hinder the American people from knowing what is occurring behind closed doors or pay to keep it hidden. Hopefully, in time, Barack Obama will be held accountable for keeping this information from the public and will have to answer his crimes.
H/T [The Daily Wire]