The Most Open Administration Ever, Hope And Change, Yada Yada...

Ted Bridis of the AP reports

For at least a year, the Homeland Security Department detoured hundreds of 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....

Internally, Homeland Security was adamant that Napolitano's political advisers were merely reviewing materials before they were distributed, not making the call on whether they should come out. "To be clear, this is a review not an approval," Callahan wrote.

Yet many e-mails directed Homeland Security employees never to release information under FOIA without approval by political appointees.

"It is imperative that these requests are not released prior to the front office reviewing both the letter and the records," Papoi wrote in an e-mail to the agency's officers responsible for administering the law.

Another e-mail described a request from USA Today that was "tagged by the front office and requires approval."

Under the law, people can request copies of U.S. government records without specifying why they want them and are not obligated to provide personal information about themselves other than their name and an address where the records should be sent.

Yet several times, at least, junior political staffers asked superiors about the motives or affiliations of the requesters.

The directive laid out an expansive view of the sort of documents that required political vetting.

Anything that related to an Obama policy priority was pegged for this review. So was anything that touched on a "controversial or sensitive subject" that could attract media attention or that dealt with meetings involving prominent business and elected leaders.

Anything requested by lawmakers, journalists, activist groups or watchdog organizations had to go to the political appointees. This included all of AP's information requests, even a routine one for records that had already been sought by other news organizations.


  1. Dr. T:

    For me, the only positive feature of Obama's election as President is that I get to laugh inside every time I hear one of his supporters admit that Obama lied continuously while campaigning. It's even more amusing when the former supporters conclude that Obama continues to lie whenever he gives speeches or interviews. This old lawyer joke was tailor-made for Obama: Q: "How do you know when a lawyer is lying?" A: "His lips will move."

  2. Henry Bowman:

    DHS has been highly political almost since its ill-advised inception. Why any thinking person would believe that combining many agencies into a huge mega-agency would provide efficiency is a mystery. To me, it demonstrates how completely free of independent thinking are the Congress Critters.

  3. Dentist in milpitas:

    Good info. I would say some are politically deceiving.

  4. dearieme:

    What do you expect from a President who won't release his birth certificate or his student records?

  5. howard:

    The people are loosing their moral while becoming modern. The
    society needs to be attentive that moral value.
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