Ahead of a major speech on counterterrorism policies tomorrow, the administration of President Barack Obama has officially declassified information related to drone strikes against four American citizens and also acknowledged for the first time that they were killed by the United States.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday May 22, 2013 4:01 pm|
|By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday April 30, 2013 10:20 am|
The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday that Virginia did not have to grant access to public records in the state to non-residents of Virginia under the state’s freedom of information law.
The decision, according to SCOTUSblog, did not break any new ground. It did not “rely upon any sweeping new legal declaration, but simply on the purpose that the Court found behind Virginia’s law.”
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday April 17, 2013 4:10 pm|
A military appeals court has decided journalists and media organizations in a lawsuit being brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) do not have standing to challenge the lack of access to court records in the court martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier being prosecuted by the military for disclosing information to WikiLeaks.
For over a year now, a group, including this journalist, has been pushing for access to court records in the case. The decision is disappointing because it means the United States military will be able to, at their discretion, continue to effectively court-martial not just Manning but all soldiers behind a veil of secrecy.
|By: DSWright Wednesday April 17, 2013 9:10 am|
As was reported yesterday, President Obama signed a law gutting insider trading regulations on Congress. An incredible act when one considers the 2008 campaign platform of Barack Obama to roll back the influence of lobbyists and “change Washington” by bringing transparency to the federal government. By signing this law Obama has done incredible damage to transparency and open government – allowing, in effect even promoting, the continuing corrupt practices that have made most Americans lose trust in their government. Signing this law does not inspire hope and it certainly is not change.
|By: DSWright Monday April 15, 2013 11:40 am|
Remember that Congressional insider trading scandal? The one where Congress members were caught trading stocks and bonds on insider information, an apparent crime for everyone else but Congress? Well, after a lot of public posturing leading to the passage of a reform law (with resulting positive press coverage) – Congress is back to their old tricks.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday April 3, 2013 1:05 pm|
A federal appeals court in Washington, DC, rebuffed a clear attempt by the United States Justice Department to further pervert the Freedom of Information Act process.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sued the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on May 24, 2011, when it failed to produce documents on individuals at the FEC, who CREW believed were refusing to enforce campaign finance laws. The lawsuit challenged the withholding of the documents and also the Justice Department’s interpretation of a rule in freedom of information law that requires agencies to communicate a “determination” on whether it will comply with the FOIA request within 20 working days.
|By: Brian Sonenstein Thursday March 28, 2013 1:00 pm|
President Obama finally promised to release legal memos on the Targeted Killing program to members of congressional intelligence committees on February 6, 2013, after over 21 formal requests from legislators.
But members of these committees have so far only been given limited access to 4 memos and the most important, including those addressing the government’s criteria for marking a ‘suspected terrorist’ for death or listing the countries in which we are conducting strikes, remain secret.
These memos are too important and the President must be held to his promise.
We won’t stop fighting until all 11 of these critical memos on the Targeted Killing program are made fully public, and we hope you’ll share ReleaseTheMemos.com to help us keep the public’s eye on the release of these memos.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Sunday March 17, 2013 12:30 pm|
National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake delivered a speech at the National Press Club luncheon on March 15. He addressed the “long shadow of government secrecy” that increasingly “obscures the view of democracy in our constitutional republic or what’s left of it.”
The speech focuses explicitly on free speech and the First Amendment. Drake was indicted under the Espionage Act and threatened with the potential of serving the rest of his life in prison for exposing fraud, waste, abuse and illegality related to warrantless wiretapping by the NSA.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Friday March 15, 2013 1:01 pm|
The administration of President Barack Obama, when boasting about Obama’s record on openness and transparency, regularly cites how it is now releasing White House visitor logs. It has been an “achievement” the administration explicitly mentions during Sunshine Week, a week where journalists and open government advocates celebrate transparency in government.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Thursday March 14, 2013 10:10 am|
The notion that any presidential administration or Executive Branch agency can keep secret official interpretations of the law is indefensible. A few members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives understand this and are pushing to find out information about President Barack Obama’s targeted killing program that the public has a right to know.
As Democratic Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) says, “Every American has a right to know when their government believes it has a right to kill them.”