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What is the Openness Administration Hiding?

It seems to be hiding a lot of things in a lot of places.

In what must be the most under-reported story of the past year, some two thirds of the inspectors general in the government think the administration is stonewalling their lawful efforts to oversee government activities.

Three of them testified Tuesday before the House Oversight Committee, newly chaired by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). Many others were in the room.

In an August 2014 letter to Congress, 47 Inspectors General from across the administration – including major agencies like the Department of Commerce, the Department of HUD, the Department of Labor, and NASA -supported specific complaints by their fellow IGs in the Peace Corps, EPA and DOJ about foot dragging and lawyer-driven end-runs, and suggested the practice is pervasive.

We have learned that the Inspectors General for the Peace Corps, the Environmental Protection Agency (in his role as Inspector General for the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board) and the Department of Justice have recently faced restrictions on their access to certain records available to their agencies that were needed to perform their oversight work in critical areas. In each of these instances, we understand that lawyers in these agencies construed other statutes and law applicable to privilege in a manner that would override the express authorization contained in the IG Act. These restrictive readings of the IG Act represent potentially serious challenges to the authority of every Inspector General and our ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner.

the issues facing the DOJ OIG, the EPA OIG, and the Peace Corps OIG are not unique. Other Inspectors General have, from time to time, faced similar obstacles to their work, whether on a claim that some other law or principle trumped the clear mandate of the IG Act or by the agency’s imposition of unnecessarily burdensome administrative conditions on access. Even when we are ultimately able to resolve these issues with senior agency leadership, the process is often lengthy, delays our work, and diverts time and attention from substantive oversight activities. This plainly is not what Congress intended when it passed the IG Act.

Can anyone imagine if the Bush administration were accused of such stonewalling, what a firestorm there would be?

Here is panel member Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) discussing the problem last night with Greta Van Sustern.

“I think in some instances, they are hiding things” said Gowdy, who said agencies that don’t cooperate with their IGs should have their budgets cut.

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18 Responses to What is the Openness Administration Hiding?

  1. Thanks Keith. Don’t know what we would do without you. I saw that right before bed. I forgot to note it this morning. Gowedy mentioned hitting them where it hurts, the $. However there must be something ASAP. I still feel that we have so much *^*^, it is hard to keep up. “They know it”

  2. We all knew that this stonewalling was going on both with F&F and Benghazi, but I had no idea to what extent.

    Again I query, when is the congress going to take this guy and his administration down ?

    What is it going to take ?

    • I’m not disagreeing with you, but what good is it to take down the heads when it’s the anon worker, protected by layer after layer of authority and their unions who are making decisions on their own.
      For instance – Fast and Furious operation = who designed it, who approved it, who set it in motion and who eventually killed it? No one knows. We can point at MrHolder, or one of his underlings, but they never meant for it to be so poorly implemented or to ever see the light of public knowlege. No one lost their job, no one is sitting in front of Congress spilling the beans on who, why, what and where.
      We’re guessing what the ulterior motive was for this dangerous affair, but has anyone, in any agency, told the public what that motive was? No.
      How many years now, and we still are left with nothing but questions and fallen American heros.

      • The fact that no one knows is the issue.
        That is what they are trying to ferret out.

        Documents that were given to them so far have been so redacted that they are unusable.

        So far, even subpoenas have essentially ignored.

    • Well, this sort of thing DID come up before. Let’s see;

      “He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.”
      Maaaybe a pass here, since Dingy Harry kept most things from him, but let’s see what happens THIS year…

      “He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.”
      He sure has the “utterly neglected” part down, don’t he?

      “He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.”
      Remember the Christmas Eve sesson that imposed Obamacare on us?

      “He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.”
      Give him time, although I’m a litle worried about Boehner when it comes to the “manly firmness” part…

      “He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.”
      OK, the Supremes are paid independently now, but he sure does have FOUR of them that are evidently dependant on his will and will vote his way in ALL cases; and after the Obamacare ruling, I don’t feel good about Roberts…

      “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.”
      THERE’S a magnificent description of the modern EPA, “Justice” department, IRS, et. al….

      “He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:”
      Reconciliation? Nuclear Option?
      “For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: ”
      Unless, of course, Obamacare isn’t a “tax”, in which case Roberts has some ‘splainin to do…

      “For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:”
      Generally in favor of Trial by Liberal Media. Ask Darren Wilson,a man so justified in his actions even Eric the Black couldn’t make a case out of it, how THAT works…

      For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
      For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:”
      By Executive Order!

      You get the drift. How, though, does their situation compare to ours?

      “In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”
      Hmm, kinda a familiar ring there…

      BUT what did they do?

      “is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

      It seems that SOME differences are irreconcilable. Is history repeating? You be the judge…

      By the way, I’m sure most folks know the source material here, but just in case…

      http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

      You can still see the Declaration in the National Archives, but you may cry when you see what you have to walk though to get to it…

      http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/archivally-correct_800446.html#!

  3. I hope the Republican Congress gets to the bottom of all this. I know the investigations take time, but in the meantime they should be sending bills to Barry’s desk every other day…health care, budget, tax reform, trade, immigration, etc. etc. Instead, they’re sitting on their hands and letting him define the narrative. The Republicans can’t simply run out the clock until the 2016 election – they should be legislating and showing that they can govern. If Barry wants to veto everything, that’s on him.

  4. Hey Keith,
    Maybe if your cowardly, weak-willed, biased, sycophant co-workers in this “WH press corps” had some NERVE, GUTS or BALLS to ask some ‘REAL QUESTIONS’ of this Obama ‘openess’ regime we might??? find out a few things…