Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Transparency, Bullshit

Here's something from March, 2001:
You can't turn around these days without encountering the Bush administration's favorite buzzword: transparency.

Bush told a reporters' roundtable last week that "there needs to be rule of law, strong accounting procedures, honest and transparent government."
And often the administration's assertions of transparency are most earnest in the areas where it is most parsimonious with the facts....
To the extent the Bush administration is transparent, it is mostly in the old sense of the word: It is transparently interested in reversing the Clinton-era policies that shifted the tax burden toward wealthier Americans; transparently eager to reward business donors who gave most generously; transparently more conservative than the presidency described by that pleasant, moderate-seeming fellow who ran last fall.

Now, we all know that Bu$hCo's administration is one of the least transparent in American history. Here is one example:
"The Bush Administration has systematically limited disclosure of government information and records while expanding its authority to operate in secret. Taken together, the Administration’s actions represent an unparalleled assault on the principle of open [AND DEMOCRATIC] government."

It come from a report by Congressman Henry Waxman.

Here's another:
In Dean's new book, he calls the Bush administration the most secretive in recent history -- even more so than Nixon's -- in its use of stonewalling, withholding of documents and intimidation of the news media.

& here is an incident that would bed completely amazing if there weren't so many other examples. This involved a "vaccine court."
But the DOJ (technically, the "defense") has other plans. On November 3rd, the Department wrote to Hastings saying it "would oppose public access to the courtroom and public broadcast of the trial," because such an arrangement. "would pose security and privacy concerns" for those in attendance.

Exactly whose privacy are they trying to protect? It can't be the parents, because they don't want privacy. The only party fretting about privacy is the DOJ itself, and presumably, the vaccine makers. (As for "security" concerns, isn't that why we have court officers?).

Now, this is all leading up to a recent decision to keep all logs of White House visitors secret. Actually, it wasn't so recent, it was last spring, but it was only revealed recently because of a filing in a federal court. &, surprise, surprise, this photo of Bu$hCo & jailed criminal Jack Abramoff was published today at the excellent First Draft blog. I believe that more & more of these photos will appear, but Bu$hCo won't acknowledge them, citing the need for secrecy, 9/11,9/11,9/11, you know.

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