McClatchy reports: President Barack Obama has relied on state secrets and secret laws to make national security decisions with little congressional or public oversight much as his predecessor did, according to a report being released Sunday by a liberal government watchdog group.
The Center for Effective Government’s study on transparency finds that Obama has issued important open government policy reforms in his first term, but that implementation is inconsistent across federal agencies despite his claim of being the most open president in history.
“While the Obama administration deserves praise for the important work it has done to build a platform for open government in its first term, the job is unfinished,” according to the report.
The center, formerly called OMB Watch, issued the report at the start of Sunshine Week, an effort by civics groups, governments and newspapers to promote transparency in government across the nation. A copy was sent to the White House, but officials there did not respond to a request for comment.
The 50-page study says the area most in need of improvement is national security. The White House has withheld decisions and documents that have the force of law, labeled documents as classified even if they do not need to be and aggressively prosecuted whistleblowers, bringing six cases against employees for leaks compared to only three known previous cases since 1917. [Continue reading…]