As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

That Glorious Transparency

Big Tent Democrat flags this line in Obama's national security speech:

Funniest line of the speech - "I ran for President promising transparency, and I meant what I said. That is why, whenever possible, we will make information available to the American people so that they can make informed judgments and hold us accountable." Hell, Bush and Cheney could have said that.

Another thing Bush and Cheney could have done - in fact, would have done - is pre-empt accountability for the financial crisis by adding a singing statement to the bill authorizing an independent commission gutting their ability to collect data:

Section 5(d) of the Act requires every department, agency, bureau, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality of the United States to furnish to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a legislative entity, any information related to any Commission inquiry. As my Administration communicated to the Congress during the legislative process, the executive branch will construe this subsection of the bill not to abrogate any constitutional privilege.

The Hill explains that Obama is basically threatening to withhold data and cite executive privilege if he chooses. When Darrell Issa, fercryinoutloud, can rail against your deceptiveness - and be right - you've really sunk.

Congress supported the commission idea in broad, bipartisan fashion, although a group of roughly 50 conservative Republicans opposed it in the House. On Wednesday, the main Republican supporter of the commission, Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.), lashed out at the signing statement.

“Why is a president who talked so much about transparency now threatening to back away from it? If critical information is withheld from the inquiry on the financial crisis, its conclusions won’t have the credibility of the 9/11 Commission report,” Issa said in a statement to The Hill.

It pains me to say that Issa raises a good question, and it's not enough to say that Obama would only withhold the "proper" kind of information and release the rest. It makes a total mockery about the claims to transparency.

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