Tag Archives: FOIA

Court rules Obama adminstration can’t use private email accounts to bypass law

I love the timing: A federal court today ruled that government officials in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) cannot use private email accounts to evade public record laws.

Throughout the case, the government argued that “[d]ocuments on a nongovernmental email server are outside the possession or control of federal agencies, and thus beyond the scope of FOIA.”

Judge David Sentelle, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, disagreed with that reasoning and ordered the lower court to reconsider the case. “If a department head can deprive the citizens of their right to know what his department is up to by the simple expedient of maintaining his departmental emails on an account in another domain, that purpose is hardly served,” Sentelle wrote. “It would make as much sense to say that the department head could deprive requestors of hard-copy documents by leaving them in a file at his daughter’s house and then claiming that they are under her control,” he said.

This absurd rulling, which says that government officials have to follow the law, will surely be overturned. We can’t have these saints oppressed by things as evil as the law.

Obama administration stonewalls IRS investigation

Working for the Democratic Party: The Obama administration has denied an entire freedom of information request from the web news outlet The Hill in connection with the IRS scandal and the administration’s harassment of its political opponents.

The Hill asked for 2013 emails and other correspondence between the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The request specifically sought emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner and Treasury officials, including Secretary Jack Lew, while the inspector general was working on its explosive May 2013 report that the IRS used “inappropriate criteria” to review the political activities of tax-exempt groups.

TIGTA opted not to release any of the 512 documents covered by the request, citing various exemptions in the law. The Hill recently appealed the FOIA decision, but TIGTA denied the appeal. TIGTA also declined to comment for this article.

This denial is essentially another example of the Obama administration defying the law, as they really don’t have any right to refuse to release these documents. The Freedom of Information law was expressly written to force government agencies to release documents in these kinds of circumstances, not hold them back.

The IRS appears to be stonewalling a Freedom of Information request for all documents relating to communications between that agency and thirteen Democratic elected officials from 2009 to 2013.

Working for the Democratic Party: The IRS appears to be stonewalling a Freedom of Information request for all documents relating to communications between that agency and thirteen Democratic elected officials from 2009 to 2013.

Those officials include former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, former Commissioner Steven Miller, senior IRS official Joseph Grant and former head of tax exempt groups Lois Lerner. Members of Congress named in the request include Sen. Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Reid (D-NV), DSCC Chair Sen. Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Landrieu (D-LA), Sen. Pryor (D-AR), Sen. Hagan (D-NC), Sen. Begich (D-AK), Sen. Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), Sen. Franken (D-MN), Sen. Warner (D-VA), Rep. Braley and Rep. Peters (D-MI).

Since that request was received by the IRS nearly one year ago, IRS Tax Law Specialists Robert Thomas and Denise Higley have asked for more time to fulfill the request six times.

As has been said many times before, it ain’t the crime but the coverup that does the most damage. I suspect the requested documents will be very damaging to these Democrats, as the material will likely show that they colluded with the IRS to use the tax agency to harass conservatives. Delaying their release, however, only means that we will likely get to see these documents closer to the 2014 election.

Complaints about compliance with Freedom of Information requests jumped 28 percent during the Obama adminstration’s first term.

Transparency: Complaints about compliance with Freedom of Information requests jumped 28 percent during the Obama adminstration’s first term.

This is not to say that the Bush administration was transparent. They were not, as they, like all governments, didn’t want the public to poke into their operations. The issue here is the absurd claim by Obama that his administration would be different. Poppycock. If anything, the Obama administration has been more abusive, draping itself in a veil of purity that they do not deserve in order to hide their illegal behavior.

Sadly, their partisan Democratic supporters — including the press — have blindly accepted these claims of purity and allowed the illegal behavior to be ignored.

NASA can put a man on the Moon and a rover on Mars, but somehow it can’t comply with a Freedom of Information document request.

NASA can put a man on the Moon and a rover on Mars, but somehow it can’t comply with a Freedom of Information document request.

The request was an attempt by a newspaper to find out if NASA officials have been partying extravagantly at conferences, like officials in GSA. That NASA can’t provide the documents suggests that something stinks somewhere.

The IPCC scientist working group has decided that Freedom of Information Act laws do not apply to its work

The law is such an inconvenient thing: The IPCC scientist working group, meeting in San Francisco, has decided that Freedom of Information Act laws do not apply to its work.

Putting aside the absurdity of a bunch of individuals simply declaring they don’t have to obey the law, it is interesting to me that the lead scientists of the IPCC happen to be meeting in San Francisco the same time the UN climate conference was going on in Durban. This seems to me to be further evidence of how irrelevant science was to that Durban conference.

Why Climategate 2 is important: a close look at a full email thread, and how it tried to squelch knowledge

Why Climategate 2 is important: a close look at one entire email thread, and how it proves these global warming scientists were trying to suppress knowledge.

The journal Science joins the cover-up

It’s not the crime it’s the cover-up: According to Science, Michael Mann of the climategate scandal did not advocate the illegal deletion of emails that had been requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as reported earlier by the Daily Caller. All he did was forward an email by Phil Jones, also part of the climategate scandal, that requested that emails should be deleted. He is therefore innocent.

This is getting absurd. That a journal like Science would try to justify this idiotic argument puts a serious stain on almost everything they publish. Michael Mann was requested by Phil Jones to contact Eugene Wahl and ask him to delete emails illegally. Mann took the easiest approach, and simply forwarded Jones’s email. Without question he was complicit in this illegal act.

If the scientific community doesn’t wake up soon and honestly deal with this scandal, they are going to destroy a four hundred year track record of honesty. Worse, they are going to find it increasingly difficult to get funds from anyone for their research.