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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.


Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Cotour

    Chief Justice John Roberts, rewrites “Obamacare” in order to allow it, Loretta Lynch allows herself to be compromised by Bill Clinton, James Comey returns all of the multi layered and interconnected logic to indict Hillary but then does not, this ruling above negates the governments attempt to subvert logic.

    Is it professional fear only of standing out and saying what “IS” to power and leave it to “others”, or is it real fear of real retaliation and real life professional and worse consequences that drive these decisions that effect us all?

    Where are the courageous patriots in our government? Is it just not worth the trouble?

    I again point out that it will be Trumps choice for VP that will indicate whether he is at least some kind of a patriot (whether you support him or not) or it will indicate that he has come to the conclusion that the cost to him will be too great.

    If he would become president the first symbolic things that must be done day one must be to demand the resignations of both Lynch and Comey.

  • Cotour

    After listening to Comey’s paradoxical news conference this morning and reading and listening to several legal talking heads reacting to it my conclusion about things like this is that in the end this non indictment / indictment has the effect of a kind of psychological, divide and conquer, warfare on the American public.

    This irresponsible schizophrenic narrative put forward by the people who are suppose to have the American peoples interests in their foremost thoughts just adds to the confusion that has been the strategic goal of this particular administration. All administrations through time, but this one in particular.

    The people wonder ” how can the political reality be 180 degrees from what I know to be right?”

    Crazy and going to get much crazier.

  • Cotour

    Comey’s shame / legal treason :

  • wodun

    This has happened in sooooo many federal agencies controlled by Obama. Its standard operating procedure.

  • D K Rögnvald Williams

    Obviously, this Federal judge didn’t get the memo.

  • Localfloff

    That the secretary of state (the foreign minister in plain English) would not receive or send any emails classified as secret, because the life and death of some people depend on them, is just not believable to begin with. Did she not handle secrets, then what did she do? Trump could just sit down and watch her fail herself. Actually, maybe he should take a month off from the mass media! All journalists would go completely hysterical and beg him to please come back. But he cannot do it, he is as addictive to the spotlights as a moth is. He says that he does not need to do this, that it is a sacrifice for him. But no, it is his dream come true.

  • Cotour

    Very much related: I just found this book, it lays out what we all know and is allowed and encouraged by leadership, how the left now threatens everyone with activities such as using the IRS as a political weapon.

    From Kim Strassel-one of the preeminent political columnists writing today and member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board-comes an insightful, alarming look at how the Left, once the champion of civil liberties, is today orchestrating a coordinated campaign to bully Americans out of free speech.

    I guess their cause is soo worthwhile that they have determined its all good.

  • Edward

    Localfluff wrote: “That the secretary of state (the foreign minister in plain English) would not receive or send any emails classified as secret, because the life and death of some people depend on them, is just not believable to begin with.”

    This is why we expect the Secretary of State (foreign minister) to use an authorized, secure, government email account, not some fly-by-night server in the bathroom closet of a small-time mom-and-pop company that doesn’t care about internet security or backup for its customers.

    The government account would have been the easy way for her to go. To do what she did required more thinking and more work on her part, not mere negligence, but actual intent to do wrong, such as using her unsecure personal account to bypass FOIA laws. There is no other way to look at it.

    Of course she would be expected to receive and send sensitive and secret information. She was in a top office of the White House, dealing with state secrets on an hourly basis. If her meetings, discussions, and notes were not sensitive, at the very least, then they were not worthy of her level of importance. She was in an important office, yet she treated is as though it were as important as the horse pooper scooper following a parade.

    But treachery is what we *should* expect of liberal Democrats in high-level positions of authority.

  • wodun

    But he cannot do it, he is as addictive to the spotlights as a moth is.

    He is running for President, he can’t take a month off. It would be nice if he didn’t make a gaffe whenever bad news pops up for Hillary but that is out of his control because the Democrat media will always find some way to avoid negative news about Hillary.

    Remember when Trump went to Scotland? The media spent days talking about how terrible a decision it was to take time off. Same thing would happen if he took a month off to let the media focus on Hillary. The media wouldn’t focus on Hillary but on the negatives of Trump taking time off.

    Did you see the media change their tune after the Brexit vote? Nope, they spun that as a negative too.

    These Democrats are corrupt. From your neighbor, local officials, media, professors, school administrators, agencies employees, agency administrators, state government, and even at the federal level, including the President of the USA and everything he controls.

    It a countrywide system of corruption at every single level of society.

  • Localfluff

    Trump could very well declare victory on August first and take a month off from publicity. He would still be top news everyday. Where is he? What is he up to? Is he playing golf somewhere and has he ever made a hole in one outside of politics? And those talking heads in the TV sofas would go on complaining how he mismanages his campaign, while he is winning. The circus would be as busy as ever. He would demonstrate his supremacy and win even by shutting up and doing nothing. But I don’t think he could do it (and I’m not sure it would be a good idea). He is a worker. He tweets stuff like “04:30 up before the enemy!” Hillary screams in terror that she is too old for this, just make me president, why do I have to fight for it?

    So the campaign against Trump is about his style, his tone. That is of course his act, not his personality. What if he spends the last month before the election being as “presidential” as the kids he raised are. Talking about the issues and about Hillary as a lawyer and psychologist would. Then the whole campaign against him evaporates. Then everyone can see that he is not the racist maniac that the Hitlaries lie that he is. They have no substance, they can’t win, they have no chance. They are surprisingly incompetent.

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