All Articles Tagged "government transparency"
Do you recall promises about government transparency in the 2008 campaign season? The Obama administration pledged to be the most transparent in American history, starting by opening up the White House visitor logs and encouraging whistle-blowing on corporate wrong doing.
Unfortunately, that campaign promise was lost on a new and unexpectedly aggressive offensive against federal workers who leak secret information to expose wrongdoing, highlight national security threats or pursue a personal agenda, Politico reports.
The post-Wikileaks era has changed the once whistle-blower friendly administration into one that is much less understanding. In the two years since President Obama took office, prosecutors have filed criminal charges in five separate cases involving unauthorized distribution of classified security information to the press, the publication says. Before that, the U.S. government pursued this kind of case only three times within the last 4o years.
It is a difficult position to be in, especially for a president who seemed to be committed to government transparency. But Obama has had so many unlikely battles brought before him that his predecessors didn’t much have to worry about — one being the power of the Internet — where information can spread like wildfire both domestically and across enemy lines.
Politico says that the government insists it’s only pursuing individuals who act with reckless disregard for national security and that it has a duty to protect the nation’s secrets.
So basically, free speech and transparency does not extend to matters of what the government perceives to be national security. But where is the line drawn? What could be considered harmful to the country and what about those with an obligation to report the truth? The only answer I have is I’m glad I’m not the president.