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Contra Costa Times
December 27, 2012

Thomas Peele: President Obama has failed to deliver promise of government transparency
By Bay Area News Group

We had every reason to think that Obama would reverse course on secrecy. But he and Attorney General Eric Holder have done little. What is especially troubling is that the bulk of the increase in lawsuits falls in the realm of national security -- the very place where Obama promised the most tangible difference from Bush and Cheney. Some of the suits are obvious leftovers from the previous administration, as TRAC noted in its study, meaning the underlying requests were filed before Obama took office. Still FOIA lawsuits -- a requester's only recourse when an agency denies access -- have soared by 111 percent at the State Department (which raises the question of how transparent Hillary Clinton would be as president), 50 percent at Justice, 43 percent at the CIA, 22 percent at Defense and 15 percent at Homeland Security, the study shows. In 2011, the Obama administration was sued over FOIA rejections 385 times. That's only two fewer suits than the highest number of Bush's presidency, 387 in 2005, according to TRAC.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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