By Rashed Mian – January 14, 2017
As President Barack Obama soared into office eight years ago, he promised, on his first day in the White House, to launch “a new era of open government.”
“The Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears,” Obama said in a Jan. 21, 2009 memorandum.
Obama was urging the attorney general to issue new guidelines protecting The Freedom of Information Act. “In the face of doubt,” Obama proclaimed, “openness prevails.”
Notably, Obama’s transparency pledge came on the heels of President George W. Bush’s administration, which kept state-sponsored torture of alleged enemy combatants, a nascent drone assassination program, and covert eavesdropping of American citizens hidden from the eyes of the American public.
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