Washington Post Faults Obama on Living Up To Openness Pledge

August 8, 2012

A Washington Post investigation showed that President Obama's administration fell short in meeting the grand promises of openness he made during his first days in office.

An analysis of records and statistics by Post reporter James Ball concluded: "Three years later, new evidence suggests that administration officials have struggled to overturn the long-standing culture of secrecy in Washington. Some of these high-profile transparency measures have stalled, and by some measures the government is keeping more secrets than before."

Just looking at annual reports agencies must file under the Freedom of Information Act, the Post found that "The federal government was more likely last year than in 2010 to use the act’s exemptions to refuse information. And the government overall had a bigger backlog of requests at the end of 2011 than at the start, largely because of 30,000 more pending requests to the Department of Homeland Security."