Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Is Ombudsman Already in Jeopardy?


Whew that was close! Bush nearly blew it, but he came up with a great fucking save.

He can't just let anyone have access to information via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). That would be so, like, un-American.
Hours before the new year, open-government groups won a key victory in their years-long fight to force government agencies to release documents without months, and sometimes years, of delay. The moment came when President Bush reluctantly signed a law enforcing better compliance with the Freedom of Information Act.

But in his budget request this week, Bush proposed shifting a newly created ombudsman’s position from the National Archives and Records Administration to the Department of Justice. Because the ombudsman would be the chief monitor of compliance with the new law, that move is akin to killing the critical function, some members of Congress and watchdog groups say.

“Justice represents the agencies when they’re sued over FOIA. It doesn’t make a lot of sense for them to be the mediator,” said Kristin Adair, staff counsel at the National Security Archive, which is suing the White House to force it to preserve e-mails the administration says it may have lost.

What is totally bizarre is how people in the Bush administration don't seem to understand what unlimited power they are handing to the next administration which very likely will be Democratic.

Sometimes the hight of stupidity within this goddamn administration really is mind-blowing.

Via Free Press.

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