Tag: George Bush

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National

Glasnost on the Potomac under Obama? Not quite

BARACK OBAMA (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) by Calvin Woodard WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s as if the United States has two governments, one open and one very much not. President Barack Obama leads both, trying not to butt heads with himself. Since becoming president, Obama has churned out an impressive stream of directives flowing from his promise to deliver “the most transparent administration in history.” He established a center devoted to declassifying records and making them public. He announced an open government initiative. Dizzying quantities of information poured into public databases. New ways were devised to show taxpayers how their money is spent. Allegiance was pledged to the rule of law. Then there’s the other government. It prosecutes leakers like no administration before it. It exercises state-secrets privileges to quash court cases against it. It hides a vast array of directives and legal opinions underpinning government actions — not just intelligence and not all of it about national security. Now it’s known to conduct sweeping phone-records and Internet surveillance of ordinary people in programs kept on the lowdown until an employee of a National Security Agency contractor revealed them. Dick Cheney said this would happen.