Last week, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton testified before a House Government Oversight Committee hearing on the Freedom of Information Act, warning the panel that there is a “transparency crisis” in Washington. “Never in our history,” Tom noted, “has so much money been spent with so little accountability.”
On Benghazi, the IRS, Obama excesses, the Clinton emails, State Department stonewalling—and, in an earlier era, through improper Bush administration secrecy and Clinton administration corruption—Judicial Watch has led the way in using FOIA to advance the public interest. But our government is more secretive and less transparent than ever. As Tom noted, this is not a partisan issue. “Both the Left and Right agree that, on major transparency issues, the Obama administration has come down on the side of secrecy.” The Founding Fathers would not have approved.
What is to be done? Tom notes that Judicial Watch—the national leader in FOIA requests and litigation—supports significant reforms to provide more access to information. The boldest move would be for Capitol Hill to start with itself—apply the freedom of information concept to Congress and the courts, the two branches of the federal government exempt from the transparency laws all presidents must follow.
Read Tom’s full testimony here.
First published at Judicial Watch’s Investigative Bulletin, June 4, 2015.