The Obama administration, after promising to be especially transparent, was proposing changes to the Freedom of Information Act that would allow it to go beyond declaring some documents secret and to actually allow government agencies (such as the CDC, CIA, FBI, NSA, etc.) to declare some document “non-existent.”
The Denver Post reports,
The federal Freedom of Information Act was supposed to be a torch that journalists, advocates and ordinary people could use to cast a light on the operations of their government.
It’s profoundly disappointing to see the Obama administration proposing changes to FOIA that would allow federal agencies to lie about the very existence of information being sought.
The worst among them, in our estimation, is the proposed change that would allow the government to tell those requesting information under FOIA that the material does not exist when, in fact, it does.
The administration is already hiding most of what they do. According to Business Insider,
“The Obama administration set a record for the number of times its federal employees told disappointed citizens, journalists and others that despite searching they couldn’t find a single page requested under the Freedom of Information Act, according to a new Associated Press analysis of government data.
In more than one in six cases, or 129,825 times, government searchers said they came up empty-handed last year.
Such cases contributed to an alarming measurement: People who asked for records under the law received censored files or nothing in 77 percent of requests, also a record.”