You might remember a few years back, shortly after taking office, President Obama, sent a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies.
The memo was titled "Transparency and Open Government." In it the president said his administration is "committed to creating an unprecdented level of openness in government." Futhermore, the president promised to establish a system of transparency, stating "openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficience and effectiveness in government."
While the new president sounded so sincere in his openness pledge, little did most of know that it was an extension of a hollow campaign promise that has essentially gone unfulfilled.
Not only has the administration failed to live up to the lofty expecations of that memo, the Obama presidency can lay claim to being one of the most guarded and secretaive in memory. This week's swap of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, held prisoner by the Taliban, in exchange for five high-ranking Taliban officials held at Guantanimo, is the latest example of the administration's failure to let Congress and the public know what's going on.
The story keeps getting murkier and murkier. The reasons behind this seemingly one-sided exchange have not been satisfactorily spelled out by the president. The details of the deal have been withheld. While the president has said he did consult with Congress, as many believe he is obligated by law to do, members from both sides of the aisle deny this.
Then we were told Bergdahl's health was the reason this years-long situation had to be rectified so suddenly. Yet the administration has not detailed those health concerns. And yet again Susan Rice was shoved in front of the Sunday-morning cameras to "explain" things.
Haven't we seen this dog-and-pony show before. Time is running out for the Obama adminstration to honor its transparency pledge. Transparency isn't supposed to be that big of a deal. It should be expected. But that certainly isn't the case with this administration, and the longer we have to wait for the truth about, Bergdahl, Benghazi, IRS, NSA and other scandals, the more tragic the situation becomes.
- The Daily Mining Gazette, Houghton