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Gayle in MD
08-22-2007, 02:33 PM
White House Fights Disclosure

PETE YOST | August 21, 2007 08:58 PM EST |




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WASHINGTON The Justice Department said Tuesday that records about missing White House e-mails are not subject to public disclosure, the latest effort by the Bush administration to expand the boundaries of government secrecy.

Administration lawyers detailed the legal position in a lawsuit trying to force the White House Office of Administration to reveal what it knows about the disappearance of White House e-mails.

The Office of Administration provides administrative services, including information technology support, to the Executive Office of the President.

The office has prepared estimates that there are at least 5 million missing White House e-mails from March 2003 to October 2005, according to the lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a private advocacy group.






In court papers seeking to end the case, the Justice Department said the White House Office of Administration has no substantial authority independent of President Bush and therefore is not subject to the disclosure requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.

Most of the White House is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, but certain components within it handle FOIA requests, including the Office of Administration, which issues annual reports on the number of FOIA requests it processes each year.

The 2006 annual report says the Office of Administration processed 65 FOIA requests.

The White House has said it is aware that some e-mails may not have been automatically archived on a computer server for the Executive Office of the President.

The e-mails, the White House has said, may have been preserved on backup tapes.

"The Office of Administration is looking into whether there are e-mails not automatically archived; and once we determine whether or not there is a problem, we'll take the necessary steps to address it," said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel.

The first indication of a problem came in early 2006 when special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald raised the possibility that records sought in the CIA leak investigation involving the outing of Valerie Plame could be missing because of an e-mail archiving problem at the White House.

The issue came into focus early this year amid the uproar over the firing of U.S. attorneys. It turned out that aides to Bush improperly used Republican Party-sponsored e-mail accounts for official business and that an undetermined number of e-mails had been lost in the process.

The Justice Department Web site, which lists all FOIA contacts inside the government, identifies seven units inside the Executive Office of the President as responding to FOIA requests, including the Office of Administration.

The Office of Administration "has certainly acted like an agency in the past," said Meredith Fuchs, general counsel to the National Security Archive, a private group advocating public disclosure of government secrets.

Fuchs' organization filed a request in February 2006 after Fitzgerald revealed that e-mails might be missing. When the Office of Administration finally denied the private group's request in June of this year, the office said it was not an "agency" as defined by the Freedom of Information Act and was therefore not subject to the law's requirements.

The administration has been resisting disclosure of information on an array of fronts.

In September 2006, Vice President Dick Cheney's lawyer instructed the Secret Service that it "shall not retain any copy" of material identifying visitors to the vice president's official residence. The lawyer, Shannen Coffin, wrote the letter as The Washington Post sought copies of Cheney's visitors.

The letter regarding the vice president's residence was in addition to an agreement quietly signed between the White House and the Secret Service when questions were raised about visits to the executive compound by convicted influence peddler Jack Abramoff.

That agreement, which didn't surface publicly until late last year, said White House entry and exit logs were presidential records not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

When the agreement was signed in May 2006, a number of private groups and news organizations had filed FOIA requests with the Secret Service in an effort to identify how many times Abramoff or members of his lobbying team visited the White House.

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On the Net:

White House Office of Administration: http://www.whitehouse.gov/oa/foia/foia2006.pdf

Justice Department: http://www.usdoj.gov/oip/foiacontacts.htm

wolfdancer
08-22-2007, 07:56 PM
They really have set up a secret Government....one who's rules
differ widely, even from administrations that were involved in wartime secrecy in the past.
And the reasons for all the secrecy, and document shredding have nothing to do with Homeland Security...

eg8r
08-23-2007, 07:00 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Our Secret Government, Answers To No One... <hr /></blockquote> Neither does your Democratic hopeful.

eg8r

Gayle in MD
08-23-2007, 08:54 AM
And the interesting part is that there is such a public outcry from the Goldwater Republicans of the past, who are leaving the party in the droves, and accusing the Bush administration of ruining their party. Does that lead you to believe that those who are defending the Bush administration, are not conservatives, in the true sense of the word, and that those who describe themselves as conservatives, but support this administration, are the segment from the radical, non-conservative right? I see nothing conservative about running up more foreign, and financial institutional debt, than all other administrations combined, or having a Faith Based Office, in the White House, or abusing signing statements, to avoid Congressional legislation, or lying this country into a war. Anyone who thinks that Bush is a conservative, or a Christian, is in a State Of Denial, IMO. when you consider that Gonzales's DOJ, AG's, launched investigations against Democrats, seven to one, compared to Republicans, and fired those who wouldn't play ball with them, and that Bush, is using Executive Priveledge to prevent a full and complete investigation, and through it all, nevertheless, the numbers of Republicans involved in corruption is unprecedented, kind of makes you wonder, doesn't it, how much more we don't know about, even now. Yet, this Christian President, refuses to fire a purgerous Attorney General, and suspends that sentence of another?

These people are corrupt, through and through. I have no respect for those who defend such outrageous actions, which have never been practiced other than by Richard Nixon, who was forced to resign, and whose former White House Attorney, John Dean, states, are worse than Nixon's.

Democrats, IMO, are making a huge mistake, by failing to impeach Cheney and Bush. The numbers of Americans that are demanding impeachment, are on the rise. I, for one, think that we must impeach, in order to protect the country from other presidents practicing the same illegal activities, to abuse their presidential power, in the future.

I don't think that is a partisan point of view, in fact, to defend such behavior, is the partisan view, IMO.

Gayle in Md.


Gayle in Md.

eg8r
08-23-2007, 10:46 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle:</font><hr> I don't think that is a partisan point of view, in fact, to defend such behavior, is the partisan view, IMO. <hr /></blockquote> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle without all the BS:</font><hr> I don't think I am partisan, in fact, anyone who disagrees with me ispartisan, IMO. <hr /></blockquote> eg8r

wolfdancer
08-23-2007, 11:41 AM
I think there should be a rule that you can't belong to a secret org.....and run for office.
that would have ruled out Bush's fellow bonesman....Kerry.
I'd also like to see this org investigated as their agenda it seems to me, is contrary to the precepts that this country was founded upon. It's a ruling elite that now has a stranglehold on American policy. We need some new HUAC hearings ....in the meantime...how many more months to go before we can sweep out the trash??
The Goldwater faction is but the first to condemn Bush...by 2008...he'll be persona non grata in the party, and they'll be scrambling...his rubber stamp congress...to rewrite their former support for Bush/Cheney....

Gayle in MD
08-23-2007, 12:01 PM
Jack,
There is so much more that will come out about these crooks before he leaves office. Have you read about how they handle protestors? Believe me, this attorney General scandal is no where near over. Gitmo, and the intimidation of those attorneys who offered their services, pro bono, to those people who have been locked up, without a trial, no habeas corpus. They are not all terrorists. many are innocent of anything other than talking to people that were only passing acquaintances. More of the AG's are coming forward, and the stories are not pretty. More cases that were launched against Democrats, that have clear evidence of Rove being involved in pressuring AG's to "Get Democrats" are being revealed, like a former Alabama Governor, can't recall his name. E-mails, which prove that they were using the DOJ as a political tool to win elections. It's going to get pretty ugly. Bush will leave office in disgrace. Even if they don't impeach him, his cover ups are fading away.

BTW, Bill Maher resumes this friday night, at eleven, EST. I'm looking forward to it. Can't wait to hear his comical review of recent events.

Also, Christiane Amanpor will complete her series on religious radicals tonight, and tonights episode is about Christians. Should be pretty interesting, and probably apalling.

Later,
Gayle

wolfdancer
08-23-2007, 12:14 PM
I'd like to catch the programs...unfortunately SS won't pay for HBO (barely pays for my pool and golf)...please send me your take..

Gayle in MD
08-23-2007, 01:05 PM
I'll try to get you a copy...it has really been very educational.

Later,
Gayle

cushioncrawler
08-23-2007, 04:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> I think there should be a rule that you can't belong to a secret org.....and run for office.....<hr /></blockquote>Woolfy -- woznt every but one prez a member of a masonic lodge??? The other must have been in some other secret society. madMac.

pooltchr
08-23-2007, 06:29 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> It's a ruling elite that now has a stranglehold on American policy. <hr /></blockquote>

Please tell me you don't believe this is a new concept. The two powerhouses of our country's government, the DNC and RNC have ruled for years. While they appear different on the outside, they are very similar in their desires to control Washington and the money that goes along with it. Between them, they have created a system that makes it virtually impossible for anyone who isn't in the good graces of one of these two groups to have any significant impact on the way our government is run. Go back 50 or 60 years and name one president that was chosen by the electorate, and not by the party. We don't choose our leaders, we pick from what they give us to choose from. And they haven't given us much to choose from in quite a while. Their main criteria seem to be which candidate has the potential to raise the most money in a campaign, and are they "electable". Leadership qualities aren't important.
Steve

wolfdancer
08-23-2007, 10:23 PM
No, i don't think it's a new concept...but I do think it goes way beyond politics...and neither party is immune to it's control.
I do think it has become even more powerful under this admin...with one questionable deal after another.

DickLeonard
08-24-2007, 06:26 AM
MAd Mac Kennedy was a Catholic and he made the mistake of going to Texas. I never heard if he was a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Bush and Kerry were both members of the Skull and Bones at Yale. A secret Society. ####

Gayle in MD
08-24-2007, 07:45 AM
Tha important issue is that this administration has chipped away at our constitution, our rights, and our democratic style of Government. In virtually every historical situation in which a leader is seeking to close down an open society, or put pressure on a democracy to weaken it, to shift it toward a more repressive regime, or even to crush a pro democracy up-rising, in a society that isn't free, they have taken the same ten steps exactly as have been systematically taken by the Bush administration.

This is the position of many former conservatives, from the Goldwater days. Quite a number of books have already been written about this, but the latest, which I have not yet read, written by Naomi Wolf, is said to make an open and shut case on the theory.

The book, The End Of America: A Letter Of Warning To A Young Patriot, lists each of these ten steps, and brings the present Constitutional/Democracy Crises into clear perspective. The involvment of organized religion, in the political sphere, also a huge part of this very dangerous, potentially devastating attack on freedom, privacy rights, and our deomcratic form of government.

It is not difficult, for those who cherish their freedom, and rights to privacy, and a non politicised system of justice, legal elections, to see the connection between the vast secrecy, illogical use of executive previledge as a cover up for illegal actions, and the use of fear, threats, and punishments against others, for exercising their constitutional right to speak their mind, which has been the name of the game with this administration, and it's supporters, and the inherent threat to our country, from within. When an administration locks up people with anti-Bush T-shirts on, and removes peaceful protestors, systematically, from the President's view, and from public property, and a president pardons himself, in advance of breaking the law, what kind of American, can defend this kins of outrageous behavior?

Gayle in Md.

Gayle in Md.

moblsv
08-24-2007, 08:39 AM
yet another example of ignoring the warnings of the founding fathers. In this case Thomas Paine comes to mind, who warned us of the dangers of the complexity and lack of transparency in govt as seen in England. (who got in trouble himself over his 'excess' transparency concerning French assistance)

It seems the founders, in their warnings of consolidation of power and partisanship stemming from lack of information, were once again prescient.

Gayle in MD
08-24-2007, 09:10 AM
You read my mind. It seems I grow more amazed, as time goes by, to re-discover, again and again, the tremendous awareness and intellect embodied in the philosophies, and structure laid out by our founding fathers. I trust that two crooks, like Bush and Cheney, will fall far short of removing them. They have endured thus far, and some of us, enopugh, I hope, still hold them dear.

Gayle in Md...have been reading up on Paine lately, /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif