In the January 3, 2003 edition of the New York Times, Adam Clymer reports on the Bush administration's tendency to "put a much tighter lid than recent presidents on government proceedings and the public release of information." Among the Republican administration's efforts, Clymer documents the following:
- GOP Vice President Richard ("Dick") Cheney has refused to tell reporters, non-profit organizations and even the U.S. Congress' own General Accounting Office who he consulted with when drafting the White House Energy Policy. (click here to view the few whited-out documents he has allowed the public to "view").
- GOP Attorney General John Ashcroft has directed executive agencies to obstruct, by all legal means possible, Freedom of Information requests by the public. Democratic President Bill Clinton, by contrast, had set policy directing the same agencies to comply with, whenever legally possible, Freedom of Information requests about government activities.
- Republican party leaders have expanded powers of secret classification to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. What these state secrets are, we may never know.
- The number of classified documents in the Bush years has sharply risen.
- GOP President George W. Bush has increased the power of Presidents, even once out of office, to declare their professional communications off-limits to the public. The Republican President stripped the U.S. Archives' ability to review such decisions.
- Immigration hearings of those caught in INS sweeps are "have been closed to relatives, the news media and the public." No one knows the names of those detained. No one outside the current Republican administration, that is.
Apparently, the United States Government is now of, by, and for Republican party operatives.
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