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Gibbs Repeats "Most Transparent Administration in History" Line, Reporters Laugh

10:42 AM, Apr 28, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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From Politico's report on reporters' frustration with White House secrecy:

A few days later, Gibbs said at one of his briefings, “This is the most transparent administration in the history of our country.”

Peals of laughter broke out in the briefing room.

That happened on April 19. 

I imagine that some reporters laughed because of the White House's stingy and selective doling out of scoops--shockingly, the New York Times has a special relationship with Obama--and the fact that Obama "has severely cut back the informal exchanges with the press pool." Politico reports that "Bill Clinton did 252 such Q&A sessions—an average of one every weekday. Bush did 147. Obama did 46, according to Towson University Professor Martha Kumar."

But the administration's stonewalling on national security matters is much worse.

Here's a headline from April 27: "Administration only partially complies with Ft. Hood subpoenas."

Perhaps the most egregious example of stonewalling is the secrecy surrounding Gitmo detainees. As Steve Hayes reported last month:

The secrecy started early. In early February 2009, The Weekly Standard requested a report on Guantánamo Bay recidivism from the Pentagon. We were initially told that we would have it within days. Then it would take weeks. Then months. The Pentagon finally posted a “fact sheet” on the report in April but only after its contents had been widely reported based on leaks.

We requested the updated version of the recidivism report last fall. Although administration officials have referred to its findings in public, the report itself remains classified and unavailable to the public.

So, too, are thousands of pages of documents on the Guantánamo detainees the Obama administration has transferred or released over the past 14 months. When Obama came to office there were approximately 242 detainees remaining at Guantánamo. With a few exceptions, these individuals were still at Gitmo for a very good reason: They were among the most dangerous of the jihadists captured by the United States since September 11, 2001.

There are now 188 detainees at Guantánamo. Who are the 54 detainees no longer there? Sometimes the Obama administration chose to tell us and sometimes it did not. Where did they go? Are they being monitored? By whom? Do they still pose a danger to the United States?

In most cases, we have no idea. And the White House refuses to talk about it.

More here.

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