Remember that time when Barack Obama promised to run the most transparent administration in history? It's laughable at this point to even think that he aspired to do so, considering that his administration has been filled with secrecy, evasiveness and everything we've come to loathe about Washington.
Today we learned that Obama's top political appointees have been using secret email accounts to conduct official administration business. There are apparently non-public government email accounts being used by officials at various agencies. Officials claim they are necessary in or to keep their inboxes from being overwhelmed. The problem arises when Freedom of Information Act requests are made by, let's say, news organizations. The Associated Press, which broke the story, can only identify one instance where a FOIA request resulted in the government turning over the material related to a secret email account.
So now the question is: How many political appointees use these secret accounts? At this point, only the Department of Health and Human Services and the Labor Department have complied with the request for a list of secret emails. In fact, initially the Labor Department demanded that the Associated Press pay over $1 million for the information, a request which they later labeled a “mistake.” Ya think? The AP is still waiting for ten other government agencies to turn over the list of email address.
Perhaps the biggest source of controversy surrounds HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Already in the hot seat for seeking donations from private companies to fund the implementation of ObamaCare, it turns out that Sebelius is one of the administration officials with a secret email account. According to the report, the government asked the AP not to disclose Sebelius' secret account. The AP decided to publish the secret address “over the government's objections because the secretary is a high-ranking civil servant who oversees not only major agencies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services but also the implementation of Obama's signature health care law.” So an administration official who is already in the hot seat for possibly illegal – if nothing else, unethical – actions on behalf of ObamaCare turns out to have a secret email address? This isn't shaping up too well for the Obama administration and its signature law: ObamaCare.
In fact the very people who engage in similar deceptive behavior – people like former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, aka. Richard Windsor – have been rewarded for ethics and records management. Are you kidding me?
At this point, the public trust in this administration and Washington in general must be at an all-time low. We've been given absolutely no reason to believe that these people feel any sense of necessity to operate with a moral compass. It's as if they felt no one would be able to catch them; It's as if they could operate autonomously forever. That is an absolute frustration to the American people who demand accountability, honesty and transparency. This administration and the culture in Washington has been anything but that.