Five Attacks on Obama’s Transparency Record During Sunshine Week

Proponents of government transparency are unimpressed with the Obama administration

This year’s Sunshine Week festivities were no party for the Obama administration. During the annual celebration of government transparency, several watchdog groups and investigative journalists released reports dinging the Obama administration for its failure to live up to its lofty standards.

Veterans Affairs Stonewalling the Press

Veterans’ Affairs Committee website highlights VA refusal to comment
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki / AP

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) failed to respond to nearly 70 media requests for comment over the past year, leading legislators in Congress to accuse it of stonewalling the public in a new website launched Monday.

Report: White House Review Hindering FOIA Releases

Cause of Action finds White House reviews resulting in significant FOIA delays

The White House is aggressively monitoring and reviewing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) disclosures, causing significant delays in some cases, a study by the watchdog group Cause of Action found.

FOIA documents obtained by Cause of Action show White House reviews delayed responses to investigative journalists, watchdog groups, and even congressional investigations.

Transparency Failure

Half of fed agencies not complying with FOIA law

Nearly half of all federal agencies have not updated their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations since President Barack Obama took office, despite pledges by the president and Attorney General Eric Holder to modernize and improve government transparency efforts.

Report: Agencies Failing at FOIA

Half of federal agencies have failed to meet transparency obligations
Attorney General Eric Holder / AP

Half of the federal agencies handling the bulk of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are failing at their transparency obligations, a government watchdog group reported Monday.

Europop Diplomacy: Ruslana Tours DC

Ukrainian pop sensation turned protest leader delivers message to Putin
Ukrainian popstar and political activist Ruslana / AP

WASHINGTON—Standing before a crowd of reporters at the National Press Club Wednesday, Ukrainian pop sensation turned protest leader Ruslana delivered a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin, first in English, then in Ukrainian, then in Russian:

“There are a lot of people like me, strong enough to keep peace,” Ruslana said. “Don’t touch Ukraine, President Putin. Don’t give us a lot of pain.”

Facebook Clamps Down on Gun Sales

Social media site caves to pressure from gun control advocates
A Facebook page for a gun exchange that may be banned by the new policies / AP

Facebook announced Wednesday it will work to restrict illicit gun sales on its networks after a months-long campaign by gun control activists.