Obama spent a record $36 million fighting information requests
This was from "the most transparent administration in history"
The Obama administration blew a record $36.2 million in taxpayer funds on legal costs in its final year fighting requests for federal records under the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA), according to an analysis by a media outlet unnamed here that is known to freak out and threaten lawsuits when its material appears in other media.
The litigation study was conducted by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.
Obama set the tone for his administration even before taking office. During the 2008 campaign, Obama’s people kicked reporters they didn’t like off the campaign plane. The reporters, from the New York Post, Washington Times, and Dallas Morning News,all worked for media outlets that had recently endorsed Republican candidate John McCain.
As Alyssa Canobbio dryly observed at the Washington Free Beacon, “The millions of dollars spent in lawsuits to conceal records from public requests show the administration’s struggle with President Barack Obama’s pledge to be ‘the most transparent administration in history.'”
In President Obama’s final year in office, “77 percent of those who asked for records received censored files or nothing at all.”
“If you look at the last eight years, there has been a very concerted war on not just sources and whistleblowers, but also journalists, implemented by not Donald Trump but by the Obama administration,” left-wing journalist Glenn Greenwald said on CNN last month. In the Obama era, Greenwald and other reporters were frequently threatened with subpoenas. More sources were prosecuted under the Espionage Act under Obama than in all previous administrations put together, he said.
In 2013, another left-wing writer, Norman Solomon, excoriated the Obama administration for waging war on journalism.
“There’s something profoundly despicable about a Justice Department that would brazenly violate the First and Fourth Amendments while spying on journalists, then claim to be reassessing such policies after an avalanche of criticism—and then proceed, as it did this week, to gloat that those policies made possible a long prison sentence for a journalistic source.”
“While mouthing platitudes about respecting press freedom,” Solomon added, “the president has overseen methodical actions to undermine it.”
We know that the Obama administration wiretapped reporters and gained access to their telephone records. It targeted bona fide whistleblowers with ferocious determination.
And don’t forget that in 2011, Vice President Joe Biden’s staff shuntedOrlando Sentinel reporter Scott Powers into a closet during a $500-a-plate fundraiser. Biden’s handlers didn’t want Powers interviewing guests.
President Obama treated journalists with undisguised contempt. And yet they loved him.