Irony: Obama Gets Transparency Award, In Secret



Image Courtesy of AP

I don’t think they know what transparency means.

President Obama finally and quietly accepted his “transparency” award from the open government community this week — in a closed, undisclosed meeting at the White House on Monday.

The secret presentation happened almost two weeks after the White House inexplicably postponed the ceremony, which was expected to be open to the press pool.

This time, Obama met quietly in the Oval Office with Gary Bass of OMB Watch, Tom Blanton of the National Security Archive, Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight, Lucy Dalglish of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and Patrice McDermott of, without disclosing the meeting on his public schedule or letting photographers or print reporters into the room.

Note that the original secret undisclosed meeting was postponed – with no reason given. More transparency that is the exact opposite of transparency. Steve Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy had the line of the day:

“And in that sense, one could say it resembles the award at the Nobel Peace Prize,” Aftergood said. “It’s not because Obama brought peace to anyone but because people hoped he would be a force for good in the world, and maybe that’s the way to understand this award.

Heh. It should also be noted that the Obama Administration keeps transparency awards secret, yet does not feel the same need to keep actual covert orders secret.

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