Tag Archives: Freedom of Information Act

Hillary Clinton never signed separation form that required her to turn over all e-mails

National Review reports:

After days of fending off the question, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki admitted on Tuesday that the department has no record of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signing a separation form that could open her up to perjury charges.

Form OF-109 is a document required to be signed by all State Department employees as they exit the department. In it, the employee claims, under penalty of perjury, that he or she has turned over all relevant communications to the government at the time of his or her departure.

By turning over her private e-mails at the end of 2014, two years after leaving office, Clinton violated that agreement — if, in fact, she signed it.

On Tuesday, the State Department finally indicated that she did not — or at least, they have no records of her doing so. “We have reviewed Secretary Clinton’s official personnel file and administrative files, and do not have any record of her signing the OF-109,” Psaki said on Tuesday. “It is not clear that this form is used as part of a standard part of check-out across the federal government, or even at the State Department. So we’re certainly looking into that.”

AP reporter Matt Lee pressed Psaki, asking why the department had previously intimated that the form was “required” and if Clinton’s non-signature violated any rules.

“It’s not a violation of any rule, no,” she said, saying that signing the form may not be a common departure practice and that “there are differences between regulations and, certainly, recommendations.”

“The form exists, certainly,” Psaki said. “Beyond that, I don’t have more statistics on what percentage of State Department employees sign on departure from the building.”

“Yes, the form exists, and it exists for a reason,” Lee replied. “It doesn’t exist simply because someone thought, ‘Hey, let’s have a form that someone has to sign!’ It exists for a reason, and probably a pretty good reason, right?”

“Well, there are probably hundreds of forms in the federal government that exist — thousands, tens of thousands of forms that exist,” Psaki said. “So I don’t know that I would over-emphasize the existence of a form.”

They don’t have a record of her signing a required form. Everyone is supposed to sign that form before leaving the State Department. If the signed form were recovered, then she would be guilty of perjury for keeping a private e-mail server and deleting the e-mails. Add the missing e-mails to the millions of dollars of donations to the Clinton Foundation, and you have the makings of a serious, serious scandal.

Your puny laws don't apply to Queen Hillary!
Your puny laws don’t apply to Queen Hillary!

My absolute favorite liberal journalist is Ron Fournier, who writes for the very left-wing National Journal.

He says this is a big deal:

National Journal Senior Political Columnist and Editorial Director Ron Fournier said that Democrats are “scared to death” over the scandals regarding donations to the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s emails on Monday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel.

“Don’t buy the spin, they [Democrats] are scared to death. And there’s a lot of them who are already starting to think ‘is she really the best candidate for us?’…Their bench, compared to the Republican bench is awfully, awfully thin. And there’s a lot of Democrats, by the way, who are saying ‘follow the money.’ A lot of Democrats are really worried about the Foundation, that’s what they’re really worried about” he stated.

Earlier, Fournier said that the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of Chinese donations is “a big issue. There’s a lot of other ways the Chinese government, and the Saudis, and the [Qataris] — there are other ways that they can help the world if that’s what they want to do. They’re giving their money to the Clinton Foundation for a reason. They want something out of it. So I know, what I really want to see in these e-mails is any e-mail that mentions the Foundation and mentions one of the donors.”

Watch:

This should sink Hillary Clinton as a candidate, and it will, so long as the heat stays on.

White House turns its back on transparency

You might recall that previously, Barack Obama told us that his administration would be the most transparent ever:

But the White House is now refusing to comply with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests:

The White House is exempting an office from compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, angering open-government advocates, who accuse President Barack Obama of not living up to his pledge to run the “most transparent administration in history.”

The White House said Tuesday that the move to exclude the White House Office of Administration from the federal open-access law reflected a court ruling that predated the Obama administration and wouldn’t have any effect on its commitment to open records and its compliance with requests for records.

“This is a matter of just cleaning up the records that are on the books,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. “It has no impact at all on the policy that we had maintained from the beginning to comply with the Freedom of Information Act, when it’s appropriate.”

The move, announced Tuesday in the Federal Register, came as news organizations marked Sunshine Week to showcase the public’s right to know, and it drew sharp criticism from advocates who already give the administration poor marks for news-media access.

“This is another example of the White House position avoiding transparency,” said John Wonderlich, policy director of the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation. “Instead of creating more and better access to information, it’s trying to control it.”

“The president has routinely failed to deliver on his promise,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who’s proposed a law that would reduce the use of exemptions to withhold information from the public.

The most transparent administration in history? Not a smidgeon of corruption? Not so much.

MUST-READ: FBI records show Howard Zinn was a communist

From Accuracy in Media. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

The prominent “progressive” historian Howard Zinn, whose books are force-fed to young people on many college campuses, was not only a member of the Moscow-controlled and Soviet-funded Communist Party USA (CPUSA) but lied about it, according to an FBI file released on Friday.

The file, consisting of three sections totaling 423 pages, was made available on the FBI’s website and released in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from this writer.

Zinn taught in the political science department of Boston University for 24 years, from 1964 to 1988, and has been a major influence on the modern-day “progressive” movement that backed Barack Obama for president.

Although Zinn denied being a member of the CPUSA, the FBI file discloses that several reliable informants in the party identified Zinn as a member who attended party meetings as many as five times a week.

[…]The FBI file also includes information on Zinn’s pro-Castro activism and support for radical groups such as the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Progressive Labor Party (PLP), Socialist Workers Party (SWP), and Black Panther Party. Much of the latter was in connection with Zinn’s support for a communist military victory in Vietnam. His dealings with the Communist regime in Hanoi included a visit to the communist capital.

Read the whole thing. This guy is the author of the most widely-used textbook on American history in the United States. And he’s a communist. This is what your children were learning in history classes.

Don’t believe me, listen to a debate

In case you would like to know how well Howard Zinn’s communist ideas hold up under rational scrutiny, you can spend some time listening to Dennis Prager debating him on the Dennis Prager radio show.

This clip has links to the rest of the 4-clip series.

The playlist is here.

And thanks to the amazing ECM for finding this amazing story.

Freedom of Information Act request processing delayed by Democrats

Story from the Washington Post. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

For at least a year, the Homeland Security Department detoured hundreds of requests for federal records to senior political advisers for highly unusual scrutiny, probing for information about the requesters and delaying disclosures deemed too politically sensitive, according to nearly 1,000 pages of internal e-mails obtained by The Associated Press.

The department abandoned the practice after AP investigated. Inspectors from the department’s Office of Inspector General quietly conducted interviews last week to determine whether political advisers acted improperly.

The Freedom of Information Act, the main tool forcing the government to be more open, is designed to be insulated from political considerations. Anyone who seeks information through the law is supposed to get it unless disclosure would hurt national security, violate personal privacy or expose confidential decision-making in certain areas.

But in July 2009, Homeland Security introduced a directive requiring a wide range of information to be vetted by political appointees for “awareness purposes,” no matter who requested it. The government on Wednesday estimated fewer than 500 requests underwent such political scrutiny; the Homeland Security Department received about 103,000 total requests for information last fiscal year.

Career employees were ordered to provide Secretary Janet Napolitano‘s political staff with information about the people who asked for records – such as where they lived, whether they were private citizens or reporters – and about the organizations where they worked.

If a member of Congress sought such documents, employees were told to specify Democrat or Republican.

This, despite President Barack Obama‘s statement that federal workers should “act promptly and in a spirit of cooperation” under FOIA, and Attorney General Eric Holder‘s assertion: “Unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles have no place in the new era of open government.”

The special reviews at times delayed the release of information to Congress, watchdog groups and the news media for weeks beyond the usual wait, even though the directive specified the reviews should take no more than three days.

The foot-dragging reached a point that officials worried the department would get sued, one e-mail shows.

A new era of transparency and accountability! Not at all like paranoid Richard Nixon! No, no, no!

And we’re still operating without a budget – they don’t want to say how large the deficits are before the election!

MUST-READ: NASA admits that their data is worse than CRU Climate-gate data

Story here from Fox News. (H/T Andrew)

Excerpt:

NASA was able to put a man on the moon, but the space agency can’t tell you what the temperature was when it did. By its own admission, NASA’s temperature records are in even worse shape than the besmirched Climate-gate data.

E-mail messages obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that NASA concluded that its own climate findings were inferior to those maintained by both the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) — the scandalized source of the leaked Climate-gate e-mails — and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center.

The e-mails from 2007 reveal that when a USA Today reporter asked if NASA’s data “was more accurate” than other climate-change data sets, NASA’s Dr. Reto A. Ruedy replied with an unequivocal no. He said “the National Climatic Data Center’s procedure of only using the best stations is more accurate,” admitting that some of his own procedures led to less accurate readings.

“My recommendation to you is to continue using NCDC’s data for the U.S. means and [East Anglia] data for the global means,” Ruedy told the reporter.

“NASA’s temperature data is worse than the Climate-gate temperature data. According to NASA,” wrote Christopher Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute who uncovered the e-mails. Horner is skeptical of NCDC’s data as well, stating plainly: “Three out of the four temperature data sets stink.”

Global warming critics call this a crucial blow to advocates’ arguments that minor flaws in the “Climate-gate” data are unimportant, since all the major data sets arrive at the same conclusion — that the Earth is getting warmer. But there’s a good reason for that, the skeptics say: They all use the same data.

“There is far too much overlap among the surface temperature data sets to assert with a straight face that they independently verify each other’s results,” says James M. Taylor, senior fellow of environment policy at The Heartland Institute.

My guess is that they’ll need a lot of government money to research why their data is so corrupted. But Obama will surely oblige them.