The administration's 'War on inspectors general' continues
Thanks to Ed Lasky, American Thinker has been in the forefront of efforts to publicize this administration's "War on inspectors general." Lasky has written about numerous examples of how department officials in the Obama administration have blocked, slowed, or otherwise interferred in IG investigations. Several IG's have been fired after revealing uncomfortable truths about corrupt administration cronies and officials.
Lasky detailed some of these efforts to hide the truth just last month:
Freedom of Information Act requests have been routinely ignored-from the very start of Obama’s reign . An Associated Press report found the Obama administration has grown more secretive over time . He has a contemptuous attitude towards the media (and everyone else) and avoids press conferences and questions. Scrutiny leads to criticism and criticism is anathema to Barack Obama.
Congressional subpoenas are ignored and when the pressure grew too great, Barack Obama shielded Eric Holder from further inquiries related to the Fast and Furious gun scandal with an executive privilege claim - an extreme misuses of a power normally restricted to national security dealings (judges - the ones who have not been Obama’s nominees-are skeptical.) Stonewalling - with allies in Congress such as Elijah Cummings on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and on the Benghazi Select Committee leading the way - is Obama’s natural response to any truth-seekers The flurry of “lost emails” must be due to some electromagnetic pulse focused only on Washington or as satirist Iowahawk so aptly observed” apparently the leading cause of hard drive failures is subpoenas”
And now, the turn of the Justice Department.
DoJ inspector general Michael Horowitz testified before Congress that the department was hampering his investigations into employee wrongdoing.
The Justice Department’s internal watchdog offered Congress fresh evidence Tuesday that the Obama administration is failing to meet its promises of transparency, accusing department officials of interfering with his independent investigations into employee wrongdoing.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz told House lawmakers that Justice officials have declined to turn over documents and delayed cooperation with his investigators, undermining their role under the law to provide independent oversight to an agency with far-reaching powers to arrest or sue Americans, prosecute crimes and guard against terrorism.
“Access by inspectors general to information in agency files goes to the heart of our mission to provide independent and nonpartisan oversight,” he said.
Mr. Horowitz suggested to the House Judiciary Committee that it might be time for Congress to give his office “authority over all misconduct” cases inside the department, potentially trumping the offices of professional responsibility that also police department employees’ conduct.
Justice Department officials declined immediate comment and referred reporters instead to a statement in July by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole that suggested the department tries to work with inspectors general and congressional oversight committees but has limits to what information it can share when ongoing investigations are involved.
“In order to protect the integrity and independence of this investigation, we cannot disclose non-public information about the investigation while it remains pending,” Mr. Cole said at the time.
On Tuesday, Mr. Horowitz singled out FBI officials for withholding case files and other documents during an investigation into whether the bureau violated the civil rights of material witnesses in terrorism cases. Mr. Horowitz said the FBI declined to turn over the case files until conducting a page-by-page review to ensure any legally sensitive information was redacted.
“These preproduction reviews have caused substantial delays to OIG reviews and have undermined the OIG’s independence by giving the entity we are reviewing unilateral control over what information the OIG receives, and what it does not,” investigators said in a report that accompanied Mr. Horowitz’s testimony.
Do we detect a pattern here? Absolutely. Any potentially damaging information that would not reflect well on a specific department or the administration as a whole is given the slow motion treatment. We saw the same thing at the Treasury Department when the fraud associated with the stimulus bill was being investigated. Getting to the bottom of corruption in this administration is like pulling teeth - slow and painful. Even when the IG's finish the investigation, their recommendations to fix the problems are rarely adopted.
Given the number of IG and investigator vacancies, a suspicious person might think that the Obama administration was trying to hide waste and fraud in the various departments.
But we're not suspicious, are we?