Obama treats whistleblowers as if they were enemies of the state

President Obama betrays his promise of transparency once again: a whistleblower who spilled the goods regarding politicization of the Department of Homeland Security suddenly finds herself marginalized in an all too transparent move to have her quit.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Catherine Papoi was the deputy unit chief for the DHS office that processed Freedom of Information Act requests. She told the DHS inspector general that Obama's political appointees were improperly interfering with the agency's FOIA response process, including those submitted by journalists and members of Congress. Not long afterward, Papoi found herself out of a job. She was still being paid at her old rate, but her title and office were taken by somebody else who was approved by one of the political appointees who Papoi claimed interfered with the department's FOIA responses. DHS officials denied retaliating against Papoi and cited as proof the fact that her grade and pay were unchanged. But that's the way Washington tames career employees who buck the political types -- the troublemaker is left with no official duties and is marginalized in every way possible in the bureaucratic equivalent of a rubber-hose beating.

Darrell Issa, the chairman of the house Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has started an investigation into this job change in the wake of Papoi's report to the DHS Inspector General.  Issa notes that "denying or interfering with employees' rights to furnish information to Congress is against the law."  Issa has a great deal on his plate as he continues on his quest to bring transparency to what has happened the last two years in the executive branch.

Obama had proclaimed, "democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires transparency."  But, as the Examiner editorial points out, studies have shown that there has been a great deal of stonewalling by this administration when it comes to disclosing information to the media, to Congress, and to the American people (and such secrecy goes far beyond the New Black Panther Case, where the Department of Justice has repeatedly tried to derail exposes of what many see as racially-motivated policies and goes beyond national security issues).

Freedom of Information requests are permitted by federal law. The whistleblower claims that response to them depended on the whims (partisan?) of political appointees and not on the merits of the requests.  Ironically, this came to light during the week that Obama was scheduled to receive an award for transparency during Sunshine Week ( a week meant to celebrate openness in government , derived from the saying by Louis Brandeis that sunshine was the best disinfectant ). The award ceremony was mysteriously dropped. Ed Morrissey covered what transpired regarding this award and also disclosed information (courtesy of the AP) that Obama has, in fact, dropped the ball completely when it comes to handling requests for information.  Furthermore, Obama has eliminated the "transparency czar" - a position he created after he used "transparency" and "openness" as campaign slogans back in 2008 .

But this is just part of a pattern by Barack Obama and his minions. He has, for example, had an ongoing war against Inspectors General (the people's first line of defense against executive branch chicanery , fraud, waste and abuse). He has routinely retaliated against government employees who look out for taxpayers and citizens when their actions may embarrass him or harm his friends and political allies. He so disdains Inspectors General that he tried to set up a new 30 billion dollar program that , by design, would not have an Inspector General to monitor its activities.

This is the modus operandi of Barack Obama-a man who seems to revel in  bullying those weaker than he while cravenly shrinking before those who might challenge him (take your pick: Iran, Russia, China). He admitted he did not fight fair back in 2008 in one of his few honest utterances ("if they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun").  At least he was transparent then regarding his view that fair fights are not for him. He believes in retaliation (shades of Richard Nixon).

Our president just does not like being graded (he modestly gave himself a mere B+ back in 2009) -- and those who might honestly judge his actions as the man in charge of the executive branch are taken out to the woodshed (with slanderous comments broadcast publicly) or worse -- they lose their jobs.  The only people he finds acceptable to scrutinize him are his fawning pals in the media (including National Public Radio). They grade him on a curve-just the way he likes it.

These are not the actions that befit a man who holds the Presidency.

And we will see more of the same in the years to come.
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