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A Times Editorial

Editorial: Administration obsessed with secrecy

While the Justice Department rummages through Associated Press phone records and a Fox News reporter's emails, the Obama administration is making it even harder to hold itself accountable. More than three months ago, the AP filed public records requests for secret government email addresses of appointed administration employees, which should be available under the Freedom of Information Act. Most departments have not turned over the information. The Labor Department had the nerve to initially tell the AP it would have to pay $1 million, citing exhaustive labor required to dig up the requested addresses.

Asking for such a ransom effectively shields the information, which is why it's illegal. The Labor Department later said the charge was a mistake and eventually released the addresses.

The need for more than one email account for high-profile public officials is understandable. Widely distributed accounts quickly fill up. But unlisted accounts used to conduct official business must remain available to the public.

The Obama administration is obsessed with secrecy. It goes too far in demanding emails and phone records from journalists doing their jobs, and it goes too far in preventing the public from seeing its emails that are clearly public record.

Editorial: Administration obsessed with secrecy 06/07/13 [Last modified: Friday, June 7, 2013 3:36pm]
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