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Rescind Obama's "Transparency Award" Now!

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davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 08:43 AM
Original message
Rescind Obama's "Transparency Award" Now!

This petition can be signed at http://takeawardback.org

Scroll down to see list of signers and to add your name or that of your organization.

Tell Project on Government Oversight (POGO), OMB Watch, the National Security Archive, Open the Government.Org, and the Reporters Committee to publicly take back their Transparency Award to President Obama.

On March 28, 2011, President Obama was given a "transparency award" from five "open government" organizations: OMB Watch, the National Security Archive, the Project on Government Oversight, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and OpenTheGovernment.org. Ironically -- and quite likely in response to growing public criticism regarding the Obama Administration's lack of transparency -- heads of the five organizations gave their award to Obama in a closed, undisclosed meeting at the White House. If the ceremony had been open to the press, it is likely that reporters would have questioned the organizations' proffered justification for the award, in contrast to the current reality:

President Obama has not decreased but has dramatically increased governmental secrecy! According to a new report to the president by the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) -- the federal agency that provides oversight of the government's security classification system -- the cost of classification for 2010 has reached over $10.17 billion. That's a 15 percent jump from the previous year, and the first time ever that secrecy costs have surpassed $10 billion. Last month, ISOO reported that the number of original classification decisions generated by the Obama administration in 2010 was 224,734 -- a 22.6 percent jump from the previous year. See "The Price of Secrecy, Obama Edition".
.
There were 544,360 requests for information last year under the Freedom of Information Act to the 35 biggest federal agencies -- 41,000 requests more than the year before. Yet the bureaucracy responded to 12,400 fewer requests than the prior year, according to an analysis by the Associated Press.

Obama has invoked baseless and unconstitutional executive secrecy to quash legal inquiries into secret illegalities more often than any predecessor. The list of this President's invocations of the "state secrets privilege" has already resulted in shutting down lawsuits involving the National Security Agency's illegal wiretapping -- Jewel vs. NSA & Shubert vs. Obama; extraordinary rendition & assassination -- Anwar al-Aulaqi; and illegal torture -- Binyam Mohamed.

Ignoring his campaign promise to protect government whistleblowers, Obamas presidency has amassed the worst record in US history for persecuting, prosecuting, and jailing government whistleblowers and truth-tellers. President Obama's behavior has been in stark contrast to his campaign promises which included live streaming meetings online and rewarding whistleblowers. Obamas Department of Justice is twisting the 1917 Espionage Act to press criminal charges in five alleged instances of national-security leaks -- more such prosecutions than have occurred in all previous Administrations combined.

The Obama DOJ's prosecution of former NSA official Thomas Drake who, up till June 9, faced 35 years in prison for having blown the whistle on the NSA's costly and unlawful warrantless monitoring of American citizens typifies the abusive practices made possible through expansive secrecy agreements and threats of prosecution.

President Obama has set a powerful and chilling example for potential whistleblowers through the abuse and torture of Bradley Manning, whose guilt he has also publicly stated prior to any trial by his, Obama's, military subordinates.

Obama is the only president who has reenacted Fahrenheit 451 by actually having his agency collect and burn a book due to a never-justified classification excuse: Lt. Col Tony Shaffers Operation Dark Heart.

Under President Obama, the FBI has launched a series of raids and issued grand jury subpoenas targeting nearly two dozen antiwar activists. Over two thousand six hundred arrests of protesters in the US have been made while Obama has been president, further encroaching on the exercise of First Amendment rights.

President Obama has initiated a secret assassination program, has publicly announced that he has given himself the power to include Americans on the list of people to be assassinated, and has attempted to assassinate at least one, Anwar al-Aulaqi.

President Obama has maintained the power to secretly kidnap, imprison, rendition, or torture, and he has formalized the power to lawlessly imprison in an executive order. This also means the power to secretly imprison. There are some 1,700 prisoners outside the rule of law in Bagram alone.

The Obama Administration is also busy going after reporters to discover their sources and convening grand juries in order to target journalists and news publishers.

President Obama promised to reveal White House visitors' logs. He didn't. In response to outrage over his refusal to reveal the names of health insurance CEOs he had met with and cut deals with on the health insurance reform bill, he announced that he would release the names going forward, but not those in the past. And going forward he would withhold names he chose to withhold. White House staff then began regularly meeting lobbyists just off White House grounds in order to avoid the visitors' logs.

President Obama has sent representatives to aggressively pressure Spain, England, and Germany to shut down investigations that could have exposed the crimes of the Bush era, just as he has instructed the US DOJ to avoid such matters. This includes his refusal to allow prosecutions of the CIA for torture, following a public letter from 8 previous heads of the CIA informing him that he had better not enforce those laws.

The "transparency award" in question was described as "aspirational," similar to the rationale for awarding Obama the Nobel Peace Prize early in his presidency when he had done nothing yet to further the cause of peace. Participants admitted they used the private meeting in March to try and lobby Obama to do more to earn their award. If the President doesnt change course as a result of the lobbying and "award," there are some who would shrug and say, "no harm, no foul." The giving of an unmerited award, however, whether for transparency or peace, is not entirely benign! No one knows better how destructive secrecy is for maintaining systems of justice, ethics and democracy than these self-proclaimed "open government" watchdogs. Especially when such a false accolade emanates, as in this case, from those who are supposed to serve as counters to secrecy and to retaliation against government whistleblowers, such appearance of approval will tend to cover up and mask the reality of the Executives increasingly undemocratic and illegal use of secrecy.

Therefore the undersigned call on these organizations: OMB Watch, the National Security Archive, the Project on Government Oversight, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and OpenTheGovernment.org, to publicly take back their "transparency award," as difficult as that may be, from Barack Obama. The watchdog organizations should, of course, continue to promote aspirations for open, democratic government, reduced secrecy and adherence to the rule of law, in more genuine, legitimate ways than giving unmerited awards to the Executive. Such false awards only stand to backfire and hurt the cause of open government.

Drafted by FBI Whistleblowers Sibel Edmonds & Coleen Rowley

Whistleblowers:

Raymond L. McGovern- Former Analyst, CIA
Colonel Ann Wright- US Army Reserve (Ret.) & Former US diplomat
Daniel Ellsberg- Former Official, Department of Defense & Department of State
Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski- US Air Force (Ret.), Veteran Policy Analyst, DOD
Lt. Colonel Tony Shaffer- Senior Intelligence Officer (Operations), DIA
Jesselyn Radack- Former Attorney, Department of Justice
John M. Cole- Former Veteran Intelligence Operations Specialist, FBI
David Mark Conrad- Agent in Charge (Ret.), Internal Affairs, U.S. Customs
P. Jeffrey Black, Air Marshal- (Ret.) Federal Air Marshal Service, Department of Homeland Security
Bogdan Dzakovic- Former Red Team Leader, FAA
Russ Tice- Former Senior Intelligence Analyst, NSA
Sandalio Gonzalez- Special Agent in Charge (Ret.), DEA
John Vincent- Veteran Special Agent, Counterterrorism, FBI
Bill Bergman- Financial Market Analyst, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Steve Jenkins- Intelligence Analyst, NGIC, US Army
Linda Lewis- Policy Analyst (Ret.), U.S. Department of Agriculture
David MacMichael PhD- Former Senior Estimates Officer, CIA
William H. Russell- Computer Specialist, R & E Division, NSA
William Savich- Special Agent, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Department of State
Julia Davis- Customs & Boarder Protection Officer, Department of Homeland Security
Tom Maertens- Counter-Terrorism Official (Ret.), Department of State
Joseph Carson- PE, Nuclear Safety Engineer, Department of Energy
Gabe Bruno- Manager (Ret.), Flight Standards Services, FAA
Dr. Jeffrey Fudin- Founder, VA Whistleblowers Coalition

Organizations:

National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
National Whistleblowers Center
Green Party of the U.S.
Citizens for Legitimate Government
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Campaign for Peace and Democracy
September 11th Advocates
Code Pink
Consumers for Peace
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
WarIsACrime.org
OSC Watch
Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence
Socialist Party of Central Virginia
Environmentalists Against War
High Road for Human Rights
Broken Covenant Campaign
Bring Our Troops Home Coalition
Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains
United for Peace and Justice
Americans Who Tell the Truth
Veterans for Peace Chapter 27
Committee to Stop FBI Repression


This petition can be signed at http://takeawardback.org

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inna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
1. why IN THE WORLD did they give him that award in late March 2011, only 2 months ago??
Edited on Tue Jun-14-11 09:11 AM by inna
his record on this issue is simply *horrible* (as in, literally worse than Bush).


(and while we're at it, how about rescinding his Nobel Peace Prize (what a sick, sad joke!) as well. :eyes: )
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
2. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
inna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. exactly. he effectively "neutered" the liberal "left".


(oh, and speaking of organizations... don't even mention ACORN... ACORN actually got "put to sleep", not just "neutered". :(
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neoralme Donating Member (812 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 09:07 AM
Response to Original message
3. I agree wholeheartedly. Obama is about as transparent as the wall
of a Mosler Safe. He IS eligible for the least-deserving Nobel Peace Prize Recipient in History. Maybe Norway will give one to Beelzebub next year.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
5. Deleted message
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Solomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
6. Why stop there? Let's petition to take back his Nobel Peace Prize,
Let's also petition to take back his Harvard Law degree and his Columbia diploma. Hell, let's recall him as President. Impeach the bastard! :sarcasm:
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montanto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. "Let's petition to take back his Nobel Peace Prize"
I agree.
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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. Academic degrees and honorary awards are not the same...
you seem to be implying Obama's academic degrees were not earned but awarded as prizes instead.
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Solomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. That's right, he hasn't earned a damned thing.
:sarcasm:
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. You're building straw men.
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #6
19. Uh no. He earned the degrees and was legitimately elected
But you have no right to call yourself transparent while increasing secrecy. Secrecy always leads to right-wing results anyway. Secrecy can never have progressive consequences again. World War II was the only time it ever did.
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WatsonT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #19
29. But don't you see though?
If you think he's wrong on anything you must think he's wrong on everything, meaning you're nuts!

:sarcasm:
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WatsonT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
28. How many Nobel Peace Prize winners started new and unnecessary wars?
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whatchamacallit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
7. Up is down, black is white, war is peace, lies are truth... K&R n/t
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
8. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
10.  Giving him a prize for "transaprency" is almost as laughable as giving him a prize for "peace".
Edited on Tue Jun-14-11 10:38 AM by Tierra_y_Libertad
But, as an exercise in irony it works.
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man4allcats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
11. K&R and
signed!
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theFrankFactor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
12. Nice to see some Dems aren't afraid of the truth. Tansparencey! LOL!!!!
I LOVED his transparency re: the "Buy private "health" insurance mandate" bill!
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man4allcats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. +1 | A personal rec from one Frank family member to another
I seriously doubt we're related, but we do seem to think alike. B-)
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Plucketeer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
16. Signed with glee.
About as transparent as a mud pie.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
17. Deleted message
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-11 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
18. At first I thought this was satire. Could not imagine ANY group giving President Obama
a Transparency Award. Except maybe for his transparent attempts to gut the Constitution, give every penny of our Treasury to Wall Street, and dismantle every social program that benefits working Americans.

REC.
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annm4peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 12:12 AM
Response to Original message
21. great list of people and groups
if all these groups could get a presidential candidate I would see real hope. we could have a new party the reflects the needs and wishes of the workers.
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hulka38 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 12:18 AM
Response to Original message
22. KR & signed
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JTFrog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 05:58 AM
Response to Original message
23. "we do not allow criticism that is designed to promote votes or actions against Democrats."
"While we encourage vigorous discussion about the issues, including criticism from the left, we do not allow criticism that is designed to promote votes or actions against Democrats."

Oh, except when "we" do.

Why a post working against a Democratic President is allowed on DU is beyond me. I guess it's ok if people rec it. :eyes:



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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 06:21 AM
Response to Original message
24. As I read down the list.... I'm thinking hmmm.. no wonder there
is no movement in keeping folks in their homes, gainfully employed, or ending these stupid wars.... Washington is ubberly distracted....
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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
25. I think the circumstances of it's presentation ...
are enough to highlight the stupidity of the awarders.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
26. K&R
for truth
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-11 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
27. kr
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