“… a Justice Department lawyer actually argued to a federal district court judge that there should be an exemption from Freedom of Information Act disclosure rules for documents that would subject senior administration officials to embarrassment — as in on late-night television.”

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From Dan Froomkin:

… Yes, a Justice Department lawyer actually argued to a federal district court judge that there should be an exemption from Freedom of Information Act disclosure rules for documents that would subject senior administration officials to embarrassment — as in on late-night television.

This is not just wrong, it’s perversely wrong. By contrast, a good rule of thumb would be: The more embarrassing, the more we need to know. The Justice Department and the White House should be forced to renounce this assertion immediately.

And if this wasn’t bizarre enough, consider the irony that in the case at hand, the Obama Justice Department is fighting the release of a transcript of former vice president Dick Cheney’s testimony to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald about his role in the outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA agent.

And guess what else? The Obama team relied extensively on a legal opinion (via Emptywheel) authored by Stephen Bradbury, the utterly discredited head of the Office of Legal Counsel whose other writings included memos outrageously asserting that torture was legal — and that Karl Rove had absolute immunity from congressional oversight. …

If any more Obamabots respond to objections to this kind of sell-out by asserting “Hillary would have done worse” in my presence I am going to pinch them, hard. Obama won my support by making claims he is not living up to in a number of contexts, and he deserves to be called on it.

–Ann Bartow

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