Sunday, March 13, 2005

Watch your backs! 

MSNBC - Poll: 7 in 10 worried about government secrecy
This story reports on an issue about which I am increasingly concerned. The story indicates that only 6 per cent of the US public thinks there is now "too much" access to government records. But I'll bet among that 6 per cent is the Pentagon, the State Department, and the White House. Most of the prisoner abuse stories and Guantanamo revelations of the last several months would not have happened without the ACLU and the Freedom of Information Act, and I am convinced that the Bush Administration would love to trash this act if they possibly could.
So it gave me a chill to read in this news story: "A bipartisan bill now in the U.S. Senate seeks to revisit the federal Freedom of Information Act to address many of the open-government complaints." I couldn't find out what bill this might be, but I don't believe it - a "bipartisan" bill in today's Republican-lock-step let's-all-vote-for-Gonzales-the-Torturer Senate? A bill aimed at "improving" access to government records? Oh yeah, tell me another one. Given the pattern now followed in the Bush administration, what would happen is that a bunch of amendments would be shoehorned into the bill at the last minute which would actually result in slamming the door shut on FOIA requests. And the republicans would vote for this, Democrats need to watch their backs on this one.

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