Rescind Obama's "Transparency Award" Now
On March 28, 2011, President Obama was given a "transparency award" from five "open government" organizations
• 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, Obama’s presidency has amassed the worst record in
• 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
• 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
• 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
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 doesn’t 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 Executive’s increasingly undemocratic and illegal use of secrecy.
Therefore the undersigned call on these organizations
Drafted by FBI Whistleblowers Sibel Edmonds & Coleen Rowley
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-
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,
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
Steve Jenkins- Intelligence Analyst,
Linda Lewis- Policy Analyst (Ret.),
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
National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
Green Party of the
Citizens for Legitimate Government
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Campaign for Peace and Democracy
September 11th Advocates
Consumers for Peace
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence
Socialist Party of
Environmentalists Against War
High Road for Human Rights
Broken Covenant Campaign
Bring Our Troops Home Coalition
Progressive Democrats of the
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