The Nook | Information the Liberal Media Intentionally Hides

Obama Regime Uses Secret Email Addresses to Skirt Transparency

Starting with Richard Windsor, the fake alias used by disgraced former EPA chief and slob Lisa Jackson is apparently just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to the transparency of the Obama regime.  The Associated Press in a long report notes that Richard Windsor is no (Sandur) fluke – top Obama appointees and officials use fake email accounts as a means of conducting business off the record, avoiding scrutiny an FOIA requests.

The secret email addresses are a deliberate plan by the Obama regime to punt self-proclaimed "most transparent administration in history claim," while still claiming it publicly. They have entered a gray legal area, which they plan to exploit.

Details from the Associated Press:

Some of President Barack Obama's political appointees, including the Cabinet secretary for the Health and Human Services Department, are using secret government email accounts they say are necessary to prevent their inboxes from being overwhelmed with unwanted messages, according to a review by The Associated Press.

The scope of using the secret accounts across government remains a mystery: Most U.S. agencies have failed to turn over lists of political appointees' email addresses, which the AP sought under the Freedom of Information Act more than three months ago. The Labor Department initially asked the AP to pay more than $1 million for its email addresses.

The AP asked for the addresses following last year's disclosures that the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency had used separate email accounts at work. The practice is separate from officials who use personal, non-government email accounts for work, which generally is discouraged - but often happens anyway - due to laws requiring that most federal records be preserved.

The secret email accounts complicate an agency's legal responsibilities to find and turn over emails in response to congressional or internal investigations, civil lawsuits or public records requests because employees assigned to compile such responses would necessarily need to know about the accounts to search them. Secret accounts also drive perceptions that government officials are trying to hide actions or decisions.

"What happens when that person doesn't work there anymore? He leaves and someone makes a request (to review emails) in two years," said Kel McClanahan, executive director of National Security Counselors, an open government group. "Who's going to know to search the other accounts? You would hope that agencies doing this would keep a list of aliases in a desk drawer, but you know that isn't happening."

Agencies where the AP so far has identified secret addresses, including the Labor Department and HHS, said maintaining non-public email accounts allows senior officials to keep separate their internal messages with agency employees from emails they exchange with the public. They also said public and non-public accounts are always searched in response to official requests and the records are provided as necessary.

The AP couldn't independently verify the practice. It searched hundreds of pages of government emails previously released under the open records law and found only one instance of a published email with a secret address: an email from Labor Department spokesman Carl Fillichio to 34 coworkers in 2010 was turned over to an advocacy group, Americans for Limited Government. It included as one recipient the non-public address for Seth D. Harris, currently the acting labor secretary, who maintains at least three separate email accounts.

Google can't find any reference on the Internet to the secret address for HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Congressional oversight committees told the AP they were unfamiliar with the non-public government addresses identified so far by the AP.

The report is a must read.  How the Obama regime and the press handles this is critical, as they want to avoid pinning the administration to the ground.  The fact remains that this tactic is deliberate and the Obama regime has a lot to hide.  This is how a tyranny prospers.

Chuck Justice is the editor-in-chief for Habledash. 

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