14 Apr 2011 4/14 Outrage of the Day
The White House appears to be using the term “transparency” when it really means “obfuscation.”
The White House website proudly boasts of making available “over 1,000,000 records of everyone who’s come through the doors of the White House” via a searchable database.Yet the Center’s analysis shows that the logs routinely omit or cloud key details about the identity of visitors, whom they met with and the nature of their visits. The logs even include the names of people who never showed up. These are critical gaps that raise doubts about the records’ historical accuracy and utility in helping the public understand White House operations, from social events to meetings on key policy debates.
Among the deficiencies cited:
- For 205,000 visits, the “event” description is blank;
- The number of visits reported for the President’s first chief-of-staff is suspiciously low;
- Less than one percent of what the Center for Public Integrity estimates were a half-million visits to the White House during the first eight months of the Administration are listed;
- People who did not go to the WHite House are listed as having been there;
- Two-thirds of the names disclosed are the names of tourists who participated in guided group tours, information is irrelevant to the reason for transparency — knowing who is meting with and influencing our government officials.
There’s more. Read it all here.
Fake transparency is worse than none — at least when there’s none, the public knows it doesn’t know.