Outing The White House Guest List

Obama wanted to run the most transparent administration in history -- so what's stopping him?

By Sara K. Smith
|  Friday, Jun 19, 2009  |  Updated 12:13 AM EDT
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Outing The White House Guest List

AP

Grumpy Gus does not care to disclose who's been visiting the Oval Office.

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Throughout the Bush administration, people complained about how terribly secretive the Bushies were, and how they classified as Top Secret pretty much every written item short of a grocery list, and how transparency was the key to a fully functioning democracy. BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Then-candidate Barack Obama made a lot of promises about how open and transparent his administration would be, and people believed him. That's why they're now in such a lather that the Secret Service, despite a very polite Freedom of Information Act request from MSNBC and the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington to release their list of visitors to the White House, has said "Nope, sorry, your request does not fall under the purview of FOIA."

During the Bush administration, a judge already ruled -- twice -- on a similar request and ordered them to turn over their records (which they never did, and managed to keep up a series of appeals that continue to this day). So why are Obama's people dragging their heels in much the same way?

Press secretary Robert Gibbs yesterday ventured a semicoherent explanation, to the tune of "The policy is under review." In English, that translates to, "We will release our visitor logs when Hell freezes over."

Let's take a moment to ponder what sinister entities President Obama may have been secretly entertaining in the White House the past five months:

The only way for President Obama to get this mess behind him is to tell his legal team to hurry up already with their "policy review," release the list once and for all, and finally reveal to the world that he has been meeting privately with Oprah every Tuesday morning.

Hotshot lawyer and governmental transparency advocate Sara K. Smith writes for NBC and Wonkette.

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