02.15.2012 0

Secrecy prize winner? Department of Justice

Open Government at the Department of Justice

Photo Credit: The Department of Justice

The Department of Justice is the recipient of a prize awarded to those in government who attempt to act in secrecy the best in an effort to make sure the public doesn’t know what they are doing. In the most transparent administration in history as Obama billed it, it should come as no surprise that Eric Holder’s department, currently under investigation for operation ‘Fast & Furious’ is coming under fire for acting secretive.

This is the same department that has a “Open Government” section of their website prominently advertised on the front page of their website. They even have a plan for being transparent prominently featured!

From the Washington Post:

The Justice Department, beating fierce competition from the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security and others, has won this year’s coveted Rosemary Award, named for President Richard M. Nixon’s secretary Rose Mary Woods , who somehow erased 181 / 2 minutes of a crucial Watergate tape.The seventh annual award, presented by the George Washington University-based National Security Archive, honors the agency that has done the very most in the previous year to enhance government secrecy and keep the public in the dark.

The agency’s actions “seem in practical rebellion against President Obama’s 2009 open-government orders,” said Tom Blanton, director of the Archive.

The Archive said the department, among other things, engaged in “selective and abusive prosecutions of espionage laws against whistleblowers as ostensible ‘leakers’ of classified information” and conducted “more ‘leaks’ prosecutions in the last three years than in all previous years combined,” while experts say “over-classification” of government documents is endemic.

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