MARCH 15 2006 the Sun Shines in Over 60 Countries Worldwide
Number of Pages:2
Date Created:February 28, 2013
Date Uploaded to the Library:February 20, 2014
Autogenerated text from PDF
The Sun Shines Over Countries Worldwide Sunshine Weekthe brainchild activists, journalists and media organizations whose raison detre dependent upon access information, marked its second anniversary March 2006. Transparency groups America use this week heighten public awareness their right-to-know and illustrate the importance openness and transparency government with stories achievements since Congress passed the Freedom Information Act 1966. This year, however, Sunshine Week took the appearance Irish wake with storytelling past accomplishments and much bemoaning its current condition America. The director the National Security Archive George Washington University, Thomas Blanton, provided this incisive synopsis government secrecy and the purpose Sunshine Week: Secrecy the threshold tool that they use, the powerful use, keep the dark, keep their power, keep control, keep their turf, keep their budgets. Because they are better off when were the dark. Were not safer the dark. And thats sort the message sunshine week. And provoke America jealousylest forget what has made greatthe Brookings Institute brought together leading experts from India and Mexico showcase the progress their governments have made nurturing transparency and openness. Today over countries outside Americas borders use right-to-know laws daily improve economic and social conditions and guard against corruption. But America prosecutes its war terror, the civil and constitutional rights enjoyed prior September have ostensibly been placed jeopardy new set rules. This roll back has been caused those government who are applying these new guidelines indiscriminate fashion and withholding information with little bearing legitimate national security interestseffectively turning back the clock openness and transparency government. heated debate Congress turned preserving the civil and constitutional rights enjoyed U.S. citizens light the security measures required prosecute war terrornow embodied The Patriotic Actand passed near unanimous vote Congress shortly following the terrorist attacks September 11. Within one day its sunset, after lengthy debate, attempted filibuster, and final acquiescence the majority Congress, The Patriot Act was renewed and signed into law President Bush March 2006. Balancing security concerns and civil liberties difficult task. is, however, cause for concern when narrowly crafted exclusions for national security are used carte blanche restrict access any and all records. And has been found, more often than not, that when government agencies politicians seek restricted access documents unrelated national securityit due ineptitude, malfeasance, self-enriching schemes. Mr. Blanton, veteran national security archivist and Freedom Information Act specialist, commenced the briefing reading the charges against Americas regression, roster-style, which can summed one word: secrecy. His roster read, part: secret energy task force that had secret meetings with Enron1 secret evidence about mercury and the fish and tuna fish that pregnant mothers and kids are eating secret costs estimates about how much the Medicare drug plan2 actually going cost the taxpayers. secret program back and look the open shelves the National Archives and pull off documents that have been out for decades and stick them back into the secret vaults. This was the tone the briefing held the Brookings Institute, comparison was made with Americas recent regression toward secrecy and the good progress seen underdeveloped democratic countries the creation and implementation right-toknow laws. was celebration the spread transparency developing democracies and warning Americas leaders not lose sight that which helped make the leader the free world. Judicial Watch requested and was denied access records and meetings the Cheney Energy Policy Development Group and subsequently filed suit the U.S. District Court July 16, 2001. The case proceeded through appeals and was eventually decided the U.S. Supreme Court April 27, 2004. See attached link for details: Judicial Watch, Inc. National Energy Policy Development Group. Judicial Watch obtained documents the costs the Medicare prescription drug bill, which were deliberately withheld from Congress and the American people. Congressional approval the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act 2003 was based Congressional Budget Office cost estimate $395 billion over years. The Department Health and Human Services cost estimate $534 billion was not provided lawmakers.