This is Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote open government, transparency and freedom of information.
It’s ironic that on the first day of this annual event, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley was unceremoniously kicked to the curb. Crowley’s firing offense: Being too open in his view that Bradley Manning is being “mistreated”:
What is being done to Bradley Manning is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid on the part of the Department of Defense.
A new Knight Open Government Survey found that President Obama’s Freedom of Information Act memorandum notwithstanding, federal agencies are still reluctant to release information. Barely half of federal agencies are complying with Obama’s open government directive.
Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, said:
At this rate, the president’s first term in office may be over by the time federal agencies do what he asked them to do on his first day in office. Freedom of information laws exist to help all of us get the information we need for this open society to function. Yet government at all levels seems to have a great deal of trouble obeying its own transparency laws.