Obama Reverses Bush Policies on FOIA and Executive Privilege

january 22, 2009  12:21 pm
President Barack Obama yesterday reversed a Bush administration policy making it easier for government agencies to deny requests for records under FOIA, and repealed Bush's executive order allowing former presidents or their heirs to claim executive privilege in order to keep records secret, the New York Times reports. "For a long time now there's been too much secrecy in this city," Obama said during a swearing-in ceremony for senior officials. “Transparency and rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency." Secrecy News calls it a "breathtaking series of statements and executive actions" that "gained immense force from the fact that it was presented on the President’s first full day in office." To read the text of the memos Obama issued to effectuate the changes, click here. MORE: Reaction from the Sunshine in Government Initiative and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy.