Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Open and transparent Sarah Palin

I published a post in the early hours and didn't comment on the topic in detail. I would like to go back to it.

Secrecy in government is nothing new, especially when it involves dodgy characters.

Watergate tapes

Nixon initially refused to release the tapes, claiming they were vital to national security. Then, on October 19, 1973, he offered to have U.S. Senator John C. Stennis review and summarize the tapes for the special prosecutor's office. Independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox refused the compromise and on Saturday, October 20, 1973, Nixon ordered the Attorney General, Elliot Richardson to dismiss Cox. Richardson refused and resigned instead, as did Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus. Finally, Solicitor General and acting head of the Justice Department Robert Bork discharged Cox.

Timeline of the events:

July 13, 1973: Butterfield reveals existence of taping system in the White House
July 23, 1973: Cox requests the tape of June 21, 1972 conversations between Nixon, Haldeman, and Ehrlichman
July 23, 1973: Nixon refuses to turn over presidential tapings
October 1, 1973: * Woods transcribes the tape and informs President Nixon of the erasing error
October 20, 1973: Nixon orders Cox to be fired; Saturday Night Massacre ensues.
Mid-October 1973: * Buzhardt learns of a problem with the tape
October 30, 1973: White House releases some of the subopened conversations, including the 18½-minute gap
November 8, 1973: Woods testifies she didn't erase the tape
November 14, 1973: * Buzhardt claims he discovered the tape problem
November 21, 1973: Buzhardt informs the court that 24 seconds of conversation between Nixon and Haldeman is obscured
November 21, 1973: Woods testifies she did erase 5 minutes of tape
November 21, 1973: Sirica appoints Advisory Panel on White House Tapes
January 10, 1974: Advisory Panel determines erasure deliberate
April 1974: More subpoenas for tapes issued
April 30, 1974: White House releases edited transcripts of subpoenaed tapes
July 1974: White House releases the conversations, including the "smoking-gun" tape
August 5, 1974: "Smoking-gun" tape becomes public; Nixon's political support evaporates entirely
August 8, 1974: Nixon announces his resignation from office in a nationally televised speech
August 9, 1974: Nixon leaves office

Sarah Palin in 2006:

Here's a longer one. It can be a bit tedious to watch, but it's full of interesting bits. Sarah Palin talks about transparency at the 00:34 mark. [Todd talks about the fire in her belly at around 2:00.]

Sarah Palin's open and transparent promises didn't materialize. If it takes nearly three years to (not) release her administration's e-mails, how transparent is that? What are they hiding?

Nixon had a lot to hide and Sarah Palin seems to be setting a new record in the secrecy department. In Nixon's case, it took less than a year for the matter to be resolved.

Sarah Palin used the same strategy as the Bush administration when she decided to use Yahoo accounts:

Bush White House e-mail controversy

The Bush White House e-mail controversy surfaced in 2007, during the controversy involving the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys. Congressional requests for administration documents while investigating the dismissals of the U.S. attorneys required the Bush administration to reveal that not all internal White House emails were available, because they were sent via a non-government domain hosted on an e-mail server not controlled by the federal government. Conducting governmental business in this manner is a possible violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and the Hatch Act. Over 5 million e-mails may have been lost or deleted. Greg Palast claims to have come up with 500 of the Karl Rove lost emails, leading to damaging allegations. In 2009, it was announced that as many as 22 million emails may have been deleted.

Were all Sarah Palin's Yahoo e-mails preserved? Will the long awaited government e-mails be redacted to the point of being useless? How many e-mails have been deleted by "mistake?" Are pals in Alaska going to drag their feet until July 4, Sarah Palin's Independence Day, thanks to the statute of limitations?

This open and transparent woman (who never did anything wrong, according to herself) hides too much and runs a mile when she spots a real journalist who might ask questions she's not prepared to answer. Guilty, closed and opaque seems to be a more truthful slogan...