The title of a recently released Fox News article is “Obama officials deny using ‘secret‘ email accounts, though some agencies won’t disclose details (Web-site/URL: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/05/top-obama-appointees-using-secret-email-accounts/#ixzz2VM1i2V4i).
“The Obama administration on Tuesday (June 4, 2013) defended officials’ use of private email accounts to conduct government business and denied that they were in any way “secret” — though the public faces hurdles in gaining access to that information”.
“The Associated Press reported earlier that some of President Obama’s political appointees were using “secret” government emails accounts — a situation that could complicate their responsibility to turn over e-mails under public records requests and congressional inquiries”.
“One of those officials, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, denied that her account was “secret” when asked by Fox News about the report”: “There’s a public e-mail and a PRIVATE e-mail“, “adding that ANYONE (?) could formally request to have access to that information”. SERIOUSLY “anyone could have access to that information?”) This is Sebelius’ claim of the Obama Administration’s TRANSPARENCY. “27-28,000 come into the public email, (and) about 400 come into the private e-mail. It’s just a MANAGEMENT issue. I can’t possibly answer or screen all of them and I want people to GET TIMELY ANSWERS“. This is known as ACCOUNTABILITY, a term/concept that is alien to many on Capitol Hill. Many Republicans are surely still angry at Sebelius who was the architect of the HEALTHCARE REFORM law.
“White House Press Secretary Jay Carney gave a similar explanation, saying the practice (of having secret e-mail accounts) is “consistent with prior administrations. Having alternate email addresses for Cabinet secretaries and other high-profile official makes eminent sense, as much as it does for columnists for example, of major publications who provide e-mail addresses for their readers, but have alternative work e-mail addresses“. “e-mail addresses for their readers” are usually COMMERCIAL e-mails (Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, etc.) while “work e-mails” are CORPORATE e-mails (e.g. ABC, CBS CNN, etc.)
Carney said all their email accounts, public and otherwise, were subject to congressional oversight and requests by citizens under the U.S. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION Act”. “THERE’S NOTHING (?) SECRET“. Well this isn’t entirely true. There is some Internet censorship in the United States (Web-site/URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_United_States), although it’s nowhere near as bad as the Internet censorship in CHINA (Web-site/URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_websites_blocked_in_the_People’s_Republic_of_China).
According to Kel McClanahan, “executive director of National Security Counselors, an OPEN (?) government group”, “What happens when that person doesn’t work there anymore? He leaves and someone makes a request (to review emails) in two years. Who’s going to know to search the other accounts? You would hope that agencies doing this would keep a list of aliases in a desk drawer, but you know that ISN’T happening“.
“At least two other senior HHS (Health & Human Services) officials — Donald Berwick, former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Gary Cohen, a deputy administrator in charge of IMPLEMENTING health insurance reform — also had SECRET government e-mail addresses, according to the records obtained by the AP“. Let’s note TWO things here. First, the GOP is doing everything it can to BLOCK the “implementation” of healthcare reform and secondly, once again, it’s as if the GOP DOESN’T have any “secrets”. Again, NO government is COMPLETELY transparent.
“A spokesman for Cohen, Brian Cook, said the nonpublic address that HHS listed in its records — Gary.Cohen1@cms.hhs.gov — was created after Cohen rejoined the department in August, 2012 following a brief absence and all emails now are directed to his public government email account. Cook called the suggestion that Cohen ever had a secret account “news to EVERYONE, INCLUDING Gary”. REALLY?
“Late last year (2012), the EPA’s critics — including Republicans in Congress — accused former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson of using an e-mail account under the name “Richard Windsor” to SIDESTEP DISCLOSURE RULES“. OK, this would be problematic IF true but we don’t know this. “The EPA said emails Jackson sent using her Windsor alias were turned over under open records requests. The agency’s inspector general is investigating the use of such accounts, after being asked to do so by Congress”.
Finally, “An EPA spokeswoman described Jackson’s alternate e-mail address as “an everyday, working email account of the administrator to communicate with staff and other government officials“. It was later determined that Jackson also used the e-mail address to correspond sometimes with environmentalists OUTSIDE government and at least in some cases did not correct a mis-perception among outsiders they were corresponding with a government employee named Richard Windsor”.
This is the latest case of Fox News MAKING MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING/TAKING CHEAP SHOTS AT THE PRESIDENT. It’s as if the GOP DOESN’T do anything “secretively” or “secretly”. Of course, NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. The GOP is simply making another scene ahead of THE 2014 MID-TERM ELECTIONS. This is their FINAL chance to undermine President Obama now that the President has been re-elected.