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Appeals court says White House visitor logs can be kept from public

Slyhunter

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What happened to the most transparent government America has ever had? Where is the transparency?
President Obama and his successors in the Oval Office are not obligated to make public the names of individuals visiting the White House, according to a decision of the federal Circuit Court for the District of Columbia made public Friday.The case was brought by Judicial Watch, the government watchdog nonprofit that has been fighting a long legal battle seeking to force release of the White House visitor logs as public records under the Freedom of Information Act.
But in a decision that is drawing intense criticism from across the ideological spectrum, the circuit court said the president has a "constitutional perogative" not to tell the American people who he or his staff meets with in the White House.

Appeals court says White House visitor logs can be kept from public | WashingtonExaminer.com


He doesn't practice what he preaches.
 

Fishstyx

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Most transparent Admin eva!!! :lamo
 

Slyfox696

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Most transparent Admin eva!!! :lamo
President Obama made partial visitor logs publicly available back in 2009. Could you compare the amount of information provided by Obama to any previous presidents? I honestly don't know how many Presidents release what percentage of logs, but let's say Obama releases 5% of the information and former president's had released 0%, that would still make him the most transparent ever, would it not?

So the challenge I have for you is to compare Obama's publicly available logs to the publicly available logs to previous presidents. Let me know how it goes, I'm genuinely interested.
 

Helix

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Eh, no point in defending it. If true, it's yet another broken promise, and this one would have been easy to keep.
 

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Eh, no point in defending it. If true, it's yet another broken promise, and this one would have been easy to keep.
President Obama began making public some of the White House visitor logs in 2009, but refused a Judicial Watch request for all of the logs.
Source: Link in opening post

Releasing the logs IS being transparent. Making a promise to be the most transparent in history does not mean making EVERYTHING he does transparent. Given the fact the President is often involved in classified issues of national security, your expectation of him telling everyone everything is rather naive. As I said, if he's releasing more than his predecessors, that WOULD make him the most transparent.
 

Deuce

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Eh, no point in defending it. If true, it's yet another broken promise, and this one would have been easy to keep.
The President hasn't released his nuclear launch codes to the public! So much for transparency. Thanks, Obama.
 

Helix

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Source: Link in opening post

Releasing the logs IS being transparent. Making a promise to be the most transparent in history does not mean making EVERYTHING he does transparent. Given the fact the President is often involved in classified issues of national security, your expectation of him telling everyone everything is rather naive. As I said, if he's releasing more than his predecessors, that WOULD make him the most transparent.
It might be relative to a point, but it's still a broken promise. The patriot act and NSA bull**** is, too. There's also a candidate Obama quote from 2007 that specifically addresses the current Syria situation, and he's trying to get us mired down in that one, too.

the dude is much better than McCain or Romney, if only because he does seem to care about those who are struggling economically and also because he's ending the perpetual wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, when he breaks a promise, there's absolutely no reason to defend him. The administration might be more transparent than Bush, but when you're taking steps to hide the visitor logs, that's not transparency.
 

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It might be relative to a point, but it's still a broken promise.
No, in and of itself, it's not. Being "the most transparent" is not the same thing as "being completely transparent".

The patriot act and NSA bull**** is, too. There's also a candidate Obama quote from 2007 that specifically addresses the current Syria situation, and he's trying to get us mired down in that one, too.
All unrelated to transparency. And I disagree strongly he's "trying to get us mired down" in Syria. I think his avoidance of getting us mired in Syria is the only reason we haven't gone in yet.

the dude is much better than McCain or Romney, if only because he does seem to care about those who are struggling economically and also because he's ending the perpetual wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, when he breaks a promise, there's absolutely no reason to defend him.
What promise has he broken here though?

Maybe he hasn't been as transparent as many of us HOPED he'd be, but that doesn't mean a promise has necessarily been broken. You'd have to compare his public release of documents to previous Presidents to determine that.

The administration might be more transparent than Bush, but when you're taking steps to hide the visitor logs, that's not transparency.
But it could be the MOST transparent, and that was the talking point.
 

Helix

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No, in and of itself, it's not. Being "the most transparent" is not the same thing as "being completely transparent".

All unrelated to transparency. And I disagree strongly he's "trying to get us mired down" in Syria. I think his avoidance of getting us mired in Syria is the only reason we haven't gone in yet.

What promise has he broken here though?

Maybe he hasn't been as transparent as many of us HOPED he'd be, but that doesn't mean a promise has necessarily been broken. You'd have to compare his public release of documents to previous Presidents to determine that.

But it could be the MOST transparent, and that was the talking point.
if going through congress is his way of getting out of it, then maybe you're right. We shouldn't have drawn the line in the sand; SA should have. They've been less than useless as the regional hegemon, and we've been doing their job pro bono for decades.

The administration has been somewhat more transparent than the previous one, but is that enough, and does it fulfill the promise? In my opinion, no.

I'll give Obama props where it's due, but he has been a big disappointment in other areas like civil liberties. As I said, much better than McCain, but I can't and won't defend not making the visitor list public. Neither should you. When you find yourself on a team, you end up making excuses, and I'll never do that again. I don't have a team; I have a nation, and I strongly disagree with some of our priorities. I think our primary focus should be domestic nation building.
 

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What happened to the most transparent government America has ever had? Where is the transparency?

Appeals court says White House visitor logs can be kept from public | WashingtonExaminer.com

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He doesn't practice what he preaches.
Well - I did read over some random names from the logs that were released (linked to at the bottom of the article) - they log EVERYONE who goes in and EVERYONE who goes out.

Meaning people who were there on group and other such non-government interests. It's not JUST logging people who go there to chat it up with the president. That means that I am on that log, as well as my husband - and others in my family.

That's no one's PUBLIC business, to be honest.

So - they should reconsider their issue, here, and perhaps in the future they should keep a separate log for civilian visitors VS those there on government related business.
 

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The administration has been somewhat more transparent than the previous one, but is that enough, and does it fulfill the promise? In my opinion, no.
And I would disagree. I think you have to differentiate between what he promised and what we took it to mean. If his administration is more transparent than any other, than he would have fulfilled his promise, even if not our hopes.

I'll give Obama props where it's due, but he has been a big disappointment in other areas like civil liberties.
I have to ask why he's a disappointment? He's certainly been strong on equality for homosexuals, his administration has fought against Voter ID laws they consider prejudiced against minorities, they recently said they would not challenge marijuana laws passed in states, etc.

I'll grant you some of the text in the NDAA (was it in 2012 or 2013?) was bad. But where else do you feel he's impeded your civil liberties? It's an honest question, not a trap question.

As I said, much better than McCain, but I can't and won't defend not making the visitor list public. Neither should you.
But he has made the visitor list public, just not all of it. I would assume the parts withheld, at least some of them, would have to do with issues of security. If there is a legitimate security reason for not making the list public, then I'd say it's understandable.

When you find yourself on a team, you end up making excuses, and I'll never do that again. I don't have a team; I have a nation, and I strongly disagree with some of our priorities. I think our primary focus should be domestic nation building.
I don't have a team either, and hate when people wear a red or blue jersey. But I also understand that Obama has to deal with things we likely cannot even begin to imagine and, absent that information, I like to grant the president (whomever it may be) some benefit of the doubt in situations like this.

My mother is a superintendent of schools. Obviously her job is much different than Obama's, but in some ways I suspect they are quite similar. There are many times where she will make decisions which may not make sense to those ignorant of the circumstances surrounding the decision, but when you gain the knowledge of the context, suddenly the decision makes much more sense. Being that she's my mother, many times I get to have those conversations with her where she explains the context (legal or otherwise) which factor into decisions. My guess is if we knew everything President Obama knows, more people would have greater patience with decisions such as this. As has been said many times in the news, there's a reason former Presidents rarely criticize current ones. Of course, there's no way for us to know everything he knows, so I try to give the office of the President the benefit of the doubt.
 

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President Obama made partial visitor logs publicly available back in 2009. Could you compare the amount of information provided by Obama to any previous presidents? I honestly don't know how many Presidents release what percentage of logs, but let's say Obama releases 5% of the information and former president's had released 0%, that would still make him the most transparent ever, would it not?

So the challenge I have for you is to compare Obama's publicly available logs to the publicly available logs to previous presidents. Let me know how it goes, I'm genuinely interested.
From a technical standing you are correct. However, it is the intellectual dishonesty about knowing the people wanted you to be more transparent where it matters and you then telling them what you had for breakfast and pretending that is the transparency you promised. If Obama came out and said he would release 5 percent of his white house visitor logs so you would know 5 percent of the people who were visiting him because he would be the most transparent president ever you would have thought it was a joke. Sure, some things have to be secret, I get that. However, we want to know who is buying him, who he is working for, that he is using things like probably cause and legitimate court warrants to investigate people. We want to know that they are not gathering all of the data we put out there in some vague catch all BS investigation.

So technically he may be the most transparent president ever, and yes people were probably very stupid to think that he would voluntarily expose his clandestine operations against american people and journalists, but he did imply in context that would be what he was doing. The same way faux news takes random snippets completely out of context to avoid the meaning behind the statement is the same way you have to take his transparency claims our of context to get that he was potentially the most transparent administration.
 

Helix

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And I would disagree. I think you have to differentiate between what he promised and what we took it to mean. If his administration is more transparent than any other, than he would have fulfilled his promise, even if not our hopes.

I have to ask why he's a disappointment? He's certainly been strong on equality for homosexuals, his administration has fought against Voter ID laws they consider prejudiced against minorities, they recently said they would not challenge marijuana laws passed in states, etc.
and as i said, i give him credit for the things he's done right. however, i won't defend him for the patriot act BS, the NSA nonsense, or for reneging on his promise to make the visitor records completely public.

it's possible to support some policies while opposing others. how is that unclear?

I'll grant you some of the text in the NDAA (was it in 2012 or 2013?) was bad. But where else do you feel he's impeded your civil liberties? It's an honest question, not a trap question.
the NSA is absolutely out of control, and once upon a time, he agreed with me on this.





But he has made the visitor list public, just not all of it. I would assume the parts withheld, at least some of them, would have to do with issues of security. If there is a legitimate security reason for not making the list public, then I'd say it's understandable.
your argument is that the records are not public solely because of national security? i would argue that this should have been a qualifier in the initial promise.

I don't have a team either, and hate when people wear a red or blue jersey. But I also understand that Obama has to deal with things we likely cannot even begin to imagine and, absent that information, I like to grant the president (whomever it may be) some benefit of the doubt in situations like this.
same here. i don't waste energy defending the president when he breaks a promise, though.

no president is going to be perfect. just because he broke the promise doesn't condemn his presidency.

My mother is a superintendent of schools. Obviously her job is much different than Obama's, but in some ways I suspect they are quite similar. There are many times where she will make decisions which may not make sense to those ignorant of the circumstances surrounding the decision, but when you gain the knowledge of the context, suddenly the decision makes much more sense. Being that she's my mother, many times I get to have those conversations with her where she explains the context (legal or otherwise) which factor into decisions. My guess is if we knew everything President Obama knows, more people would have greater patience with decisions such as this. As has been said many times in the news, there's a reason former Presidents rarely criticize current ones. Of course, there's no way for us to know everything he knows, so I try to give the office of the President the benefit of the doubt.
my dad is president of the local school board. i understand giving a politician the benefit of the doubt. that doesn't change the fact that Obama has been a big disappointment when it comes to civil liberties, and it doesn't make this an unbroken promise. i give him credit for the things he's done right. however, when he has to break a promise, i reserve the right to point that out. doing otherwise does him a disservice, and he signed up for the job knowing exactly what it entails.


nobody's perfect. however, it's acceptable to point out mistakes, and it's our responsibility to do so. he's much better than McCain or Romney would have been. i applaud him for his stance on gay rights and for not raiding states which have legalized pot. however, the patriot act is still in effect, the NSA is out of control, and an effort is being made to avoid releasing the complete white house visitor logs. i don't approve of that, and i won't defend the practice even if i like other things that he's done.
 

VanceMack

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Source: Link in opening post

Releasing the logs IS being transparent. Making a promise to be the most transparent in history does not mean making EVERYTHING he does transparent. Given the fact the President is often involved in classified issues of national security, your expectation of him telling everyone everything is rather naive. As I said, if he's releasing more than his predecessors, that WOULD make him the most transparent.
Its pretty funny that you are defending him actually.
 

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Source: Link in opening post

Releasing the logs IS being transparent. Making a promise to be the most transparent in history does not mean making EVERYTHING he does transparent. Given the fact the President is often involved in classified issues of national security, your expectation of him telling everyone everything is rather naive. As I said, if he's releasing more than his predecessors, that WOULD make him the most transparent.
In this case telling the public who visited the White House is not the same as what they talked about.

Why keep the visitors log secret? What national security issue could be involved with who visited the White House?
 

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So technically he may be the most transparent president ever, and yes people were probably very stupid to think that he would voluntarily expose his clandestine operations
This is the most important thing to take from your post.

but he did imply in context that would be what he was doing.
I simply did not follow politics then like I do now, so I do not have the contextual knowledge to argue this. But since I did really start getting into politics, I've never seen anything to suggest this. But, like I said, I got into it after so obviously I'm missing context.

and as i said, i give him credit for the things he's done right. however, i won't defend him for the patriot act BS, the NSA nonsense, or for reneging on his promise to make the visitor records completely public.

it's possible to support some policies while opposing others. how is that unclear?
It's not at all unclear. What's unclear is how you think he's broken his promise if he has, as best as I know, kept his promise. I get the feeling you feel he has not met your expectations on this topic, which is understandable, but your expectations and his promises are not necessarily aligned.

the NSA is absolutely out of control, and once upon a time, he agreed with me on this.

I don't disagree, but how is that infringing on your civil liberties? The NSA has the right to ask companies like Microsoft and Facebook for your information, and has since long before Obama came into office. AT&T has been collecting phone records for the government (DEA) since the 80s.

I'm not passing a judgment on right or wrong, I'm simply asking what civil liberties you feel have been impeded under Obama.

your argument is that the records are not public solely because of national security? i would argue that this should have been a qualifier in the initial promise.
I'm saying there are legitimate reasons (safety being one of them) for not making public all the records.

As far as the initial promise, could you please link me to where he promised to release everything? It's not a challenge, I'm just not aware of it.

same here. i don't waste energy defending the president when he breaks a promise, though.
But you are wasting energy criticizing something for which there is a legitimate reason for his action.

no president is going to be perfect. just because he broke the promise doesn't condemn his presidency.
Agreed. There's nothing wrong with criticizing, but we simply disagree on whether this is something worth criticizing.

In this case telling the public who visited the White House is not the same as what they talked about.
No one said it was, but my point remains just as valid.
 

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It's not at all unclear. What's unclear is how you think he's broken his promise if he has, as best as I know, kept his promise. I get the feeling you feel he has not met your expectations on this topic, which is understandable, but your expectations and his promises are not necessarily aligned.


I don't disagree, but how is that infringing on your civil liberties? The NSA has the right to ask companies like Microsoft and Facebook for your information, and has since long before Obama came into office. AT&T has been collecting phone records for the government (DEA) since the 80s.

I'm not passing a judgment on right or wrong, I'm simply asking what civil liberties you feel have been impeded under Obama.

I'm saying there are legitimate reasons (safety being one of them) for not making public all the records.

As far as the initial promise, could you please link me to where he promised to release everything? It's not a challenge, I'm just not aware of it.

But you are wasting energy criticizing something for which there is a legitimate reason for his action.

Agreed. There's nothing wrong with criticizing, but we simply disagree on whether this is something worth criticizing.

No one said it was, but my point remains just as valid.
are you seriously arguing that he hasn't broken these promises? seriously? he campaigned against the patriot act and domestic spying, and promised to make the visitor logs public. since then, he's done nothing about the patriot act (other than to sign extensions of it,) the NSA is a ****ing nightmare, and the administration has fought requests for the full visitor log.

can you like some things that he does and accept that other policies are worthy of criticism? i just simply can't imagine bending reality like this so that you can say that he kept the promises. does it help you somehow to look at it that way? does it help him? i would argue the answer is no in both cases.
 

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The President hasn't released his nuclear launch codes to the public! So much for transparency. Thanks, Obama.
People who visit the white house isn't a national security issue or top secret.We have a right to know..It's our house.
Your "comparison" is a (grossly exaggerated) non sequitur. Partisan much?
 

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are you seriously arguing that he hasn't broken these promises? seriously?
I'm seriously asking a question. His promise was "most transparent administration". How has he broken that?

he campaigned against the patriot act and domestic spying, and
We're not talking about that, or at least I was not. I was talking about the visitor log promise and/or most transparent. Those other things are completely different issues.

promised to make the visitor logs public.
Which he did.

the administration has fought requests for the full visitor log.
After releasing a good portion of it.

can you like some things that he does and accept that other policies are worthy of criticism?
Absolutely. Can you accept I keep asking for specific things and you keep introducing other things not related?

I'm not trying to be adversarial, I'm simply asking a question. How has he broken his promise to be the most transparent, if he seems to have been the most transparent? And can you please link me to a source where he promised to release the full visitor logs, no exceptions?

i just simply can't imagine bending reality like this so that you can say that he kept the promises.
But you are bending reality. You're taking his promise about most transparent and interpreting it to what you WANTED it to mean and are now claiming he broke his promise because he didn't live up to what you wanted it to mean. That is bending reality.

As I've said before, has his administration been transparent to the degree many of us wanted to believe he'd make it? Probably not, certainly not for you and probably not for me. But to claim he broke his promise because he didn't go to the lengths you thought he would is simply unfair.

does it help you somehow to look at it that way? does it help him? i would argue the answer is no in both cases.
It's not about me and it's not about him. It's about unrealistic expectations and this mentality so many people seem to have where if something done isn't EXACTLY the way we think it should be, then it's worthy of accusations and insults. That's what is going on in this thread. You think Obama hasn't been as transparent as you thought he would, and from that, you claim he broke his promise. The problem is you've really provided no evidence that Obama HASN'T kept his promise to be the most transparent administration, and indeed there is evidence he has been.

This isn't about Obama, this is about a mentality.
 

Helix

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I'm seriously asking a question. His promise was "most transparent administration". How has he broken that?

We're not talking about that, or at least I was not. I was talking about the visitor log promise and/or most transparent. Those other things are completely different issues.

Which he did.

After releasing a good portion of it.

Absolutely. Can you accept I keep asking for specific things and you keep introducing other things not related?

I'm not trying to be adversarial, I'm simply asking a question. How has he broken his promise to be the most transparent, if he seems to have been the most transparent? And can you please link me to a source where he promised to release the full visitor logs, no exceptions?

But you are bending reality. You're taking his promise about most transparent and interpreting it to what you WANTED it to mean and are now claiming he broke his promise because he didn't live up to what you wanted it to mean. That is bending reality.

As I've said before, has his administration been transparent to the degree many of us wanted to believe he'd make it? Probably not, certainly not for you and probably not for me. But to claim he broke his promise because he didn't go to the lengths you thought he would is simply unfair.

It's not about me and it's not about him. It's about unrealistic expectations and this mentality so many people seem to have where if something done isn't EXACTLY the way we think it should be, then it's worthy of accusations and insults. That's what is going on in this thread. You think Obama hasn't been as transparent as you thought he would, and from that, you claim he broke his promise. The problem is you've really provided no evidence that Obama HASN'T kept his promise to be the most transparent administration, and indeed there is evidence he has been.

This isn't about Obama, this is about a mentality.
it's about promising the stars when you know for a fact that you aren't going to be able to deliver the moon. that's the problem i have with it.

he promised to end secret meetings. he didn't. big deal; there are more important things to worry about in the world. but he didn't keep the promise.
 

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it's about promising the stars when you know for a fact that you aren't going to be able to deliver the moon. that's the problem i have with it.

he promised to end secret meetings. he didn't. big deal; there are more important things to worry about in the world. but he didn't keep the promise.
Again, you keep introducing new information and have not provided any sources to back them up. Could you please show me where he promised to release the full visitor logs? Can you please demonstrate where his administration has not been the most transparent? Could you please provide the full context around your claim that he promised to end secret meetings?

Again, I'm not trying to be adversarial, but simply throwing around comments without showing the context or even citing sources makes it hard for me to see eye to eye with you on this. My guess is that many of these things simply were never true and they have been skewed by a political media and/or been stripped of context by a country who loves soundbites far more than full understanding. But I could be wrong about that, which is why I'm asking for the support for the things you claim.
 

Helix

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Again, you keep introducing new information and have not provided any sources to back them up. Could you please show me where he promised to release the full visitor logs? Can you please demonstrate where his administration has not been the most transparent? Could you please provide the full context around your claim that he promised to end secret meetings?

Again, I'm not trying to be adversarial, but simply throwing around comments without showing the context or even citing sources makes it hard for me to see eye to eye with you on this. My guess is that many of these things simply were never true and they have been skewed by a political media and/or been stripped of context by a country who loves soundbites far more than full understanding. But I could be wrong about that, which is why I'm asking for the support for the things you claim.
i already did, but you apparently didn't watch the video. here it is again.


however, i'm sure even this won't convince you. you can have the last word. goodbye.
 

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i already did, but you apparently didn't watch the video. here it is again.


however, i'm sure even this won't convince you. you can have the last word. goodbye.
You're right, I didn't watch the video earlier due to the fact I couldn't at the time. And now that I've watched it, I must say you're right again when you say it doesn't convince me. His speech said nothing of visitor logs. His talk of transparency referred to the process of creating legislation, and while I'm not sure if Obama's team puts bills online before he signs them, I do know that since he's been President I've noticed most bills being discussed in Congress are posted online in full. I'm not sure if that started with Obama or before, but I do know that's the case. His speech you posted was about transparency regarding legislation being created, and to the best of my knowledge, I'm not sure where you feel he has broken that promise. As I said before, it seems this is a case where what he said has had context stripped out in favor of a sound bite.

I know you granted me the last word, but I'd really like to see you support your earlier statements with direct context and quotes. Thank you.
 
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