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You Never Know What’s Secret in the Bush Administration

Intelligence officials spent months figuring out the number of contractors working for intelligence agencies, including the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency and others, according to The New York Times.

Apparently, there’s some concern about how reliant the intelligence agencies have become on private contractors. The Times article noted that the intelligence agencies have increased their use of contractors during the Bush administration’s tenure.

But the question remains: How many contractors do work for intelligence agencies?

We don’t know. The government won’t tell us, because the number of contractors is classified.

Apparently, knowing the number of contractors - not government employees, mind you - will somehow give the bad guys a leg up.

“It reveals how confused the government is about what is really sensitive and what is not,” said Steven Aftergood of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. “What would Osama bin Laden do with the fraction of intelligence workers who are contractors? Absolutely nothing.”

Posted 04-26-2007 12:17 PM EDT

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The Mystery of the Missing White House E-mails

To enable White House officials to conduct political business without getting into trouble for doing it with government equipment, the Republican National Committee (RNC) gave the officials RNC e-mail accounts several years ago. Those receiving the accounts included top White House advisor Karl Rove, according to news reports. (Check out this Reuters report and this column in The Washington Post.)

Trouble is, Rove apparently conducted some government business with his RNC account - a great way to keep that government business hidden.

Now, some of those official e-mails may erroneously have been deleted, the White House says. And some of Rove’s e-mails may have been related to the controversial firing of U.S. prosecutors.

Cover up? Or just an honest mistake? Stay tuned. We’ll almost certainly hear more about this one.

 

Posted 04-16-2007 3:59 PM EDT

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House Stands Up to Secretive Administration

Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives are joining together to oppose the Bush administration’s secretive ways, according to a New York Times editorial published March 16.

Last week, the House “overwhelmingly” approved legislation that requires federal agencies to be more responsive to Freedom of Information requests, according to The Associated Press.

The House also passed legislation that reverses a Bush decision to make it easier for presidents to keep their records from the public.

“The bipartisan support that’s emerging is no doubt driven by the administration’s unalloyed dedication to secret machinations - whether in the Iraq fiasco or the bare-knuckled purging of federal prosecutors,” the Times said in its editorial.

The Times called for the Senate to swiftly take up companion legislation.

Posted 03-19-2007 1:16 PM EDT

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Don’t talk about the polar bears unless they tell you to …

A New York Times story published March 8 says that internal documents from the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Alaskan division tell government-employed biologists and other federal employees who travel in countries around the Arctic to keep quiet about climate change, polar bears or sea ice - unless they are designated to speak about these topics.

“This sure sounds like a Soviet-style director to me,” said Deborah Williams, an environmental campaigner in Alaska who worked for the Interior Department under Clinton.

Posted 03-08-2007 11:24 AM EDT

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Public Citizen Urges Congress to Curb Executive Branch Secrecy

The Bush administration's executive order to restrict access to presidential records violates the letter and spirit of the law and should be overridden by Congress, according to testimony March 1 by Public Citizen before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee. For more information, click here.

Posted 03-01-2007 4:35 PM EDT

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