The “Most Transparent Administration Ever” Treats Recess Appointments with Greater Secrecy than Illegal Wiretapping

Charlie Savage just released the OLC opinion he got in response to a FOIA on opinions relating to recess appointments (this became an issue after Obama appointed Richard Cordray head of the Consumer Financial Protection Board using a recess appointment). It is a Jack Goldsmith memo dated February 20, 2004.

It is almost entirely redacted. Just 11 lines out of three pages are left unredacted–and one of those reads, “Please let us know if we may be of further assistance.”

Just for shits and giggles, I compared that memo to another Jack Goldsmith memo, one that relates to actual national security issues: Goldsmith’s May 6, 2004 memo finding the revamped illegal wiretap program legal. That’s a 108 page memo, of which 46 pages are entirely redacted or redacted to the same degree as any one of the three pages in this recess appointment one. There are a slew more redactions, many of them obviously improper.

The last line, “Please let me know if we can be of further assistance. (U)” appears unredacted there, too.

Nevertheless, the Administration redacted far more of the earlier Goldsmith memo–the recess appointment one–than the one dealing with one of our most sensitive counterterrorism programs.

Next up, the Administration is going to start redacting Civics textbooks, because the workings of government are so terribly sensitive.

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18 Responses to The “Most Transparent Administration Ever” Treats Recess Appointments with Greater Secrecy than Illegal Wiretapping

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel Sort of a non-responsive answer but I guess Brennan is still fuming. https://t.co/QCuWYBTzOM
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emptywheel Shorter Heinrich: Say, can you get your buddies in KSA to start fighting ISIL? Brennan: ME is instable.
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bmaz @RMFifthCircuit I'd have no idea, the @ESPN enforcer goons did not let me get within proximity of them. Far different than SuperBowl yr ago.
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bmaz @RMFifthCircuit I've loved that show, both on am commute radio+TV later, for far over a decade. I was met by asshole ESPN goons.
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emptywheel Brennan fuming. "I'm still awaiting review by Senate. Separation of powers goes both ways."
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bmaz @RMFifthCircuit Absolutely. I tried to go there, a block from court, early in morning+never seen such goonish asshole security in my life.
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emptywheel Brennan: Do not say that we spied on committee files or computers.
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emptywheel Brennan: I think you mischaracterize what's in those reports. And I apologized to Chair and Vice CHair.
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emptywheel Shorter John Brennan: Fuck you.
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JimWhiteGNV Come on, Wyden. Go ahead and just say Brennan is a liar! https://t.co/mhNfTYYUBQ
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emptywheel At a time when "Insider Threat" already listed as a key threat, it seems a question about CIA spying on SSCI is fair, but Brennan disagrees
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emptywheel Wyden: Would you agree CIA's 2014 search of senate files improper? Brennan: This is annual threat assessment is it not?
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