I've been really pissed at The Obama Administration (and President Obama) lately, which has made it difficult for me to see the good things that he's been doing.
This week, the Obama Administration did two things that were more than just good. They were great.
First, the Obama Administration will restore those millions of missing Bush emails.
From Mother Jones:
The Obama administration and two nonprofits have reached a wide-ranging settlement in their legal battle over millions of missing Bush-era White House emails, the three parties announced Monday. The agreement—first reported by Mother Jones on Friday—is a major victory for the plaintiffs, who sued in October 2007 to force the recovery of missing messages, determine how emails were lost, and prevent the problem from happening again.This is huge. This could possibly be, depending upon how our so-called "liberal" media handles the revelations, the final nail in how history judges the Bush administration.
Under the settlement with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the National Security Archive, the Obama administration has promised to restore 94 days worth of emails. Some of the recovered messages could potentially shed light on controversies such as the lead-up to the Iraq war and the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson's covert CIA identity."Once the Obama administration figured out what a mess had been left behind in the server room, and that they didn't want to be protecting the last administration's bad practices, that helped them get to where they are now," says Meredith Fuchs, the general counsel for the National Security archive.
Unfortunately, this could take years, so it's good to see they restoration is going straight for the important date first, like Iraq, Valerie Plame, etc.
The second thing was President Obama issued an executive order declaring that “no information may remain classified indefinitely, ” and which was done "as part of a sweeping overhaul of the executive branch’s system for protecting classified national security information."
From the NY Times:
In an executive order and an accompanying presidential memorandum to agency heads, Mr. Obama signaled that the government should try harder to make information public if possible, including by requiring agencies to regularly review what kinds of information they classify and to eliminate any obsolete secrecy requirements.
He also established a new National Declassification Center at the National Archives to speed the process of declassifying historical documents by centralizing their review, rather than sending them in sequence to different agencies. He set a four-year deadline for processing a 400-million-page backlog of such records that includes archives related to military operations during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
Moreover, Mr. Obama eliminated a rule put in place by former President George W. Bush in 2003 that allowed the leader of the intelligence community to veto decisions by an interagency panel to declassify information. Instead, spy agencies who object to such a decision will have to appeal to the president.
Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, expressed cautious optimism about Mr. Obama’s new order, saying it appeared to be “a major step forward” from the vantage point of those who believe the government is too secretive.