The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental , nor do they result from from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink.
– George Orwell, 1984
President Transparency, in the interest of protecting his Administration’s spotless record of least transparent ever, has decided to erase sections of his original campaign website so that inconvenient and broken promises (ie, every single thing he said) can’t be so easily exposed. Although clearly no one goes to the campaign site for groundbreaking news, it had served as a useful platform to compare candidate Obama to the George W. Bush clone he has become as President. From Policy Mic:
In a recent blog post by the Sunlight Foundation, the watchdog organization curiously notes how the Obama administration has removed previously available content from then candidate Obama’s famous 2008 campaign platform, Change.gov. While the site has long since served as a landing page to redirect traffic towards the now President Obama’s whitehouse.gov, the content of the website, particularly the materials and agenda pages, has always been accessible. However, very recently, access to such information is now no longer supported through the site and appears to have been “scrubbed” off the internet (of course, you can still access archived forms of the aforementioned pages).
Thus, because President Obama’s policies have failed to match candidate Obama’s campaign platform (particularly the change part of “hope and change”), it is possible that the easy availability of such contradictory information, not to mention the reputability of the source, has proven to be too detrimental to President Obama’s reputation — given the current political climate. More specifically, the President’s views on government ethics and whistle blowing:
The following was candidate Obama’s position on whistleblowers.
Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.
No worries, at least we still have the right to go out into the street and mindlessly scream USA! USA!
*Update: Strangely enough, it appears that the information that disappeared according to the Sunlight Foundation is back up as of today. Since I have not been consistently checking Change.gov for the past several months, I cannot personally confirm whether their original claim is accurate. In any event, below is the full new post by the Sunlight Foundation. Apologies for any confusion.
From Sunlight Foundation:
The agenda, including the whistleblower protection rhetoric that I suspected motivated the site’s disappearance, is all online again — a useful resource for comparing candidate Obama’s vision against his administration’s work.
Whether the website downtime was a misguided attempt to remove the promises on which Obama ran (eg “ensure that communications about regulatory policymaking between persons outside government and all White House staff are disclosed to the public”, or “Such acts of courage and patriotism, [whistleblowing]… should be encouraged rather than stifled), or just a sign that the original agenda doesn’t hold the same place of reverence it used to (White House staff used to frequently refer to these promises when making plans), we’re glad the site is back up again.
Unfortunately, the Department of Labor whitepapers explaining how important new guidelines are for protecting children from hazardous farmwork are still nowhere to be found, since the administration stifled DOL’s attempt to update rules governing child labor in agriculture.
Removing government information from the Internet is too often treated as an administrative task, or an exercise in efficiency, even though government websites clearly also serve as a symbols for political priorities and an important part of our public discourse. It’s unfortunate that our government doesn’t view its online footprint with as much reverence as the Internet Archive, whose public utility would be very hard to overstate.
Here is the link to today’s Sunlight Foundation update.
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