June 16, 2015

Bitter Irony Of The Day: Clinton Preaches Government Transparency

In 2008, Hillary Clinton made the absurd claim that she’s “the most transparent person in public life.” A more apt description would be that Clinton is the least self-aware person in public life. She added to that argument yesterday with a remark about, ironically, transparency.

From the Concord Monitor:

Do you have any thoughts on how the federal government could be more transparent or any steps you would take to make it more open or more accessible to the public?

HILLARY CLINTON: That’s a good question because in my four fights, the fourth one is reforming government and the campaign finance system since Citizens United blew it up. And I think part of the challenge is to get the United States government into the 21st century using technology so that it can be more open and transparent. It is still very heavily dependent upon paper, it is woefully behind in frankly computerization of records, and it’s hard to — it’s such a big organization, it’s hard to move it. But I think it’s important because when I was Secretary of State, I said I want to put all of the dollars we spend in foreign aid on the web so everybody can see them. And you know it took a couple of years because you have to gather them all up and you have to put them in the right format and you have to design the site — but we got it done. So I will go into the White House with the same commitment: More openness, more transparency, aided and abetted by better technology.

Indeed, before she was appointed as President Obama’s Secretary of State, Clinton said she wanted “to have a much more transparent government.

But here’s the problem: a quick look at Clinton’s time at the State Department reveals she did nothing to improve that Department’s transparency. A few examples:

  • She created a private email account and server the day after she was confirmed as Secretary of State to shield her emails from the public.
  • Clinton’s email scandal prompted dozens of editorial boards to call out Clinton on her lack of transparency and organizations to file lawsuits to obtain documents that should be available under FOIA laws.

How is anyone supposed to taken Clinton seriously on this issue when her own record shows she has no regard for transparency or freedom of information laws?