Obama Directs “Sunshine”

On his first day in Office President Barack Hussein Obama directed the U.S. Attorney General to issue new guidelines for heads of Executive Departments and Agencies governing 5 U.S.C. 552, The Freedom of Information Act. Obama reaffirmed a commitment to public accountability and transparency before ruling The United States. And Americans believed this President’s rhetorical serenade.

Consent in a constitutional democracy to be governed is not meaningful, a 110th Congress of The United States found, unless it is informed. President Obama adopted a presumption in favor of disclosing information so Americans could understand administration of their so-called self-government headed by a popular sovereign.

Though U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote, in 1959, leading enactment of the Freedom of Information Act, “The effective functioning of a free government like ours depends largely on the force of an informed public (which) calls for the widest possible understanding” of its practices, fifty years later Barack Obama noted his “presumption of disclosure” would “usher in a new era of open government.” Barack Obama committed all federal agencies to principles embodied by The Freedom of Information Act: transparency, participation, and collaboration form the cornerstone of open-government, promote accountability, and provide information about what government is doing.

Nevertheless Church Publishing’s Freedom of Information Act request 2014-IAFO-0246 for documents from Homeland Security Office Intelligence and Analysis pertaining to Pursuit Lead Cables submitted August 11, 2014 was denied in full pursuant 5 U.S.C. 552 (b)(1), (3), and (7)(E). The 2002 Homeland Security Act 6 U.S.C. 111 (b)(2) vests responsibility for investigating and prosecuting acts of terrorism in not the Department but law enforcement agencies and, according to The Department of Homeland Security, the request 2014-IAFO-0246 “would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions…” unless DHS Office of I&A was exempted from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552 (b)(7)(E).

Even-though 2002 Homeland Security Act 6 U.S.C. 111 (b)(1)(A) authorizes The Department to prevent terrorist attacks within The United States and (b)(1)(G) stipulates Homeland Security’s primary mission is to ensure civil rights and liberties are not diminished by its efforts, activities, or security programs, a product developed by The Department of Homeland Security called Pursuit Lead Cable is cited as being exempt from 5 U.S.C. 552 (a) under Title 50 of U.S. Code War and National Defense. Specifically, the 1947 National Security Act, a major restructuring of the United States military following World War II, added sections protecting covert intelligence agents such as C.I.A. operatives. But Pursuit Lead Cables are disseminated by The Department of Homeland Security.

Although memos dated as early as February 5, 2008 outline The Department of Homeland Security had implemented the 2007 Openness Promotes Effectiveness in Our National Government Act– which found the FOIA establishes a strong presumption in favor of disclosure and got signed by former U.S. President George W. Bush, on January 13, 2015- a DHS Intelligence and Analysis Officer cited “Executive Order” as reason for withholding records pertaining to Pursuit Lead Cables under 5 U.S.C. 552 (b)(1). Furthermore, a memo from The U.S. Attorney General dated March 19, 2009 underscores commitment to “open government.” To ensure Open Government is realized the Attorney General’s memo reiterates President Obama’s instructions then implies no agency shall withhold information simply because it may do so legally. Barack Obama’s Attorney General implies all agencies must make partial disclosure of records when full requests cannot be satisfied and repeats President Obama’s statement, “The Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears.

Aside from Presidents’ rhetoric, action, or decrees, and without being able to review documents pertaining to Pursuit Lead Cable responsive to the FOIA request 2014-IAFO-0246, this “product” Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis brought into being sounds as though it violates The Fourth Amendment to The United States. That which is technically Constitutional Law states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Despite two prior Presidents’ directives, legislation ensuring civil rights are not diminished by its efforts, and a mission within The United States, The Department of Homeland Security denied FOIA Request 2014-IAFO-0246 claiming it’s exempted under defense, secret policing, and executive order. The subject of Request 2014-IAFO-0246 Pursuit Lead Cable was developed between October 2011 and September 2012 according to The Department of Homeland Security, under leadership of President Barack Obama who claims Government needs to be transparent and accountable because Americans must understand its administration. Issued his first full day in Executive Office, 2014-IAFO-0246 was nevertheless denied in full notwithstanding Obama’s “Sunshine” directive. This President has failed to ensure Americans stay informed about what their Government is doing.

Fund U.S. District Court complaint against Homeland Security:

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Americans’ Constitutional rights aren’t the subject of this press. Barack Obama’s proclamation of a “new era of open Government” is what’s suspect. Although current U.S. President Barack Obama directed Department Officers to work “in a spirit of cooperation,” FOIA request 2014-IAFO-0246 produced nothing but secrecy. No documents have been received, contrary the U.S. Attorney General’s memorandum no agency has been held accountable for administration of The Freedom of Information Act despite President Barack Obama’s own “Sunshine” Directive!