The US Establishment NGOs: The Shields for Imperial Presidency

“The Lesser Visible Foot-Soldiers for the Continuity of the Establishment & Survival of Imperial Presidencies

Have you heard the latest on Obama’s Justice Department secretly subpoenaing the telephone records of AP editors and journalists, and tracking their ingoing and outgoing calls?

All Right.

Have you been paying attention to ‘another latest’ on Obama’s IRS deliberately targeting conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election? Did you know that the same IRS office under Obama released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year?

Okay.

Did you know that Obama and his administration have engaged in more government secrecy than even the Bush Administration?

Good.

Are you aware that Obama has persecuted and prosecuted more whistleblowers than all US presidents combined, and that he’s considered the worst president in the history of the US when it comes to whistleblowers and truth-tellers?

Great.

I am sure you would also agree on Obama securing his status as one of the most anti-liberties presidents in the history of this nation-Hint: NDAA

Fantastic!

Now I know the majority of Americans know, even those following establishment-mouthpiece media, all these facts. However, what this same majority doesn’t know is that it takes a village of sustainers, collaborators, obscurers and bottom-feeding foot soldiers to bring about, sustain, and shield an imperial presidency such as Obama’s. Let me give you a highly illustrative example extensively reported by Boiling Frogs Post two years ago: [Read more...]

FDL Takes on POGO in Support of Bradley Manning

Corporate-Funded Lap-Dog Watchdogs, AntiWar.Com, Whistleblowers & Bradley Manning

pogoLast year, in our series ‘Mega Corporate Foundations’ Lap-Dogs’ we took on pseudo-whistleblower watchdog organization Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and their consistent betrayal of legit government whistleblowers, their corporate sugar-daddies such as Soros-Rockefellers-Carnegie, and their incestuous relationship with the Executive Branch, especially the White House. You can read our coverage here, here, and here.  We also produced a video report on POGO begging the obvious question: Who’s Watching the Watchdogs: [Read more...]

Part IV. POGO: Mastering the Art of Lap-Dancing for Mega Sugar Daddies

Follow the Money …Even when it comes to NGO Mini Lap-Dogs

lapdogWe began our series with a snapshot of Mega Corporate Foundations extending their tentacles to organizations and entities involved in government watchdog practices and grassroots activism. We summarized the classic story of the transformation from Government Watchdogs to Mega-Corporate Lapdogs. We presented to you the profile of “An Ideal Watch-Dog Lap-Dog” from the perspective of a well-known Mega Corporate Foundation-Carnegie: A Government Watch-Dog Lap-Dog that is loved & cherished by the entire government. Now it is time to take a look at the profile of a mini watch-dog lap-dog: the sugar daddies pouring large sums into their panties, how much money they get, who conducts and choreographs the lap-dance shows internally, and what they show and market as ‘performance’ to the public .

Project on Government Oversight (POGO)

Like many grassroots and government watchdog entities out there POGO started small and passionate with noble intentions and objectives: [Read more...]

Part III. A Watch-Dog for All Seasons

Carnegie Corporation: We Love POGO, So Does the Entire US Government!

JokerIn the spring of 2010 the Carnegie Corporation issued a glowing report on their favorite government watchdog Project on Government Oversight (POGO). The report was meant to justify and showcase the large grants given to POGO by the corporation over the last few years. In 2008 and 2009 alone the corporation had given over $700,000 to this pet-project (lap-dog aka watch-dog). After reading the report one can’t help but wonder at the miscalculation that went with this report’s intention. What was intended to be a glowing report ends up being a major indicator as to the real nature of this corporate-foundation funded government watch-dog turned lap-dog. Allow me to explain further:

Real government watchdogs, if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing, if they are engaged in what they say they are engaged in, become the object of the government’s wrath and hatred. There is no way around this. No way. The executive branch agencies would be up in arms against them: digging their graves as ferocious and as fast as they can; overtly and covertly. And this includes the office of the United States President; the White House.

The legislative branch would be extremely wary of real government watchdogs. After all, real separation of powers ceased to exist a long time ago. Not only that; the last thing the US Congress wants is the existence of whistleblowers in their own backyard. Considering the level of corruption in Congress (think foreign lobby influence; think various methods of going around campaign finance laws; think campaign donors and conflicts of interest when it comes to the congressional decision and legislation making process) how many whistleblowers have we had coming out of congressional offices with reports of corruption, bribery, and other related misdeeds? I believe I have made the case here; suffice to say, Congress has never liked whistleblowers or genuine watchdog groups, evident by their resistance to providing real protection for whistleblowers, holding real hearings on legit whistleblower cases, and holding the executive branch accountable based on proven reports provided to them by whistleblowers.

I’ll go even further: The corporate mainstream media has never been very kind to government whistleblowers, and they usually perceive a genuine watchdog group as a real threat exposing their own cover-up or biased-filled reporting tainted by their masters in corporate and government. I mean, come on, what happens if a genuine watchdog group issues a report exposing illegal wiretapping by the government, when a giant media group, per order of their bosses, chooses to bury and sit on that same revelation? You see what I mean? The reason for the dislike goes beyond a ‘competitive’ relationship; way beyond it.

Now what should be the first thing, first inference, first conclusion, to come to mind (a rational mind that is) when one comes across a self-proclaimed tax-exempt mega corporation-funded watch-dog that happens to be adored by mega corporations, intensely liked by the Congress, truly liked by the executive branch including the White House, and very much admired and complemented by the tainted corporate media? Do you see something extremely disturbing yet very revealing with this picture? Then, with that in mind, let’s read the glowing report issued by the mega corporation, Carnegie Foundation, on their favorite watch-dog, POGO: [Read more...]

The EyeOpener: Who Watches the Watchdogs?

What influence do corporate foundation donors have over the organizations they are propping up?

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Last month, the EyeOpener investigated the “transparency award” that was bestowed on Obama this past March by a bevy of government watchdog NGOs who are ostensibly advocating for more government openness. As we saw in that report, dozens of high profile government whistleblowers and organizations have launched a petition at takeawardback.org calling on these NGOs to rescind the award in light of the Obama Administration’s abysmal record of government secrecy and unprecedented levels of whistleblower prosecution.

 In response to the petition, one of the NGOs named in our report posted a reply defending its decision to honor Obama on the transparency issue and questioning the motives of those opposing that decision. In the rebuttal, Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) wrote:

It is undeniable that the Obama administration has achieved more openness than any other recent president,” adding that “Public debate and disclosure is often healthy. But there is so much to be done to safeguard our rights and expand openness – our community just doesn’t have the luxury to waste time on distractions.”

A new investigation into the funding sources of the very NGOs who are supposed to be holding the government’s feet to the fire reveals some alternative explanations for why these organizations are so reluctant to call out the Obama administration for its egregious expansion of government secrecy.

The new series on Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and Corporate-Foundation Sugar Daddies looks further into corporate-foundations and Watch-Dogs turned Lap-Dogs. Here are the first two parts in our series:

Part I. The Tentacles of Megas: Reaching from the Government to the Emasculated Watchdogs

Part II. The Journey from Watch-Dogs to Lap-Dogs

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Part II. The Journey from Watch-Dogs to Lap-Dogs

A Classic Story of Government Watch-Dogs Turned Corporate-Foundation Lap-Dogs

moneyI am not a big fan of ‘one size fits all.’ I do not subscribe to ‘everything is either black or white.’ I usually refrain from hasty labeling and categorization based on too few facts. With that said, and with no hesitation, I am about to tell you a classic story applicable to most, if not all, multi-million dollar profitable nonprofit  watchdog organizations with mega corporate-foundation sugar daddies. It is a sad story, but more importantly, it is a highly troubling pattern successfully disguised by the corporate media and corporate-foundation backed quasi alternative media. Because without seeing this pattern, without looking at the entire picture with all the pieces in place, people tend to chase their own tails or run around like headless chickens thinking they are engaged in some kind of active citizenry. Some groups exhaust themselves by futilely targeting elected officials, whether White House or Congress. Other groups burn out chasing after corporate-run media. Other people stumble upon each other protesting and screaming about mini scandals as they pop up at a bewildering rate. It is as if the ‘real culprits’ have put out these mock targets for people to waste their time chasing, targeting, and attempting to shoot.

The real culprits, the megas, hand pick political candidates and finance their election campaigns. They own the media. They fund and control any grassroots or watchdog NGOs that exhibit the tiniest sign of success, visibility and or viability. They foresee we the people’s easily foreseeable reaction and possible restlessness or dissent, and make sure it is properly misinformed, misguided, channeled, and diverted. Thus, the small minority of active citizens continues to become exhausted, burned out, and never gets anywhere. Then, the cycle repeats itself; again, again, and again.

Okay, back to the classic story of government watch-dogs turned into lap-dogs. [Read more...]

Part I. The Tentacles of Megas: Reaching from the Government to the Emasculated Watchdogs

Who Controls Who with What

tenaclesThe mega billionaires of the mega corporations directly influence and control the mega public servants - think from presidents down to presidents’ appointees. Some aptly refer to these ‘megas’ collectively as the shadow government. The mega billionaires of the mega corporations set up mega foundations to channel, centralize and control grassroots dissent and activism in order to shield and protect their mega interests. The little watchdogs turned lapdogs and activists turned puppets run the nitty gritty errands, and do their dirty work under the pretense of activism and watchdog-ism for their mega masters while they dream of becoming mega NGOs. If we get past the illusions, all that pretense, and the entire smoke and mirrors settings, we see a mega country ruled and run by these mega elites and their errand boys making mega profits and with every passing day becoming even more mega. But that is a big ‘if.’ Because the mega tentacles of these megas have also wrapped themselves tightly around educational channels and media outlets - coercing them into producing mega lies and more illusions.

Have you had enough mega? I have. I am sick and tired of fighting megas everywhere and feeling like Don Quixote day in and day out. Whether it is elected representatives being bought out by the megas, thus mainly representing the megas, or, mini megas down the ladder in the media pumping more smoke into the atmosphere already filled with smoke and mirrors, I am sick of megas. So let’s put  megas in general aside for a while and discuss a few specific examples. Since our series deals with self-proclaimed transparency and government whistleblowers NGOs funded primarily by a handful of megas, let’s talk about these megas, their tentacles in the government and wrapped around these NGOs. Let’s talk about Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and their mega masters: Soros, Carnegie, Rockefellers and Ford.

It is one thing to have big corporations set up foundations to help with…let’s say the homeless and with setting up soup kitchens to feed the poor or maybe even funding art projects. However, it is an entirely different ball game when the corporation foundations who are heavily entrenched in high-level governmental positions start funding, thus influencing and controlling, the NGOs’ that claim to be government watchdogs. I mean come on, you have a powerful billionaire X who finances elected officials and presidents big time, who places his J, K, L, M, N men and women in the government, and turns around, funds and controls government watchdog NGOs who are supposedly watching, investigating, and reporting on that same government that is financed and managed by their master, billionaire X.

carnegieCarnegie Corporation is one of POGO’s primary donors. This mega contributed $350,000 in 2008 and $400,000 in 2010 to POGO. That’s a lot of zeros, no? Okay, at the same time, Carnegie is a major supporter of White House presidents and in return, the presidents are very grateful to Carnegie, so grateful that they like to handpick their appointees from (or maybe be given their list of appointees by) Carnegie Corporation. Let’s check out a few Carnegie-Executive Branch appointees; let’s take a look at a few Carnegie men and women in US government and other related institutions; shall we? [Read more...]

Rise Up To The Occasion… It Could Very Well Have Been You!

Every Single Person, Every Voice & Every Signature Counts

solid

Have you ever pulled over your car on a highway shoulder to be a Good Samaritan and help a driver of a broken car desperately in need of assistance? Have you done it despite the heavy traffic, and a remaining long commute to get home after an exhausting long shift at work? Do you remember thinking ‘hope someone, some day, will do the same for me or my loved one’?

Have you ever found a wallet or a cell phone, and then taken the time and effort to locate and contact the owner? Have you done it despite a hectic schedule, having a long to-do list, and in the midst of daily crisis and demands? Do you recall thinking ‘hope someday, someone, will do the same for me?’

Have you ever been before a federal court judge, with your rights being taken away one by one, your entire biographical existence being classified one after another, and during all this, your entire legal team and advisors being removed from the court room in order to make the screwing of your Constitutional rights completely secret and unobserved? I have:

A federal court in Washington yesterday took the rare step of closing an entire oral argument to the public in the case of a former FBI translator who says she was fired for complaining about security breaches. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit announced that today's 30-minute argument in the case of Sibel Edmonds, a Middle Eastern language specialist fired in 2002, will be conducted behind closed doors. The court gave no reason for its decision.

The unsettling story of whistleblower Sibel Edmonds took another twist on Thursday, as the government continued its seemingly endless machinations to shut her up. The U.S. Court of Appeals here denied pleas to open the former FBI translator's First Amendment case to the public, a day after taking the extraordinary step of ordering a secret hearing. 

I am not going to recount that incredibly awful experience as far as the butchering of our Constitution and liberties goes. Instead I want to briefly recount a minor detail with a major effect on me. [Read more...]

POGO Refuses to Rescind Obama’s Transparency Award

Blowing the Whistle on Those Who Falsely Claimed to Act on our Behalf

By Julia Davis

WhistleIn response to the petition from numerous groups and whistleblowers, Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) authored a blog on POGO’s website. While POGO’s response doesn’t contain any earth-shattering revelations, some of the attempts to justify the “Transparency Award” recently given to President Obama warrant a response.

POGO recently pondered whether they should buy a 30-second video spot on the CBS videotron in Times Square. They asked whistleblowers for feedback about the billboard. Unfortunately, they didn’t ask for feedback when it really mattered - prior to bestowing a Transparency Award upon President Obama. Now, in light of the mounting pressure to rescind this award, POGO dismissively refers to our opposition as a mere “distraction”.

Looking Forward, Moving Backward

POGO disingenuously claims that the Bush administration is at fault for the ongoing investigations and prosecutions against whistleblowers, undertaken by the current administration. In POGO’s blog describing the conversation with President Obama on the day when he received a “Transparency Award”, Danielle Brian wrote: 

"I noted, however, that the current aggressive prosecution of national security whistleblowers is undermining this legacy… The President shifted in his seat and leaned forward. He said he wanted to engage on this topic because this may be where we have some differences."

POGO claims that the ongoing prosecutions of whistleblowers simply happened to “ripen” just in time to be pursued by this administration. Such an assertion rings hollow in light of this administration’s decision not to file charges against the Bush regime under the guise of “looking forward and not backwards”, stating that this is “a time for reflection, not retribution". Apparently, this serene forgiveness applies to those responsible for war crimes, torture, and illegal spying, but not to the whistleblowers.

Contrary to POGO’s deeply flawed arguments, it is within this administration’s discretion to decide who gets prosecuted. These decisions have been chilling so far. Lucy Dalglish, Executive Director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said:  "The whole point of the prosecution is to have a chilling effect on reporters and sources, and it will." While such prosecutions are ongoing, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, OpenTheGovernment.org, Project on Government Oversight, OMB Watch and the National Security Archive saw it fit to endorse these actions through a Transparency Award. By definition, an award is something that was earned, is deserved and encourages more of the same. That is hardly the message our supposed transparency advocates should be sending.  [Read more...]

POGO : Obama Deserves Transparency Award &“ has achieved more openness than any other recent president!”

Project on Government Oversight Refuses to Take Back Obama Transparency Award

takeback In a very wordy, hollow words that is, public response, Danielle Brian of Project on Government Oversight (POGO) not only adamantly declines to rescind Obama’s Transparency Award given to him in secrecy, but she actually praises the President as one who has achieved more openness than any other US president, thus deserving of an award given to him in a secret ceremony. Further, Ms. Brian considers this petition and signatories’ efforts a waste of time and a distraction. Here are a few excerpts from POGO’s public response to the petition and all signatories:

It's undeniable that the Obama administration has achieved more openness than any other recent president.

Of course, the fact that this rescheduled meeting wasn’t on the President’s calendar made it an easy joke. When we discovered this, we described it as “crazy stupid.” But the fact that the meeting wasn’t open to the press didn’t strike me as unusual—I have meetings all the time with policymakers that are not open to the press.

So no, I do not regret taking the opportunity to meet with the President and get him to discuss the prosecutions of national security whistleblowers, and I am not going to withdraw our support for the award.

Public debate and discourse is often healthy. But there is so much to be done to safeguard our rights and expand openness—our community just doesn’t have the luxury to waste time on distractions.

It appears as if the people at POGO didn’t even bother to read the petition and the cited facts. But I believe they know the facts. They know them too well. Yet, despite all these cited facts, despite all the cited actions taken by this President and his administration (yes, last time I checked presidents were held liable for their appointees’ practices!) against transparency and whistleblowers, despite all the measures taken by this President and his administration towards unprecedented levels of secrecy, POGO deemed, and still deems,  this president worthy of a Transparency Award; in a closed secret meeting not even logged in White House Schedule-Records.

Further, maybe even worse, despite repeated appeals, despite more than 25 whistleblowers’ implorations, despite more than 20 pro-transparency and pro-liberties organizations’ requests, despite the outcry from the public and journalist communities, POGO insists on the non-existent merits of this award, and it refuses to acknowledge it as a very dumb mistake; and adamantly refuses to take it back. And finally, POGO considers you, me, and everyone else on this petition a group that has the ‘luxury to waste time,’ and calls this petition a ‘distraction.’

Let me address a few ludicrous claims and positions presented by POGO:

Obama Should Not Be Held Responsible for His Administration’s Practices

POGO shields and defends Obama by asking people to blame and go after the agencies, not the President. They put forth a ludicrous and warped defense by claiming that presidents should not be held liable for the practices of the agencies headed by the president’s handpicked appointees.

First, this is akin to saying Hitler didn’t personally participate in annihilation, internment, torturing and killing; those were practiced by his military and police force, thus, he should not be blamed. This is similar to arguing that Abu-Ghraib practices and scandals were limited to a handful of lower-rank military personnel, and those above them with the authority and responsibility should have been absolved from any accountability. POGO says the awful anti-transparency and anti-whistleblower practices are implemented by the agencies and the bureaucracy, and the President does not have any power over them, so leave the President alone, give him awards, and go chase after his employees.

Secondly, POGO’s ludicrous position in absolving the President from his administration and agencies’ anti-transparency and anti-liberties practices reeks with hypocrisy and double talk. This is the same NGO that consistently (and justifiably) blamed the Bush-Cheney office for atrocious practices implemented by the agencies under them.

And finally, based on POGO’s argument we should not bother electing presidents, since presidents and presidential powers have nothing to do with the executive branch and its practices. POGO has declared presidential authority and responsibility moot.

Words Speak Much Louder than Actions & The Award Was Given Based on Obama’s Words

POGO, with a straight face, is telling the public to disregard Obama’s record and pay attention only to his words. This is like letting a serial rapist pedophile who happens to be an author of books on ‘protecting children against pedophiles’ go free despite damning evidence proving him guilty of raping and molesting children. This is similar to absolving the Catholic priests that were found guilty of child molestation because they spoke the right words on Sunday.

POGO even goes further and engages in double-talk and actions similar to the President himself. It is disingenuous for Danielle Brian to claim on one hand that it's not Obama's fault that the whistleblowers are being prosecuted, when she, Brian, in her own blog said that when she brought up anti-whistleblowers practices and  the Drake prosecution during the "Transparency Award" meeting, Obama said straight up that he disagreed with her position.

On one hand POGO asserts that ‘there are many things to bemoan in the Obama administration’s implementation of its open government goals,’ yet, on the other hand, they claim that Obama deserves and had actually earned the transparency award. POGO does not refute the facts and cases cited in our petition on Obama’s record as the worst president on whistleblowers and transparency, yet, they find this completely irrelevant to their decision to present this President with an undeserved mockery transparency award.

Do As We Say But Don’t Do As We Do!

Interestingly, as an organization funded by millions of dollars from special interest corporations-foundations that engages in issuing hundreds of in words-only cosmetic petition campaigns, POGO considers the petition signed and backed by numerous noted government whistleblowers, organizations, and activists, ‘A Waste of Time,’ and a major (and inconvenient) ‘Distraction.’ Danielle Brian actually stresses that petitions are useless, and tells people not to waste time going after Obama’s transparency award by campaigning with this petition. If POGO truly believes that then why do they spend millions of dollars, and high six-figure salaries for petitions to Congress and agencies, rather than actually supporting government whistleblowers with badly needed legal advice and help? [Read more...]

Peter B Collins Interviews Coleen Rowley: Take Back Obama Transparency Award!

Rowleycollins

Listen to the show here.

Please Sign the Petition Here:Take Award Back.Com

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Rescind Obama’s “Transparency Award” Now!

Tell POGO, OMB Watch, the National Security Archive, Open the Government.Org, and the Reporters Committee to publicly take back their Transparency Award to President Obama

takebackaward

The following petition was co-written by Coleen Rowley and me, and has been backed by more than 25 government whistleblowers and over 20 organizations. Awarding the worst president in US history when it comes to government whistleblowers with a Transparency Award is a huge insult. Presenting a president who has dramatically increased government secrecy with an Anti-Secrecy Award is ridiculous. Rewarding one of the worst US presidents when it comes to invocation of unconstitutional state secrets privilege is ludicrous. This award is a major insult to all liberty-loving Americans. This award is a slap to all freedom-liberty seeking activists. This award is dumb, highly damaging, and extremely dangerous by what it says it represents. Please stand up and say ‘NO’ to this award by signing this petition. I urge you to demand that this award be taken back immediately. I implore you to not let them get away with this in your name. I am asking you to sign this petition and encourage everyone you know to do the same. Don’t let them mock our nation, our people and our values: Take Obama’s Transparency Award Back Now.

Please Sign the Petition Here:Take Award Back.Com

Thank You,

Sibel Edmonds

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The EyeOpener: Whistleblowers & Activists Line Up to Take Back Obama Transparency Award

Exclusive Boiling Frogs Video with James Corbett

Here is an exclusive video by James Corbett with the inaugural edition of the EyeOpener, a new weekly video series produced in conjunction with Boiling Frogs Post, on Obama’s Secret Transparency Award. This news clip is a prelude to our petition, ‘Rescind Obama’s “Transparency Award” Now!,’ co-written by Coleen Rowley and me, and signed by more than 25 high-profile government whistleblowers and over 20 organizations, which will be launched tomorrow morning. We are going to need every single one of you, your signatures, your support, and your voices to get these organizations to take back the undeserved and hypocritical award. Please watch this video. Maybe watch it again. Think about it. Get angry. Share this with everyone you know. Help up disseminate this and encourage others to watch think, get angry, and take action. We are counting on you; on us.

 

For further information and more background on this action campaign you can read this and this.

Please stay tuned for our upcoming petition tomorrow morning, and thank you all.

Sibel Edmonds

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The Mockery Award, the Fraudulent Club & the Gullible Cheering Crowds

A Serious Assault on Transparency & Government Whistleblowers

upsidedownHave you ever tried standing on your head in order to view the world upside down? What if the world stage before you turns upside-down; will you then have to stand on your head to view it right-side up? You see, we have a fraudulent institution that has been standing on its head, and has been trying very hard to get you to either stand on your head to see what they see or simply look the other way and take their word in describing a totally upside down phenomena as right-side up. Enough for riddle-like communication; let me put it all in perspective for you, ok? I’ll start with the actors:

We have a very typical Washington DC NGO institution posing as a front. As a front, this establishment NGO front sells under the pretense of being an advocate for transparency, open government, and whistleblower protections. It gets over a million dollars in grants from guess who, the establishment-from Rockefeller to Carnegie to George Soros, to pose as a not for profit organization for government whistleblowers. And it has done very well for over two decades - evident by the same grants from the same establishment that keep flowing into it; evident by creating lots of noise while ensuring no feathers are ever ruffled during the process. The Congress loves them, and knows how to do the pretense dance with them very well. The executive branch also loves them, and views them as a predictable and reliable ally that has to sometimes pose as their foe.  More importantly, they are adored by the President who pets them and gives them a bone or two for being the good loyal pets that they are.

We have a President in the White House who indisputably has the worst record in our nation’s history when it comes to the insurers of government transparency- government whistleblowers. We have a President who loves unconstitutional secrecy and baseless-imaginary presidential executive powers to quash transparency and accountability. We have a President who has an utter disdain for First Amendment practices such as peaceful protests. Okay, let me provide you a glimpse of this President’s indisputable record on Anti-Transparency: [Read more...]