Stone Critiques Obama Administration's Efforts at Transparency

Our Untransparent President
Geoffrey R. Stone
The New York Times
June 26, 2011

AS a longtime supporter and colleague of Barack Obama at the University of Chicago, as well as an informal adviser to his 2008 campaign, I had high hopes that he would restore the balance between government secrecy and government transparency that had been lost under George W. Bush, and that he would follow through on his promise, as a candidate, to promote openness and public accountability in government policy making.

It has not quite worked out that way. While Mr. Obama has taken certain steps, notably early in his administration, to scale back some of the Bush-era excesses, in other respects he has shown a disappointing willingness to continue in his predecessor’s footsteps.

In the years after 9/11, the Bush administration embraced a series of policies, including torture, surveillance of private communications, and restrictions on the writ of habeas corpus, that undermined the fundamental American values of individual dignity, personal privacy and due process of law. Its most dangerous policy, though, was its attempt to hide its decisions from the American public.

Geoffrey R. Stone