Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So Much for Transparency and Accountability

During a press conference on Nov. 19th in Kabul, Secretary of State Clinton preached to President Karzai and the Afghan Government about the need for progress on "transparency and accountability." See http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/11/132150.htm

Yet, the Cultural Heritage Center of the Secretary Clinton's own Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has fought tooth and nail to keep secret details of the controversial decisions to impose import restrictions on Cypriot and Chinese coins, and now US District Court Judge Richard Leon has decided against holding the State Department accountable to the public for the release of this information. See http://www.accg.us/issues/news/ruling-in-foia-case-condones-dos-intransigence

The ACCG and the other Plaintiffs are currently considering whether to appeal. At least, as the press release on the ACCG website notes, the mere fact that litigation was brought forced the State Department to process the Plaintiffs' FOIA requests, some of which had been languishing in bureaucratic Neverland for some three years. And, as further noted, some of that material that was produced points to potential misconduct that will be further explored in the "test case" brewing in US District Court in Baltimore, Maryland.

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