Over 20 noted whistleblowers have just released a petition calling for rescinding a "Transparency Award" President Obama recently received. The signatories include Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, former CIA analyst Raymond McGovern, former Pentagon analyst Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski and former National Security Agency analyst Russ Tice. More background on the award and why we're requesting it be rescinded is available in this Guardian UK piece and the "Corbett Report" video below.
Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds (who filed complaints after 9-11 with the Department of Justice Inspector General about a number of problems at the FBI) and yours truly drafted the petition, which begins:
On March 28, 2011, President Obama was given a 'transparency award' from five 'open government' organizations: OMB Watch, the National Security Archive, the Project on Government Oversight, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and OpenTheGovernment.org. Ironically -- and quite likely in response to growing public criticism regarding the Obama administration's lack of transparency -- heads of the five organizations gave their award to Obama in a closed, undisclosed meeting at the White House. If the ceremony had been open to the press, it is likely that reporters would have questioned the organizations' proffered justification for the award, in contrast to the current reality:
- President Obama has not decreased but has dramatically increased governmental secrecy! According to a new report to the president by the Information Security Oversight Office -- the federal agency that provides oversight of the government's security classification system -- the cost of classification for 2010 has reached over $10.17 billion. That's a 15 percent jump from the previous year, and the first time ever that secrecy costs have surpassed $10 billion. Last month, ISOO reported that the number of original classification decisions generated by the Obama administration in 2010 was 224,734 -- a 22.6 percent jump from the previous year. See 'The Price of Secrecy, Obama Edition.'
The full petition which can be signed, its list of signatories and endorsing organizations is here.
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