White House Office of Administration Immune from FOIA?

June 16, 2008

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has ruled in agreement with Bush administration lawyers’ claim that the White House Office of Administration (WHOA) is immune from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Barring a successful appeal, this means that the Bush administration won’t need to hand over those conveniently lost emails that somehow managed to disappear from Bush, Rove, Cheney and Co.’s blackberries.

Apparently, Kollar-Kotelly accepted the argument that WHOA serves exclusively administrative functions and therefore is not subject to an act meant to protect political transparency.

The incredible irony is that WHOA has historically been the office in charge of handling all the FOIA requests submitted to the White House. As of right now, the WHOA website notes: ” The OA’s Regulations concerning FOIA are currently being updated.”

Count this one as a big fat loss for transparent government and a big fat win for the unitary executive theory. ugh.


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