You can't FOIA the list of who visits White House, US federal appeals court rules

Today, a federal appeals court ruled that the White House visitor list--who comes to talk to the president and his staff--is not public information, and not subject to Freedom of Information Act disclosure.

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  1. I think there is a line between full openness and transparency and the need for secrecy in this somewhere. I think having a bit of secrecy in this particular instance does indeed allow the Administration some room to maneuver politically. The article also notes that since these are considered Presidential Records, they can only be kept confidential for up to 12 years after the administration ends. So, since they eventually will become public, I'm not sure if I'd categorize this as unacceptable.

    Anyway, a large portion of the visitor logs are disclosed anyway -- of course with the high profile visits removed. Like a lot of things, the willingness of the WH to disclose their visitor logs will depend on who resides in the house, so this could easily disappear in a few years, but for now the logs are all here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/disclosures/visitor-records

  2. I despised this when the Bush administration used it to conceal the parties who were responsible for writing the nation's energy policy.

    I despise it now. I am so disappointed and angry that the Obama administration has in so many ways mirrored the Bush/Cheney debacle. I never thought I would say such a thing, but there it is.

  3. The irony here is that Obama wants full access to all our records, and is doing everything in his power to subvert Constitutional protections to protect "us" against the nebulous threat of "terrorists" and yet we can't ask the same of him. Honestly, what is the point of having courts if they always rule in favor of the Administration's penchant for secrecy?

  4. Rojo says:

    What's the matter, White House? After all, it's only "meta-data," it not like it would change the dynamic of state vs. people power right?

  5. pyalot says:

    Why of course you can't know who visits the president. It's only the most public figure in your country, drawing his salary from tax dollars, living in a tax-dollar funded mansion and voted into office by you. Of course the president knows everything about you, what emails you get and send, whom you talk to over the phone, what you're talking about and who you send text messages, and you're paying him for the priviledge to have no privacy whatsoever to the tune of nearly 25% of your income a year.

    What, you thought that'd ensure he's working for you? Oh you poor poor deluded soul.

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