White House Policy and Confidentiality

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The days of closed door and back room dealings in Washington DC were supposed to be over. Open government laws, passed in recent decades, aim to let in the light, to take the top off the White House, and let the People peer inside and see just how the sausage gets made.

But Vice President Dick Cheney is now arguing there’s got to be a limit to openness in government. He is refusing to give the General Accounting Office the names of outside advisors whom he consulted on the Administration’s energy policy.

Critics say Cheney is just shielding the big oil and coal interests who had a direct-dial to the White House. Cheney says policy-making requires privacy, and what requires scrutiny is not the process but the result.


Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch;
John Podesta, former chief of staff for President Clinton;
David Barron, assistant professsor of law at the Harvard Law School and former attorney advisor to the White House Office of Legal Counsel