OPEN GOVERNMENT — If you've had the increasing impression that President Obama has been backsliding more and more on his campaign and early post-inaugural commitments to governmental transparency, Glenn Greenwald provides a sobering summary of milestones along this retreat.

Greenwald's piece for also includes a video version of his report  from today's Democracy Now program with Amy Goodman.

In effect, every week it gets harder to see much daylight between Obama policies and practices on disclosure of information and open government generally and those of the Bush/Cheney Administration, which many if not most observers at the time called the most secretive in modern U.S. history.

Looked at one by one, some of counter-transparency policies might be excused or at least explained by Administration apologists as:

  • a desire to show some responsible continuity in executive branch positions on matters already in the courts, or
  • an unwillingness to alienate more members of Congress than necessary while big and controversial administration priorities like recession-fighting, financial regulatory reform, health care reform, environmental and energy policy reform etc. are still pending, or
  • a reluctance to demoralize or alienate career operatives in the intelligence agencies, or
  • a reluctance to provide terrorists with photographic or other documentation of hard-to-defend U.S. behavior in the shadow war or the literal combat theaters since 9/11.

But the White House visitor's log?  That may be what did it for Greenwald.

(Hat tip to Kimo Crossman.)