Fat asshole Karl Rove, who helped design and maintain the most contemptuous and opaque presidential administration since Richard Nixon's, loves transparency now that a black Democrat is charge. So he's launched a clearinghouse for documents obtained through the FOIA.
Rove's post-Bush political outfit Crossroads GPS has started a project called Wikicountability, a repository for user-submitted FOIA documents. The idea is to bring a wide variety of records about our government together in one place and "hold those in charge accountable for their failures to live up to" their promises of transparency. So far they've posted travel and meeting schedules for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau chief Elizabeth Warren, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
The site also highlights what it calls the Obama Administration's "FOIA Violations"—requests that remain outstanding after the law's 20-day deadline has transpired. And there are indeed violations: Consider that the request for Warren's schedule was made on December 2, 2010, and the CFPB didn't respond until November 24 (according to the date the PDF was created and seemingly posted on the CFPB's web site)—wait what? Yes, it appears that the CFPB posted Warren's schedule on its own web site a week before Rove's little project even asked for it. Of course, the PDF could have been created on November 24 and posted much later; the very latest the schedule could have been made public is February 28, when the Treasury Department's FOIA page was last updated. So that's an unacceptable 88-day lag between request and publication.
Compare that to the 753 days it took Bush's Pentagon to respond to a 2005 Associated Press request for correspondence between Defense Department officials and Tom DeLay or Jack Abramoff, and you get a sense for what a tendentious dick Rove is. Or the 525 days it took the Pentagon to respond to the New York Times' 2006 request for documents the Defense Department's efforts to coordinate PR messages with ex-military cable pundits—a story that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009. And so on.
For the record, Wikicountability is a great project and I'm glad there's one more site out there aggregating FOIA documents and pressing for transparency. I've applied to register as a contributor to the site; if approved the first document I'll offer up will be the recently released 1,132-page file of autopsy reports from deceased military detainees between 2003 and 2009, which record multiple prisoner homicides at the hands of U.S. troops.
[Photo of Rove via Getty Images]