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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

It's no secret
That the Bush White House is outrageously secretive. Washington Post writer Dana Milbank points out that the Kremlin, the Japanese, the Palestinian Authority, and just about everyone else is more forthcoming with information than is the government supposedly of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Americans seeking to know what President Bush said in his phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month went to the obvious place: the Kremlin.

"The presidents exchanged ideas on the situations in the crisis areas of the world: Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan, etc.," the Russian government said in a statement carried by the Interfax news agency. "They expressed serious concerns about the lack of progress in the settlement of regional problems and the escalation of the situation in these areas."

And what did the White House have to say about this conversation between the world leaders? Not a thing. "White House officials would reveal no details of the conversation," the Associated Press reported.

As Paul Krugman said yesterday, writing about the Veep from the Deep's top-secret energy task force:

What Mr. Cheney is defending, in other words, is a doctrine that makes the United States a sort of elected dictatorship: a system in which the president, once in office, can do whatever he likes, and isn't obliged to consult or inform either Congress or the public.

I've been reading John Dean's book, Worse Than Watergate, which focuses on the extreme and extremely undemocratic secrecy of the Bush White House. Our government was founded in part on the belief that the people should know what the government is doing and the government should stay out of what people are doing. The Bush administration is intent on reversing that.