Obama Transition Website Goes Down, Removing Inconvenient Campaign Promise to Protect Whistleblowers
Sunlight Foundation discovers the Obama Administration has removed access to his 2008 campaign promises from the White House website. It suggests one of the promises Obama may want to hide has to do with his support for whistleblowers.
While front splash page for for Change.gov has linked to the main White House website for years, until recently, you could still continue on to see the materials and agenda laid out by the administration. This was a particularly helpful resource for those looking to compare Obama’s performance in office against his vision for reform, laid out in detail on Change.gov.
Why the change?
Here’s one possibility, from the administration’s ethics agenda:
Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.
It may be that Obama’s description of the importance of whistleblowers went from being an artifact of his campaign to a political liability.
Emptywheel notes that June 8–the last day the content of Change.gov was available–was two days after Edward Snowden first disclosed wrongdoing by NSA.