Pajamas Media is suing the Obama Department of Justice regarding a seven-month-old FOIA request that, so far, Justice is ignoring. In an editorial today, the Richmond Times-Dispatch steps up to demand answers from the department.
The story raises two serious concerns. The first is a pattern of politicization at the Justice Department — witness, e.g., the squelching of an inquiry into possible voter intimidation in Philadelphia in 2008. Where is all the alarm about impartiality that arose when the Bush administration allegedly was dismissing U.S. attorneys for political reasons?
The second concern is the integrity of the FOIA process. If the department has indeed given FOIA requests disparate treatment for ideological reasons, that is despicable — regardless of which direction the favoritism flows. Stonewalling liberal groups would be just as bad as stonewalling conservative ones.
We hope other news organizations — of every political stripe — will join us in saying Inspector General Cynthia Schnedar should launch an immediate inquiry to get to the bottom of this. After all, the president has declared his administration the most transparent ever. Here is a chance to prove it.