White House Visitor Logs Leave Large Blanks

Thursday, April 21, 2011
White House North Gate (photo: www.DC pages.com)
When is the releasing of one million government records not that impressive? When the information in question is missing hundreds of thousands of details.
That’s the case with the White House visitor logs. After being sued by government watchdogs, President Barack Obama agreed to release one million entries pertaining to those who have visited the White House. Two-thirds of people listed were on guided group tours.
But the logs are missing thousands of names, including those of lobbyists, government employees, campaign donors, policy experts, and friends of the first family, according to The Center for Public Integrity.
For 205,000 entries, the “event” description explaining why someone was in the White House was left blank.
Also, the published logs do not cover White House visitors from January 20 to September 15, 2009. White House officials say the recordkeeping system was revamped after that time and retrieving the data would be too time-consuming.
“If this is transparency, who needs it?” Steven Aftergood, director of the project on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, told the center. He called the White House visitor logs “very thin gruel.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
White House Visitor Logs Riddled with Holes (by Fred Schulte and Viveca Novak, iWatch)


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