It's transparently clear: President Obama loathes and fears independent watchdogs.
Accountability is an empty talking point without whistleblower protection and investigative autonomy. That is why Capitol Hill must do everything in its power to stop the White House war on the public's ombudsmen. Federal inspector generals across dozens of agencies are begging lawmakers to grant them access to public records as guaranteed by the 1978 Inspector General Act.
The call for help comes as Obama administration obstructionists and cover-up operatives impede and downplay several key investigations into government corruption and malfeasance.
Last year, 47 of the nation's 73 federal IGs signed an open letter decrying the Obama administration's stonewalling of their investigations. The White House, they reported, had placed "serious limitations on access to records that have recently impeded the work" of IGs at the Peace Corps, the EPA and the Department of Justice, and jeopardized their "ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner."
While defanging Washington's most effective guardians on the public's trust and tax dollars, the Obama administration has stocked the government with whitewash puppies who've compromised the independence of IG offices at the Department of Homeland Security, the Interior Department and DOJ.
At the rotten core of the war on federal watchdogs: Obama's Undermining Justice Department, which has distorted and destroyed the plain meaning of "all records" to sabotage the IGs access to damning agency documents relevant to their probes.
Earlier this year in congressional testimony, [PDF] DOJ IG Michael Horowitz exposed the Obama administration's "continued refusal by the Department to recognize that Section 6(a) of the Inspector General Act authorizes the DOJ OIG to obtain access to all records in the Department's possession that we need in order to perform our oversight responsibilities" as the office investigates the IRS witch hunts, the Fast and Furious scandal, and systemic public disclosure evasions. The FBI has repeatedly run out the clock to thwart IG document production requests and unilaterally claimed power to pre-screen and limit records disclosures.
In July, the White House arrogantly announced that IGs needed to gain permission from the heads of agencies they were investigating to gain access to grand jury, wiretap and fair credit information. Horowitz noted this week that "[p]ending legislation in the Senate, S. 579, and the House, H.R. 2395, would restore IG independence and empower IGs to conduct the kind of rigorous, independent and thorough oversight that taxpayers expect."
Let me remind you that this is the same administration that:
Empowering IGs to uncover mismanagement in the public sector without fear of reprisal and roadblocks is quite literally a matter of life and death. Restore the letter of the federal inspector general law, Congress and unleash the taxpayers' guard dogs!
Michelle Malkin [email her] is the author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s review. Click here for Michelle Malkin's website. Michelle Malkin is also author of Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild and Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies.
Her latest book is "Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs."