Government does not have the authority to lie to us

The Justice Department has proposed making changes to the Freedom of Information Act.  Among those changes, our “Justice” Department feels it should have the authority to lie to you:

“A proposed revision to Freedom of Information Act rules would allow federal agencies to lie to citizens and reporters seeking certain records, telling them the records don’t exist.

The Justice Department has proposed the change as part of a large revision of FOIA rules for federal agencies. Specifically, the rule would direct government agencies who are denying a request under an established FOIA exemption to “respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist,” rather than citing the relevant exemption.”

This is the kind of nonsense that drives me nuts.  It’s obvious that the people proposing this rule change have the attitude that they aren’t accountable to the people – that because they have a job in government they are somehow more important than the general public.

These folks have it 100% backwards.  When you take a job working for the government it is a step down from the private sector – not a step up.  You are moving from being the master to being the servant – that is why it’s called government service.

A lot of our public officials today seem to believe that how they do their jobs is none of our business as citizens.  But everything they are doing is our business – literally.

Those who choose to work for the government are there doing the business of the people on our behalf – and they are using our money to do it.  So if the people want to see what they are doing, we have every right in the world to see whatever we want.

It has become a cliche lately… but they work for us, we don’t work for them.  Imagine if your boss walked up to you and said, “Hey, how’s that project coming along?”  Do you think he would accept it if you told him, “I’m sorry, that information isn’t subject to disclosure.”

Of course not.  The whole idea that you could get away with that at your job is silly.  So why should it be any different when we as citizens go to the government that works for us and ask to see how their job is going?

This refusal of government to be transparent goes beyond that though.  Our country was designed to be a system of self-government.  So how are we as citizens supposed to make informed, intelligent choices about what we want our representatives to be doing when our employees won’t give us information about how the country is really being run?

Our government was created for the purpose of protecting our liberty, it is using our money to do it, and the people are the ultimate decision-makers in this country.  Given those facts, there should be absolutely no information about our government that citizens are not entitled to (unless its disclosure would pose a direct threat to national security or it is essential to a pending case in the Justice Department).

It all comes down to one simple question:

Were we created to serve the government or was the government created to serve us?

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