The Associated Press has discovered that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been playing politics with, of all things, the Freedom of Information Act.
FOIA is the leading effort of government's promise to be "more open" and give the public a better idea of what lawmakers and bureaucrats are doing with tax dollars.
So there's a special irony in learning that the department charged with protecting the security of all Americans instead has been playing hide and seek with the truth.
Here's how it worked, taxpayers will learn from congressional hearings under way on the matter:
Someone, perhaps a news agency, would file a FOIA request.
Under the law, a response should have been given within 20 business days but as speedily as practical.
But instead of hurrying the request along, political staffers at Homeland Security first turned them over to political officials for review, delaying the response.
Well, apparently Homeland Security wanted to give the appropriate political figure a chance to prepare a response before the person asking for the information even knew what questions to ask.
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