Administration Ordered to Release Foreign Aid Order

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(Punditcy.com) – Despite an aggressive attempt exert executive secrecy, according to Politico,  federal judge orders the Administration to release a government-wide foreign-aid directive n (PPD-6) President Obama signed in 2010 and refused to make public.

U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle ruled that the presidential order was not within the bounds of “presidential communications privilege”, Exemption 5 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  Judge Huvelle stated in her opinion that the Administration claimed the directive contained national security and foreign relation topics.  As it turns out, no part of the directive is classified nor did the Administration claim Exemption 1 from the FOIA (protecting national security information).

When issued, the White House posted and online fact sheet and touted that it was a “first of its kind by a U.S. administration.”   The president, on the day it was issued, remarked that the directive will “change the was we do business” with regard to foreign aid and development.  Despite these remarks by the president, the directive has not been released.

According to the opinion, President Obamas directive provides clear policy guidance to all U.S. Government agencies and enumerates core objectives, operational model, and the modern architecture needed for implementing the Administration’s global development objectives and priorities.

Judge Huvelle also chastised the Administration for what she said as losing sight of the purpose of the FOIA and that,  “The government appears to adopt the cavalier attitude that the President should be permitted to convey orders throughout the Executive Branch without public oversight…to engage in what is in effect governance by ‘secret law.'”

This policy could be very problematic for the Obama administration and for Democrats up for re-election next fall depending on what core objectives the directive contains.  Could this be the next Obama-gate scandal?