Barack Obama hasn't even been in office for a week, yet Scott Wheeler, in a Jan. 26 Newsmax column, has declared him to be, as the headline states, the "Most Secretive President Ever."
On what basis does Wheeler make this judgment? Not on anything Obama's done in office -- remember, he's only been there six days as of date of publication. Instead, Wheeler is trying to replay the campaign:
It should have been easy to know everything about him, yet, we know nothing. Obama’s medical records have never been released, we know only from an admission in his first autobiography that he was a recreational drug user.
We know nothing about his academic record at Columbia or Harvard except that which he wants us to know, that he was editor of the Harvard Law Review. Why can’t we see the academic record that earned him that spot?
By contrast, Wheeler defends the secrecy of the Bush administration because everything it was trying to hide from the public could only be described as related to national security:
To be clear, the openness the media and Democrats are celebrating have nothing to do with how the government is squandering your tax money or transparency of bailout funds — no, the transparency that we are now supposed to celebrate is over national security secrets. That is, how the Bush administration conducted the war on terrorism over the past seven years.
This is Shangri-La for Democrats — and terrorists. Having our game plan for the war on terrorism being laid out wide-open for the left and the enemy to openly criticize, and thereby weaken, makes it so much easier for another attack on America.
In fact, Freedom of Information Act requests were granted at a lower rate under the Bush administration than under the preceding Clinton administration -- not just for the Defense Department but also for all other major Cabinet-level office. Do, say, the Treasury or Interior departments really have all that much to do with "how the Bush administration conducted the war on terrorism" that would justify such a reduced rate of compliance? Perhaps Wheeler can explain that one.
Don't expect him to, though. Rather than being the journalist he appears to be at Newsmax, he is in fact the head of the National Republican Trust PAC, an anti-Obama group that was behind what FactCheck.org called "one of the sleaziest false TV ads of the [2008 presidential] campaign," telling the lie that Obama's health care plan provides illegal immigrants with Social Security and health care benefits and would raise taxes to pay for it. FactCheck adds: "Hardly a word in the ad is true."
Wheeler seems to have brought those same truth-telling skills to his Newsmax column.