To merit the award, Justice obstructed and cloaked its doings in secrecy, the Archive says, much like the award’s namesake,
Rose Mary Woods
, secretary to President Richard Nixon. Woods famously erased a crucial 18 minutes of White House tapes (an innocent mistake, she claimed, that happened accidentally when she stretched to answer a phone call).
Justice sewed up the competitive award just this week with its performance at a Senate hearing in which an official refused to answer questions about litigation that could undermine an open-government law Congress adopted in 2007 to speed up requests from the public filed under the Freedom of Information Act.
And Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy may have tipped the scales in the Rosemary sweepstakes when he got in this zing chiding Justice for slow-walking its rewrite of its own FOIA policies to comply with the 2007 law:
“It’s been five years since we changed the law,” Leahy said. “It took me less time to get through law school.”
Our fan in Cuba
A Loop Fan wrote recently with an interesting question. Unable to write directly, he sent the letter via his attorney, Carlos Warner.
Seems our reader, one Muhammad Rahim, has to use that circuitous route for correspondence because he’s a guest of the federal government at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
His question: “Does Obama read ‘In the Loop?’ ”
A most interesting question, Mr. Rahim, but we’re thinking it isn’t likely. On the other hand, some of his staff members probably read the column, judging from the occasionally abusive phone calls.
Rahim, a prolific and rambling correspondent, was said to be a former translator for Osama bin Laden and allegedly helped him escape from Afghanistan in 2001. He was captured in Pakistan in 2007, apparently by local authorities.
U.S. intelligence and defense officials call him a “tough, seasoned jihadist.”
But he’s also apparently a news junkie. He’s been in Gitmo for about six years and is one of the last prisoners to be sent there, but he’s managed to keep up with U.S. affairs.
In his latest letter, dated Feb.13 and stamped “unclassified,” he discourses about Obama’s “pathetic, ineffectual” gun-control efforts and notes that “if he has time to fill out a bracket for ‘March Madness’, he should have time to meet” with Warner.
transition at the State Department is proceeding at a slow but steady pace — at least in terms of wall art.
When the new secretary was confirmed six week ago, there were 30 or so framed photos hanging in a hallway outside the public affairs offices on the second floor.
Up until about three weeks ago, most all of them were of former secretary
and her senior staff members, traveling, speaking and so on.