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Obama transparency promises disappear from transparency website

By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   July 26, 2013 at 2:49 PM  |  Updated July 26, 2013 at 3:12 PM   |   Comments

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July 26 (UPI) -- President Obama's 2008 transition team website Change.gov has been publicly accessible for years, until June 8 when Obama's campaign promises and agenda were taken down.

Change.gov has linked to the White House website ever since the Obama administration took control of it, but until recently, users could continue to click through materials and agenda points, including his vision for reform. Now, a splash page simply directs to the White House.

June 8, coincidentally, was two days after Edward Snowden leaked National Security Agency documents revealing widespread data collection.

Snowden fled the country and sought asylum as a whistleblower, but the Obama administration has charged him with theft and espionage, and Congress is moving to approve sanctions against countries that offer asylum.

One item from the administration's ethics agenda may have proven problematic:

Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.

It wouldn't be the first case of website scrubbing after previous positions become inconvenient, but scrubbing a much-vaunted transparency agenda was bound to be noticed. All the content previously found on Change.gov has "effectively disappeared."

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