WASHINGTON — The White House today announced a sweeping change in their long-standing promise to protect government whistleblowers from prosecution, as Press Secretary Jay Carney unveiled the new policy to the world via a completely blank page.
“The President understands the importance of ordinary citizens uncovering and exposing waste, fraud and criminal activity in the government, which is why we felt the need to update our promise to America’s whistleblowers to include all of the protections you see here,” said Carney, gesturing to utterly blank, white poster board at his side.
When reporters pointed out that there was nothing written on the poster board, Carney responded, “Yes. And?”
Carney’s press conference is the latest in what some see is a disturbing trend away from the promises of transparency Obama made while campaigning for President. Most recently, Change.gov- the 2008 website created by the Obama transition team documenting all of then president-Elect Obama’s promises to America- has disappeared from the internet. Among the promises was candidate Obama’s detailed promises of whistleblower protections.
According to The Sunlight Foundation, the Change.gov website vanished on June 9, three days after the first revelations of the massive NSA spying scandal leaked by government whistleblower Edward Snowden (who had not been identified at that point). Carney waved away any connection between the two incidents.
“We got tired of paying server costs for the site, is all,” he said. “I mean Obama’s been President for what, five years? Change.gov? We changed! We’re the Gov!”
Carney explained that the administration felt that it kept all of the promises it had listed on the site and would continue to do so. When CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian pointed out that the blank page being introduced as the updated promise of whistleblower protection appeared to be a huge change from the administration’s previous stance, Carney shook his head.
“Nope. You’re wrong,” he said.
“But Jay,” pressed Lothian. “The Administration’s previous policy stated- and I’m quoting here- ‘Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority’-“
“No it didn’t,” interrupted Carney. “Next question.”
A few other reporters began asking questions, but quickly stopped when they spotted an anonymous member of the Justice Department jotting down their names.