February 1, 2012

The White House refuses to respond to the petition to investigate Chris Dodd, even though it got 25,000+ signatures...

... and they promised to respond, if there were that many signatures. 

To be fair, saying we're not going to respond is a kind of response. In fact, it's an especially meaningful response in the context where one is obligated to respond.

Or perhaps they were never obligated. Look at the text of the refusal to respond:
Why We Can't Comment

Thank you for signing this petition. We appreciate your participation in the We the People platform on Whitehouse.gov. However, consistent with the We the People Terms of Participation and our responses to similar petitions in the past, the White House declines to comment on this petition because it requests a specific law enforcement action.
The link is in the original text. Maybe you're not supposed to click on it. Maybe you're just supposed to assume that it goes to a page of official terms of participation that would show that there was always an exception for petitions that request a specific law enforcement action. But if you click, you'll see it just goes to the currently active petitions, and if you search that page for the word "terms" or "participation," you get nothing.

I spent some time looking for the terms of participation, and I couldn't find any. What is the rule? Was it really a rule? I see a button "Helpful Hints," but the only hint is to check your spelling and grammar because you won't be allowed to edit or delete.

And what were the "similar petitions" that were rejected in the past? I'd like to see how much like those other petitions this one was and also whether all similar petitions were rejected. What if the "similar" ones were the ones that named individuals the administration chooses to protect?

35 comments:

Patrick said...

Most transparent administration in history. They are transparent, just not in the way they tried to convince everybody.

Firehand said...

As I recall, a bunch of people submitted questions about Gunwalker and those weren't even passed on; they were considered 'inappropriate'.

bagoh20 said...

I'm gonna need more proof before I conclude anything negative about Obama. We need four more years to do a proper evaluation.

ErnieG said...

b20: Even then, if you draw a negative conclusion, that's racist.

EDH said...

By now, what don't you get about "we make shit up as we go along"?

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

They should post the petition -- with signatures -- online so we can all look at it.

themightypuck said...

Lying liars who lie.

Joe Schmoe said...

Well, it's a good thing all those people reprising the roles of the Founding Fathers had the temerity to register at whitehouse.gov and sign the petition.

Saddle up for the next windmill, men!

Scott M said...

Bitter laughter is heard.
Regret at the loss of time.
Elections are soon.

madAsHell said...

Ya' didn't see this train coming?

Lori said...

The Terms of Participation are under the How and Why link... they are a piece of work. To sign a petition, you must create an account at which you agree to receive all manner of White House emails, and I presume, all future campaign fundraising pleas.

Petunia said...

Really, how can there be anyone out there stupid enough still to believe that anything Obama says is truthful and anything he does is good for this country?

Justin Talbot said...

"To avoid the appearance of improper influence, the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government in its response to a petition."

https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/!/petitions#!/how-why/terms-participation

Roger J. said...

Petunia: indeed there are; they are called liberals (even the progressives dont trust Mr Obama)

PaulV said...

Some Pigs Are More Equal.

virgil xenophon said...

I am truly shocked, SHOCKED, I tell ya, that the Obama Admin might not honor its pledge...there MUST be some mistake--a simple error, technical glitch--wording innocently, inadvertently left out. Bad faith from the Lightworker? Perish the thought!

edutcher said...

Since GodZero was the Friend of Angelo's consigliere on the Senate Banking Committee, this is just part of the Omerta.

It's the Chicago version of professional courtesy.

David said...

"Was it really a rule?"

Of course not.

"They lie."

Paddy O said...

I signed it, even as I had absolutely no expectation it would be pursued according to the prescribed terms.

I signed it not because I expected Dodd to be investigated, but to undermine Dodd as an influence peddler. They don't have to investigate him (though I'd love it if they did), as long as they realize that he will be a weight around their necks if they let him in their offices.

Will Cate said...

I copied the "Terms" link, opened a different web browser, pasted it in, and got to the "Terms" page. Indeed, it does say:

"the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government in its response to a petition."

Mary Beth said...

There was one asking for the government to examine the government's failure to investigate and prosecute the Church of Scientology for crime, fraud and abuse. It did not have nearly as many signatures but the reason for declining to respond was the same. The link to the terms of participation in that one works.

Levi Starks said...

So the nature of the system we live under is that we have the right to petition our government, and they have the right to ignore us?.... sweet!

Whatever Works said...

This one got 52,226 signature, and a similar response:

Petition to Call an Investigation into Allegations of Prosecutorial & Judicial Misconduct in the Case of Sholom Rubashkin
https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#%21/petition/call-investigation-allegations-prosecutorial-judicial-misconduct-case-sholom-rubashkin/tj7Fx42T

edutcher said...

Levi Starks said...

So the nature of the system we live under is that we have the right to petition our government, and they have the right to ignore us?.... sweet!

Be glad they haven't got a gulag.

Yet.

Almost certainly in GodZero's next term.

WV "aduck" Daffy or Daisy

ErnieG said...

Let me see if I understand this. If the Justice Department refuses to act on issues within its area of responsibility (New Black Panthers, F&F, Scientology, Dodd), and although the Justice Department reports to the White House, we can not meaningfully petition the White House to redress these grievances because the Terms of Participation trump the Constitution.

From the Declaration of Independence:
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Joe said...

Perhaps someone needs to explain to the Whitehouse that the President is part of the executive branch and enforcing the laws of the land IS part of their constitutional... oh, yeah, sorry.

Amartel said...

The petition to take petitions seriously was the one with the most signers, and yet they are not taking this petition seriously!!!

i'm stunned and amazed, surprised and outraged. I gotta lie down.

Well, at least the contempt is transparent.

(No one takes the suggestion box seriously. No one.)

Mary Beth said...

The petition to take petitions seriously was the one with the most signers, and yet they are not taking this petition seriously!!!

I never even saw a "we're not going to respond" response for it.

JAL said...

Hit list generator.

Christopher in MA said...

They told me if I voted for John McCain. . .

JAL said...

It says "may decline."

That doesn't mean it has to decline.

So if it was someone they wanted to get, the WH / DOJ could pursue an investigation, and blame it on the petitioners.

I refused to go through the rigamarole to register to sign. (Did they ask for a picture ID?)

But it made me wonder if the Wisconsin recall petitions had required the same . . .

I do think all of this type of information -- petitions, signatures, White House visitation logs (ALL, as in ALL, of them except national security), should be a matter of public record, without this FOIA nonsense and barbed wire.

Our exceptionalism is that the People create the government. Someone needs to remind the political elites that they work for us, and since most are doing a poor job, we will fire them.

Eric Holder is not a disaster, he is an accessory to multiple crimes in progress.

ajcjw said...

The whole White House petition project is a scam. I got an email inviting me to participate and thought it would be fun to send some snark their way, but when I clicked the link and saw the information they required to sign up it became clear they were just hoping to capture as much personal data as possible for the re-election campaign. They're looking for possible donors and supporters and trying to sniff out hot-button issues they can leverage to their advantage.

cubanbob said...

The next Administration is going to have to hire an army of special investigators and prosecutors just to touch the surface of this the most corrupt administration in the last 80 years. We might even need a number of new prisons just to house the Obama crew alone.

DADvocate said...

I signed the petition but never expected Obama to take any action. Cronyism at its best.