George Bush likes to think of it as the people’s house:
Well, thank you all so very much for coming to the White House. It’s my honor to welcome you to the people’s house.
But he apparently doesn’t think the people have a right to know who is visiting their house. From the AP:
The White House and the Secret Service quietly signed an agreement last spring in the midst of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal declaring that records identifying visitors to the White House are not open to the public.
The Bush administration didn’t reveal the existence of the memorandum of understanding until last fall.
The five-page document dated May 17 declares that all entry and exit data on White House visitors belongs to the White House as presidential records rather than to the Secret Service as agency records. Therefore, the agreement states, the material is not subject to public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
The memo last spring was signed by the White House and Secret Service the day after a Washington-based group asked a federal judge to impose sanctions on the Secret Service in a dispute over White House visitor logs for Abramoff.
That’s our Bush—always promoting transparency and accountability in government. Really, you don’t want to know if the logs record almost 500 past visits on behalf of someone pleading guilty to fraud and corruption…. Just try not to think about it.
The White House is now using the memo to block a Washington Post request for Secret Service logs identifying visitors to Vice President Dick Cheney’s office.
Clearly, only freedom hating, terrorist sympathizers would want to know about the comings and goings in the people’s house.