Obama to Open White House Visitor Logs

Aims to boost transparency, resolve watchdog lawsuits
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2009 9:18 AM CDT
The White House gate yawns open in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – The Obama administration has agreed to release the normally private list of visitors to the White House, as a move to increase transparency, and resolve four lawsuits against both it and the previous administration from a watchdog group. “We will achieve our goal of making this administration the most open and transparent administration in history,” Obama said in a statement. “Americans have the right to know whose voices are being heard.”

But visits relating to national security or requiring "extreme confidentiality" will remain under wraps. Until now, Obama has, like the Bush administration before it, defended the logs as private. The Obama administration has been appealing a federal court decision that it must release the logs under the Freedom of Information Act.