Off the Record

Greta: Caroline Kennedy, State Dept. get an 'F' in transparency

'Off the Record', 11/14/13: The new U.S. ambassador to Japan's swearing-in ceremony closed to the press?

 

By Greta Van Susteren

Remember President Obama's big transparency promise? The "New York Times" would probably call it an "incorrect promise." Yes, that's right, another one. There is no reason to believe the Obama administration actually believes in transparency. A.P. photographers can't take pictures of the president. The NSA spying scandal is anything but transparent.

And now the latest transparency failure: new ambassador of Japan, Caroline Kennedy, getting an "F" in transparency.

She's only been on the job 48 hours. She was sworn in Tuesday at the State Department by Secretary of State John Kerry, and it was closed to the press. She was taking an oath to the United States. That is not exactly national security secrets.

So, the State Department gets an "F," too, because they released still pictures of Ambassador Kennedy at the swearing-in ceremony, but the State Department picked which pictures to release. They controlled what the American people, that means you, see.

And it gets worse. At a reception for Ambassador Kennedy later in the day, she made brief remarks to the press, but then reporters were not allowed to ask questions. Yes, of course, over the years, Ambassador Kennedy and her family have been hounded by the media, who sometimes have been brutal and even mean, and never because she asked for it.

But this time, she did. She chose to be in the American eye. She wanted to represent the American people as the ambassador to Japan. So, she owes us transparency, and taking an oath to be ambassador of the United States is very important. We deserve to know. This is not a private wedding with paparazzi buzzing overhead in helicopters.

If she wants to hide, she should get another job. Don't represent us. It was stupid to start her day, the first day, excluding the media and more importantly, excluding the American people.

What do you think? That is my "Off the Record" comment tonight. If you have an important issue I should take "Off the Record," go to GretaWire.com and tell us about it.