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Access to information sharply curtailed under Ashcroft

Shhh … someone might hear you. By Alex Johnson, MSNBC Updated: 6:19 p.m. ET Nov. 18, 2004.

On the occasion of Attorney General Ashcroft’s resignation, MSNBC reviews his contempt for freedom of information. One particularly notable case was the redaction of almost half of a report on workplace diversity in Ashcroft’s Justice Department. The redacted portions were uncovered, however. MSNBC notes:

According to the Justice Department, these facts were too sensitive for Americans to read about:

  • “Attorneys across demographic groups believe that the Justice Department is a good place to work.”
  • “The Department does face significant diversity issues.”
  • “The Department suffers from an inadequate human resources management infrastructure.”
  • “Section Chiefs are an extremely critical element of the Department’s diversity climate. They have significant authority in recruitment, hiring, promotion, performance appraisal, case assignment and career development.”
  • “Minorities are significantly under-represented in management ranks.”