Regardless of where you stand on the health care debate, we should be able to expect a modicum of honesty from our elected representatives. In this clip, White House spokesman Bill Burton refuses to answer a simple question – is the White House keeping the names and email addresss of individuals writing into express concerns about the president’s health care reform proposals.
Clearly the White House is keeping lists, which is not necessarily a surprise. It is certainly easy enough to create a “disposable” email address if you do not want your identity discovered easily.
Had Mr. Burton simply answered Ms. Kelly’s question, I don’t think that there would be a big concern, at least not on my part. However, Mr. Burton goes to such extremes to evade the question and change the subject that I can only conclude that the White House is, in fact, doing something wrong, or is planning on misusing this information by creating a so-called “enemies list.”
This obfuscation calls into question all of the “assurances” given by the president and his supporters that a government health care program would not bar private insurance coverage. If the White House is going to lie about something as innocous as collecting email addresses (after all, we give our email addresses to dozens or even hundreds of for-profit companies), why should we believe them when they say anything else.
In a separate, but possibly related development, the federal Office of Management and Budget is considering reversing a ban on using “cookies” to track visitors to government web sites. Cookies are little bits of code that many commercial sites use to track user preferences or even to remember login information.
Now, we have a White House that is keeping track of who supports the Administration and who does not, and federal agencies are tracking you when you visit a government web site.
I don’t trust any government – whether controlled by Republicans or Democrats to do things like this. No matter what party you favor or what politician you like, this type of development ought to give you cause for concern.