Now, just days before President Obama leaves office, a pardon is granted to San Francisco Giant Hall-of-Famer Willie McCovey. Who on earth saw that one coming? How interesting it would be to know when Mr. McCovey filed his application? How long did he have to wait? Many have waited years ... many, many years. Did McCovey?
In the Bush administration, you could write the Office of the Pardon Attorney, and they would provide you with information on when applications were filed and when they were forwarded to the White House. A FOIA request for that information might take you might take 10 to 15 days to process, at max. They would e-mail it all, right to your home.
Today, the Office of the Pardon Attorney has nothing to do with Eric Holder's showy call for the "presumption of disclosure" in FOIA requests way back when. Holder's not around any more anyway. Obama's pardons Office ignores FOIA requests 200 - 600 days at a time. No response. Not even an acknowledgement of receipt.
As for the information one could get in the Bush administration easily, quickly ... Obama's Office can't get to it. Their new "electronic case filing" system has not improved their data prowess. Indeed, it has retarded and stupefied it. Or, so they claim. But, more importantly, even if that Office could make better use of the tax payer money it receives, it would need:
".... some discussion with all of the stakeholders involved in the executive clemency process to see if they all would approve of having that information public."Here's your FOIA request! Hope and change that! One day, maybe 20-30 years from now, we will all learn the real story of the Willie McCovey pardon application. For now, the cynics can simply feed on the nontransparent nature of the DOJ as an institution ... and an attitude. Because the DOJ can say "no" like it is no one's business.