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John Kerry called a coward for hiding public records; AG Garland has ‘no comment’

Boston Herald 4/25/2022 Joe Dwinell, Boston Herald

John Kerry is being called out for his display of “cowardice” for ducking questions about his blatant lack of transparency — while U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland had “no comment” on the matter.

The climate czar and featured guest at an MIT symposium on global warming rushed into an elevator surrounded by bodyguards to avoid the Herald’s questions Thursday. He didn’t address why he still refuses to list details of his office staff.

On Earth Day Friday, one energy advocacy group snapped back.

“Alaska’s families are hurting under Joe Biden’s and John Kerry’s energy failures so … Kerry may be able to duck into elevators behind armed bodyguards to avoid questions, but he can’t avoid the truth,” Rick Whitbeck, Alaska State Director of Power The Future, said in a statement sent to the Herald.

“For Kerry to brazenly kill American job opportunities, then duck FOIA demands, shows his cowardice and negligence toward being responsible to the American public,” Whitbeck added.

Alaska has been hit hard by the move away from fossil fuels. Power The Future bills itself as countering too hard a pivot away from oil.

Kerry said at MIT the private sector needs to help solve climate change.

His office is the first of its kind — but who Kerry employs, their titles, pay and other details sought by the Herald in a Freedom of Information Act request won’t be handed over until October of 2024. His FOIA office said that’s an estimate.

That delay, according to Garland’s own memo to Biden administration bosses and a video he posted on the Department of Justice site, is in clear violation of the sprint of the FOIA law. But his office said they would not wade into the matter Friday.

“Please feel free to say a department spokesperson declined to comment,” a DOJ spokeswoman stated in an email.

Garland said in his video soon after taking office that the FOIA law “the principles of open government and democratic accountability are at the heart of who we are as public servants and as Americans.”

He added: “Both as a judge and at DOJ, I have seen firsthand the importance of the statute that brings us together today — the Freedom of Information Act.” He then quotes the U.S. Supreme Court, that he was once in line to join, that said “FOIA is vital to the functioning to a democratic society because it allows for an informed citizenry that is up to the task for holding those who govern accountable to the governed.”

Kerry has also come under attack recently for his comments on the war in Ukraine not helping “to concentrate people on reducing (emissions),” he told The Washington Post.

The Post adds he said: “It’s concentrated people on trying to find substitutes for Russian gas and to meet higher levels of production because of low supply. But it obviously does interrupt the momentum” on climate control.

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