Open Government in the Ashcroft Era: What Went Wrong, and How to Make it Right
The Watching Justice Distinguished Speakers Series presents the release of a new report and recommendations with a panel discussion with Bert Brandenburg, Former Director of DOJ's Office of Public Affairs, and other experts.

June 7, 2005

Open Government in the Ashcroft Era: What Went Wrong, and How to Make it Right

Wednesday, June 9, 9:30am -11:00am
National Press Club
529 14th Street, NW
Washington, D.C.

The concept of an open government, constantly monitored and critiqued by its own citizens and by a free media, is central to the core values and functioning of our democracy. Nowhere is this more issue more crucial – or complicated – than in the Department of Justice, which has incredible power over each and every person in the United States, yet is also charged with responsibilities of enforcing our laws and ensuring our safety. Has the Department crossed the line from necessary confidentiality into dangerous secrecy? Please join Watching Justice and Bert Brandenburg, former Director of the Office of Public Affairs under Attorney General Janet Reno, as he discusses his new Watching Justice report and recommendations, “Open Government in the Ashcroft Era: What Went Wrong, and How to Make it Right.” A highly experienced panel will respond to the report, discussing past and present policies in DOJ’s Office of Public Affairs and exploring the pros and cons of Mr. Brandenburg’s recommendations.

This event will be moderated by Terence Smith, Media Correspondent and Senior Producer for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Speakers will include the report’s author Bert Brandenburg, former Director of the Office of Public Affairs, Clinton Administration, and current Executive Director of the Justice At Stake Campaign; Lucy Dalglish, Executive Director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; Mark Tapscott, Director of the Center for Media and Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation; and Ron Ostrow, DOJ Correspondent for L.A. Times from 1966 through 1998.

Breakfast will be served.

Watching Justice is a non-partisan, watchdog website that monitors the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and how it administers justice in America. Watching Justice’s mission is to keep a vigilant and long-term eye on Americans’ fundamental rights and liberties by providing a forum for analysis, praise, and criticism of the Department’s actions. The Watching Justice Distinguished Speakers Series provides a forum for former or current DOJ officials and other experts to discuss the policies and practices of DOJ, placing them in the context of history and politics. Watching Justice is a project of the Open Society Policy Center.

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