NSA’s Catch-22: We Can’t Tell You Anything, Because Everything We Do Is a Secret
Clayton Seymour, a Navy vet, was outraged to discover that his Freedom of Information Act request to the NSA to see his file was rejected because telling him what information they’d gathered in secret would expose their secret information-gathering techniques. Obama’s 2009 Executive Order 13526 requires all government agencies to make all records public, other than in exceptional circumstances. The NSA has effectively crammed all of its information into an exceptional circumstance because to disclose anything would lead to disclosure of its methods. This is the basis on which it is rejecting all FOIA requests.
I seem to remember that Executive orders are the sole responsibility of the President and many criticised President George Bush for his use of them.