President Obama signed the START nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia this morning.
Despite the great attention the president has devoted to this treaty — and the vast coverage of the treaty negotiations by the media — the White House refused to allow reporters or TV cameras in the room. Still photographers were the only representatives of the free press permitted to record the historic moment.
Those cameras captured President Obama signing the documents, seated at the Resolute Desk. Behind him stood Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Dick Lugar, R-Ind., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and Vice President Biden.
The White House Correspondents Association protested the White House’s decision to refuse to permit reporters access to the event, in addition to the dearth of press briefings since the crisis in Egypt began to unfold, a crisis in which President Obama continues to celebrate the great freedoms and openness enjoyed in this country.