When sensitive information about White House involvement in killing alleged terrorists overseas leaked out, President Barack Obama seemed to have little concern over it being made public. In fact, some have suggested that in order to boost the president's image as a decisive leader, information about the CIA assassination program may have been leaked by one of President Obama's own aides.
But when the question is about the Justice Department's botched "Fast and Furious" program providing guns to narco-terrorists, the White House clamps a lid on information.
Members of the House of Representatives have been investigating the program through which the Justice Department actually facilitated some gun smuggling. Some of the weapons involved may have been used to murder U.S. border agent Brian Terry.
Through a months-long probe of "Fast and Furious," Attorney General Eric Holder was less than forthcoming. The situation hit rock-bottom in late June when Holder refused to comply with a House demand for additional documents.
Then the White House said it was asserting a claim of "executive privilege" to withhold the information.
Again, in view of security leaks the White House seems to tolerate - perhaps even aid - that sounds strange.
On Thursday, House Republicans won a historic political fight to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress for failure to make the documents available.
That does not resolve the issue, however. Only one of two routes to enforce the contempt citation approved by the House is open to the lawmakers - a civil action through the courts.
Although it certainly would take time to resolve a civil case, lawmakers should not falter in their insistence that the documents needed for their investigation of Fast and Furious be provided.