Wednesday, April 10, 2002

THOSE IN POWER WRITE (AND REWRITE) HISTORY
Chris from PA alerted us to this intriguing tale of politcal hijinx. It seems the current Bush administration is trying to nix the Presidential Records Act (PRA), passed in 1978 by Congress, which legally established that the papers of an outgoing president were public property. The idea was to prevent Presidents (like say...Richard Nixon) from hiding Executive Branch actions from archivists and historians.

For our conservative readers, note that this story is from that accused bastion of Liberal media, Salon.com (they dare to be critical of our President!). You might want to reject these claims now and save yourself a few seconds of bile and angst.

From the Salon.com story: Critics denounce the Bush move as another example of the administration's obsession with secrecy, following other attempts to curtail records such as an Oct. 12, 2001, memorandum by Attorney General John Ashcroft urging government agencies to legally resist FOIA requests whenever possible. Not only that, but President Bush is already embroiled in another case involving his own papers from when he was governor of Texas; after his term he deposited those papers in his father's presidential library, where under federal law they will be harder to access than if they were deposited in a state-run institution. The Texas attorney general is currently working on an opinion of the matter.

The Bush order was also attacked as an act of political expediency, to protect the former writing of current administration officials who served in the Reagan administration, including Bush's own father, Reagan's former vice president. The papers contain memos and writings by current administration officials who served under Reagan, such as Secretary of State Colin Powell, chief of staff Andrew Card, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and a host of others.

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