Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Court rules delay in release of presidential papers is illegal

This White House has become notorious for hiding information from the public. What are they hiding? Thanks to the courts there is some chance that we might get a clue, at least. But we should not assume they will comply without a fight. It is well known that this administration believes that it is not merely an equal branch of government with the other two, but the dominant branch, with the power to run the country as they please. The original Continental Congress was struggling to ensure that this country would never have a "King George". Lets hope it doesn't happen.

National Security Archive

"A District Court in the District of Columbia has ruled that an Executive Order issued by President George W.Bush in 2001, which severely slowed or prevented the release of historic presidential papers is, in part, invalid. In a carefully constructed decision, the court held that the Archivist of the United States acts arbitrarily, capriciously, and contrary to law by relying on the Executive Order to delay release of the records of former presidents."

"The underlying lawsuit, which was filed in November 2001 by the National Security Archive and other plaintiffs, challenges President Bush's Executive Order 13,233 that gave former Presidents and their heirs (as well as former Vice-Presidents for the first time) indefinite authority to hold up release of White House records."

"Archive General Counsel Meredith Fuchs commented, 'The court is enforcing procedural standards, but has avoided the hard questions about the role former presidents, former vice presidents, and their heirs can play when it comes to disclosure of presidential records.' "

"The decision comes at a time when a bill that would overturn Executive Order13,233 is stalled in the U.S. Senate, reportedly due to a hold placed on the measure by Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY). The bill, H.R. 1255, was approved in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 14, 2007 by a vote of 333-93. The White House has threatened to veto the bill if it is passed in the Senate."

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