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Saturday, December 06, 2003

Liberal Talking Points: The President Has Nothing To Hide

Now that Howard Dean has a thirty point lead, the Republican kneecappers are out to hobble the dark horse. Dean has something to hide, they claim. Why else wouldn't he release his gubenatorial records?

While many of my fellow liberals may see this onslaught as an attempt to chip away at Dean's credibility, I see it as an opportunity; an opportunity to underscore the fact that the Bush Administration is the most secretive presidiency ever. Tools like Al Kamen at the Washington Post, however, are apparently too busy admiring the empire's new clothes to worry about facts. In today's column, he writes:

"Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean has been taking heat from Republicans for refusing to unseal his files as governor of Vermont. Some of the files are to remain sealed for as many as 10 years under a deal he negotiated when he left office last year. Dean attempted to deflect by saying he'd open up his files if President Bush would open his gubernatorial files. Problem is, Bush's files are for the most part open to the public."

We know that last tossoff sentence is untrue, Al. Are you that dumb that you don't notice this is the most secretive Administration this country has ever seen? Do you think we don't know how to do a Google search? Here's just one article of hundreds that proves your statement is either a lie, or the emblem of your flaccid research skills.

Restricted Access

Why are journalists' requests for George W. Bush's gubernatorial documents being met with lengthy delays?

By George Sanchez
January 29, 2002
Mother Jones Online

Dozens of pallets loaded with shrink-wrapped boxes arrived at the George Herbert Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas on January 2nd, 2001. Inside the boxes were about 2,000 cubic-feet of files, memos and other paper documents related to George W. Bush's five years as governor of Texas.

The records arrived at the library as the result of a 1997 state measure signed into law by then-Governor Bush. Now, the records -- and access to them -- have become the focus of a growing debate between journalists, archivists and Bush administration officials.

Texas law mandates that gubernatorial records be placed in a state archive subject to Texas's stringent Public Information Act. But the 1997 law, the result of several years of legislative maneuvering, allows for a governor to pick an alternate archive -- such as the presidential library, which is a federal institution governed by US information laws.

While few have suggested that Bush decided to send his records to his father's presidential library in an effort to make them less accessible, that is exactly what journalists say has occurred."

The most egregious example of the Bush cartel's penchant for secrecy has to be executive order 12332. This executive order by Bush sealed the records of the Presidency from the FOIA throughout the years his father was president. Even former Nixon staffer John Dean criticized the president for it...But I bet you can't recall hearing about it in the news, do you?

Pseudodemocrat Joe Lieberman pressed Dean in the last debate to open his records to the public. What Democrats should do is pressure Bush to release his.

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