Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Archive

December 13, 2007

Column: Endangered history of U.S. presidents

Bush order closes personal papers

(Continued)



When the history of this sad spectacle is written, it will note that the Presidential Records Act of 1978 was gutted by the president and aided and abetted by the silence of Senator Bunning.

The Presidential Records Act assuring that presidential papers are public documents has an interesting history of its own. It emerged from the tattered remnants of Richard M. Nixon’s presidency in reaction to his power grab. The law asserted complete "ownership, possession, and control" of all Presidential and Vice-Presidential records by the National Archivist, who would make them available to the public 12 years after a president leaves office. The only exception is that if a former or incumbent president claims an exemption based on a "constitutionally based" executive privilege or continuing national security concern.

But that was during the Watergate era. Now, the Bush administration, using its powers of executive order, wants to write its own history. Future presidents, Republican or Democrat, will find that sort of control downright intoxicating.

If President Bush’s executive order is not overturned by Congress it will allow any president, their heirs, and – for the first time – the vice president and heirs, to deny the American people access to the full historical record of their administrations.

That is guaranteed to produce some tired pickings at your local bookstore in the near future. So press your congressmen and senators to step in and make sure that we know the complete story about our future presidents, not just the selected history they want us to know about.



Charles N. Davis is the executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists FOI Committee.



Text Only
Featured Ads
Poll

Would you be in favor of or opposed to housing at the closed CCA facility at Wolters Industrial Park some of the unaccompanied children who have crossed illegally into the U.S. and Texas?

In favor
Opposed
Not sure/undecided
Don't care
     View Results
Mineral Wells Index


Click on a photo to visit our SmugMug page

Front page
Weather Underground Radar
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Must Read
Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide