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Our Right to Know? Over Whose Dead Body?
From Watchdog blog
Bush recently told Israeli reporters: “I'll be dead before the true history of the Bush administration is written.”
Over his dead body? Perhaps he meant that his "good works" would be told later, but as long as we let him keep his iron grip on presidential records, it could be several generations of Bushes before we know much of anything.
In 2001, Bush signed Executive Order 13233 to allow current and previous presidents to withhold documents and records without explanation INDEFINITELY. What’s more, the order extends the presidents’ authority to control the records under to presidential family members, and vice presidents.
This unprecedented expansion of executive power flouts FOIA, precedent, and the principles of the Constitution. The order, drafted by former Attorney General and close Bush friend Alberto Gonzales, eviscerates the post-Watergate Presidential Records Act, which made presidential records the property of the government, and then the public. Our right to know should not be subject to the whims of the executive.