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  1. #1
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    01.10.09 @ 12:07 PM
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    Bill Aimed at Reversing Bush Order on Records

    By George Lardner Jr.
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, April 12, 2002; Page A08

    Aiming bipartisan fire at what it described as the Bush administration's alarming penchant for secrecy, a group of House Republicans and Democrats yesterday introduced legislation to cancel President Bush's executive order restricting the release of presidential records.

    Rep. Stephen Horn (R-Calif.), the chief sponsor of the measure, said the order was a violation of "the letter and spirit" of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which declared for the first time that the records of a former president belong to the public.

    Bush's order, issued last November, allows a former or sitting president -- and in some cases the family of a dead president -- to block the release of records requested under the law by invoking "constitutionally based privileges." Journalists, historians and others seeking the records would have to go to court to challenge the privilege claims.

    Horn said the order also permits a former or incumbent president to frustrate requests for old records "simply by withholding approval for their release, without even needing to claim executive privilege."

    Bush's decree also appears to permit former vice presidents, such as his father, who served as Ronald Reagan's vice president before being elected president, the right to invoke privilege for their papers.

    Joining Horn as sponsors were 20 Democrats and two Republicans, including the chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) and the panel's ranking Democrat, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (Calif.).

    A Burton aide predicted that more Republicans would sign up shortly.

    Waxman said the Bush order was a "particularly objectionable" decision in a series of administration moves "undermining the public's right to know."

    The White House has defended the order as needed to establish an orderly process for the release of records under the 1978 law. "We believe it does a good job, as we've seen in the release of former president Reagan's records," said White House spokeswoman Anne Womack.

    After several postponements that lasted almost a year, the White House recently authorized the release of about 68,000 pages that the Reagan presidential library had proposed to release early in 2001 after a 12-year embargo, as allowed by law.

    Another 150 pages are still "under review." Reagan was the first president to whom the 1978 law applied.

    Horn's bill would rescind Bush's order and set a maximum 40-day time limit for a president or former president to claim a privilege for any records the national archivist decides to release.

    A former president would have to go to court to defend a privilege claim.

    If a sitting president claims privilege, the individuals requesting the documents would have to go to court to contest the claim. Vice presidents and families of dead presidents would have no claims.

    © 2002 The Washington Post Company

  2. #2
    Eye suffacozza YEWW! Goo's Avatar
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    Sydney, Australia
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    05.22.18 @ 02:20 AM
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    That'll do ya cock, youve got a couple of consiracy theory threads happening, and this forum isnt gonna get overrun by them.

    Keep it to the existing threads. thanks.

    Closing this one.
    A little zen....... Headed your way.......



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