House overturns Bush order on papers secrecy

Brushing aside a veto threat, the House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to overturn a 2001 order by President George W. Bush that lets former presidents keep their papers secret indefinitely. The measure, which drew bipartisan support and passed by a veto-busting 333-93 margin, was among White House-opposed bills the House passed that would widen access to government information and protect government whistleblowers.

    "Today, Congress took an important step toward restoring openness and transparency in government," House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman said.
    The presidential papers bill nullifies a November 2001 order, criticized by historians, in which Bush allowed the White House or a former president to block release of a former president's papers and put the onus on researchers to show a "specific need" for many types of records.
    Among beneficiaries of the Bush order was Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, a former vice president and president.
    The order gave former vice presidents the right to stop the release of their papers through an executive privilege that previously only presidents could use. And it extended to deceased presidents' designees rights to keep their papers secret indefinitely.
    The House bill would give current and former presidents 40 business days to object to requests to view their papers, allow a sitting president to override a former president's claim of executive privilege and strip former vice presidents and the designees of deceased presidents of the power to use executive privilege to block access to their historical documents. 

All your secrets are belong to us!

Thank god. This is one of the lesser known and most creepy abuses of power the administration engaged in. That’s what we needed, Presidential (and Vice-Presidential) records sealed in practical perpetuity so the public has no damn idea what actually happened, ever. Glad to see so many Republicans got on board as well.

Seriously. I think the Bush administration will go down in history as one of the most, if not THE MOST corrupt governments America has ever had.

If you are truly doing the right thing, why do you need secrecy? Is everything they do a matter of national security? I can see keeping some technology secret, or military plans secret, but what else can the president possibly do that warrants such secrecy?

Exactly what happened in that energy policy meeting between Bush and the oil companies that will damage our national security that warrants it’s secrecy?

The only excuse for keeping anything secret after the Bush administration leaves power better be the fact that Bush had all the documents and records destroyed. Barring that, they better find out what exactly he has been up to for the past 7 years.

To quote Yes, Minister: “If people don’t know what you’re doing, they don’t know what you’re doing wrong.”

And when the secrets of this administration are finally revealed thirty years from now, Republicans will still be blaming the Clinton administration.

As long as Bush is still alive to see how much he really fucked up.

That presumes thirty years from now the Iraq war still seems like the current events big deal it is now.

Looking at the prospects for the next thirty years, unlikely.

Aren’t you a little ray of sunshine.

Iraq? Hell, I still want to find out more about Bush 41’s operations in Panama. Was Noriega a CIA asset? Was it really drug dealing that had them so worked up they had to feign an incident and launch an invasion? How many civilians really died? How much did Bush know?

And, I’m guessing, if I’m still bent about Reagan and Bush’s fun and games in Central America this long after the incidents alot more people will still be bent about Iraq in thirty years.

Bush will just write a paper expressing his disagreement with the law and then shred\burn everything he can.