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View Full Version : Ruling: Former presidents can't withhold records


Achilles
10-01-2007, 10:25 PM
Link (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071001/ap_on_re_us/presidential_records) WASHINGTON - Presidents don't have indefinite veto power over which records are made public after they've left office, a federal judge ruled Monday.

In a narrowly crafted ruling, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly invalidated part of President Bush's 2001 executive order, which allowed former presidents and vice presidents to review executive records before they are released under the Freedom of Information Act. Good. Presidents should be accountable to their citizens and you can't have accountability without transparency.

Totenkopf
10-01-2007, 10:31 PM
Might be interesting to see what that transparency actually reveals. Only real question is how long a legal fight might delay the release of said records. Lawyers can drag things out for an eternity if they are any good.

JediMaster12
10-01-2007, 11:05 PM
That is sad but true about legal prowess of lawyers. As to the ruling, I am inclinded to cheer the judge on. I do think that past presidents should be accountable for past actions. Heck don't they write books on their presidency?
Past administrators of our govt. should not be "shy" about what they declared should be so. We will eventually find out something like with Nixon and Watergate, the CIA ops in Central America. We will eventually find out. Why the hassle?

Jae Onasi
10-01-2007, 11:10 PM
Link (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071001/ap_on_re_us/presidential_records) Good. Presidents should be accountable to their citizens and you can't have accountability without transparency.

Not just that, though that is likely one of, if not the, most important reason. It's also important for the development of accurate histories so that mistakes are not repeated and successes are studied for future application.

@JM12--Presidents do write memoirs, but their memories are rather selective. Johnson said in his memoirs that he pushed hard for the Civil Rights Act of '64 and the Voting Rights act of '65 because he thought people of color should have the right to vote. However, his motives were far more politically motivated than this glowing altruistic sentiment, and some of the documents at the LBJ library and his voting record on civil rights while he was Senate Majority Leader showed his clear political bent.

Web Rider
10-02-2007, 04:34 PM
Ah! I am very glad that this happened. I was abolutly disgusted that the first thing Bush did was make that order. I mean jeeze, we're supposed to trust our government right? How the hell can we do that if their first move in office is to hide their buddies mistakes?

yeesh.

mimartin
10-02-2007, 05:23 PM
Johnson said in his memoirs that he pushed hard for the Civil Rights Act of '64 and the Voting Rights act of '65 because he thought people of color should have the right to vote. However, his motives were far more politically motivated than this glowing altruistic sentiment, and some of the documents at the LBJ library and his voting record on civil rights while he was Senate Majority Leader showed his clear political bent.
Iíll state right now Jae Onasi is correct about LBJ. We tailgate in front of the LBJ Library for all UT home games. Iíve walked through the museum and library many times. Iím not defending Johnson or any other politician of that era or any other era before, I feel that they did not do enough and did not do it fast enough in ensuring everyone in the country had an equal right to vote and civil liberties. However, it was all politically. Even if President Johnson would have wanted to act faster, he still had to deal with a huge part of this country who at that time did not want the Civil Rights movement and the Voting Rights act passed. Seems silly to us, but so does a country that declares at the top of it lungs that ďall men are created equal,Ē but then allows slavery to exist for another 89 years. So I do not begrudge Johnson his due in getting these legislations passed. He may have been slow and somewhat reluctant, after all these were introduced by JFK, Johnson did muster the votes and get it passed. Not bad for a southern boy.

As to the ruling, Iím glad the judge invalidated one of the stupidest executive orders I ever heard of. I guess that is one way to protect the legacy of your Presidency, only allow what you want to be released. Even more insane is the fact this privilege extend even after death.

For some reason I keep hearing Mel Brooks say, ďIt is good to be the PresidentĒ in my head.

Rogue Warrior
10-06-2007, 09:37 PM
This would be great were the records to come out unbiased. However I can just see people going on a witch hunt and using everything they can to condemn someone as this great evil.