Saturday, June 16, 2007

democracy and secrecy -- antithetical propositions. . .

quite appropriately -- in view of
this week's coming senate judiciary
committee subpoenas
on the warrantless
wiretaps' legality opinions, and last week's
issued senate judiciary committee subpoenas
for the "missing" rove e-mails & sara taylor's,
and harriet miers' roles in the u.s. attorney
-- the gray lady has painted her
opinion page a shade of. . . well, black.

as in, the black-out on information now
putatively imposed by bush 43's signature
on executive order 13233 -- a black-out
scheduled to last in perpetuity [that's
forever, in non-texan-speak]. . .

this opinion, coupled with the times' sunday
reporting on the above subpoenas, will plainly
leave america wondering -- or, at least the
segment of america that reads the new york
times -- you know, the more-educated, higher-
income, segment of america, the not-fox-
segment. . .

erh, wondering. . .

just what is it that mr. cheney,
in particular, is trying to hide?

what -- exactly? [more below
the pull-quote. . .]

you can access the whole opinion
by clicking the wordmark below. . .

Presidential Stone Walls

The template for the Bush administration’s mania for secrecy was signed by the president six years ago — Executive Order 13233, reversing the presumption of right of public access to presidential papers. This basic right of taxpayers and historians alike was embedded in the 1978 laws enacted after the Nixon administration. The reforms established a reasonable 12-year waiting period for access. But Mr. Bush’s reversal lets presidents or vice presidents (guess who?) keep their records sealed in perpetuity unless they or their heirs approve access.

Fortunately, Congress is in the process of demonstrating that such hermetic devotion to secrecy has no place in a democracy. Mr. Bush’s order would be rescinded by a proposal approved overwhelmingly in the House in March and now making its way to passage in the Senate. The White House, of course, is vowing to veto any final bill. So it is important that the Senate re-establish the public’s obvious right to historical transparency with the same veto-proof support achieved in the House.

Otherwise, Mr. Bush’s dictum will stand, with no explanation required for denying requests, nor any appeal allowed. The executive order leaves a costly, lengthy lawsuit as Americans’ only avenue of possible redress.

Hiding secrets and embarrassments may be a predictable part of a politician’s instinct for survival. But attempting to enshrine this instinct timelessly is a stain on the Constitution and an insult to history. The administration insists that only 64 of more than two million pages have been sealed thus far. They would be a good place to start reading once Congress re-establishes the public’s right to know.

so -- as above -- just what is
it that mr. cheney, in particular,
is trying to hide?

what -- exactly?

for let us speak plainly, now -- it is
dick cheney
"driving the bus" on executive
order 13233 -- not george bush. bush will
be out of politics in '09 -- if not before
[he he!]. . . he'll return to riding-herd
on tumble-weed in crawford. . .

cheney, on the other hand, despite a weak
ticker, fancies himself remaining a 2012
republican presidential hopeful. thus, it
is imperative that america not know, now,
or ever, what his actual role in the bogus
intel leading up to the iraq war really was.

i lewis "scooter" libby, his ex-chief of staff,
is about to go to jail to keep cheney's
-- so, we must not let the president
"stain the constitution", and deny our
children the lessons this history will hold
. . .

at least insofar as this history will
hold the truth of what happened here -- and why.

they will need to know why, exactly,
fine young americans like pat tillman
are dead now, instead of doing work
for say, the united way -- after a
long, fufilling and rewarding n.f.l.
football career, and after, say,
raising up a family of fine young
americans, himself. . . but, it
is not to be, for he is gone from
this sphere. and we now approach
almost 4,000 other stories like
his -- and, many of those are
perhaps more touching, for the
grace in their anonymity -- we
may never really know where the
prematurely-truncated arcs of
any of their lives might have
led, either. . .

so, end the black-out -- demand sunshine.

sunshine helps democracy, and peace, grow. . .

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