Join 3,558 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The Battle Over Bush's Gov. Papers.
February 11, 2002 2:42 PM   Subscribe

The Battle Over Bush's Gov. Papers. What are they hiding? Executive order blocking Presidential papers, refusing to turn over Energy Taskforce member list, and now this! There must be something to hide. But what?!?!?
posted by bas67 (10 comments total)

 
There must be something to hide.

Perhaps that's a slip on your part. I'm sure you meant that they must be hiding something.
posted by Real9 at 2:55 PM on February 11, 2002


bas67, please set up a publicly-accessible web site that mirrors the entire contents of your hard drive. And while you're at it, scan it copies of everything in your wallet and put those online as well. Also, we'd like you to start posting RealAudio files of every conversation you have with any other human being.

Are you willing to do all this? If not, why not? What have you got to hide?

(Also, those that read the article will see that the Times using the argument over the Bush governorship records as part of a wider-ranging story: "The struggle over Mr. Bush's records is just one of many battles over access to public records as politicians test new ways to keep tight control over their archives." It's not a "Bush has something to hide" article.)
posted by aaron at 3:11 PM on February 11, 2002


Actually, whenever this accusation flies on either side of the congressional aisle, or wherever, the original wording is what's appropriate. If they won't allow full disclosure, there must be something to hide.

It's like when sharks smell blood from a great distance in the water. If there's blood, there must be a fresh kill nearby. Where there's smoke there's fire. Where people are tossing off the fifth ammendment before a congressional subcommittee as if they were alone in the executive bathroom, someone is guilty of something. In fact, the fifth ammendment has become null and void by its misuse. It's become an admission of guilt to the press. Logic dictates one who is innocent would ever need to declare it. Logic is not wholly infallible.

Politicians are always hiding things. That's what politicians do. Corporations usually hide things. Sole proprietorships and partnerships become corporations when the company becomes "too big" and no one man wishes to be responsible for whatever is going on. No one man needs to know everything that's going on, tho they all want to.

They trade in secrets and bribe information for power. Hidden things become commodities. However, those things are rarely "something." They're just baubles. clauses to be added into bills that someone doesn't like. Compromising pictures. Potential date changes of moderately important events that someone somewhere might not like. Whether or not brocolli will be served instead of squash. Each piece of info has its price based on supply and demand. Each one can be used as a tool - like a card in a game of poker. Depending on how it's used and at what time will mete out its eventual true value.

Some things are something. Most things are not.

Conclusive evidence that Enron and Bush's administration were more involved than either is letting on right now? At this moment of time that's like a Holy Grail: that's prime real estate. A few weeks or months from now it will be something else. Some administrative aide or page or intern could put her future children through college with that if she played her cards right - or find herself dead and the information recovered like a fumble during college football preseason. And the media will either never know about it or save it for their next sweeps.

"They must be hiding something."

"There must be something to hide."

Sounds like the same thing. It's not.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:24 PM on February 11, 2002


bas67, please set up a publicly-accessible web site that mirrors the entire contents of your hard drive. And while you're at it, scan it copies of everything in your wallet and put those online as well. Also, we'd like you to start posting RealAudio files of every conversation you have with any other human being.

Are you willing to do all this? If not, why not? What have you got to hide?


Uh, hyperventilate much?
posted by Ty Webb at 3:31 PM on February 11, 2002


bas67, please set up a publicly-accessible web site that mirrors the entire contents of your hard drive.

Assuming that he was elected to use his computer, and that it's contents affect the people who paid for it, of course. Now, if it's his parents' computer, then they've got every right to look, and he'd be wise not to do anything he'd be afraid to reveal.
posted by skyline at 3:46 PM on February 11, 2002


Took a whole lot of taxpayer money to fill up those document boxes. A blizzard of paper generated by a man elected by the public to do the public's business, none of it detailing the secrets behind our nuclear warheads or names of CIA assets.

Perhaps Bush is simply determined, on principle, to challenge Texas law to keep his papers unavailable.
Perhaps there's no shockers in the boxes, no eye-popping Enron flirtations.

If so, that says even more about what kind of politician he is. Any pol can be expected to cover his butt. One who embraces secrecy as a principle is a horse of another color.
posted by sacre_bleu at 4:37 PM on February 11, 2002


I blogged this via Mother Jones last week.

It appears that the Times has just taken the MJ article, left out the quotes that point to problems other than Bush's sinister motives, and made the problem seem worse than what it is.

Part of the problem initially was when Bush left, he vacuum sealed his records and sent them to his father's library. The National Archives had nothing to tell them what was in the records. At the time they were just boxes on pallets.

I don't get any sense of stonewalling," said Hoppe. "Frankly, I recognize they have thousands of boxes that have not been fully catalogued, but they have not fully followed the letter of the law."

The article then goes on to say that state officials are unclear as to what law prevails - but thats hardly even relevant if they haven't catalogued and indexed the records. Its rather like learning how to drive when you have no access to a vehicle. Sure its nice to know, but pratically, it doesn't help you a lick.
posted by schlyer at 4:43 PM on February 11, 2002


Aaron, there's a difference between a private citizen and a public official elected by the public to a public office to serve the public. Get the theme?
posted by holycola at 5:22 PM on February 11, 2002


The theme is, "Everyone has a right to SOME privacy." Even elected government officials.
posted by aaron at 7:53 PM on February 11, 2002


Everyone has some right to privacy regarding their personal lives, not their job performance.
posted by skyline at 8:05 PM on February 11, 2002


« Older Jack Henry Abbott committed suicide in his cell....  |  "Hold on, please..."... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments