Tuesday :: Mar 11, 2008

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

by eriposte

March 6th (emphasis mine):

Federal archivists at the Clinton Presidential Library are blocking the release of hundreds of pages of White House papers on pardons that the former president approved, including clemency for fugitive commodities trader Marc Rich.

The archivists' decision, based on guidance provided by Bill Clinton that restricts the disclosure of advice he received from aides, prevents public scrutiny of documents that would shed light on how he decided which pardons to approve from among hundreds of requests.

March 8th (emphasis mine):

The library released 2,830 pages of documents this week on pardons President Bill Clinton considered for Rich and others during his last months in office. But the library withheld another 1,114 pages that archivists said would disclose confidential discussion of advice the former president received from advisers or would violate someone's personal privacy.

The library's delays in releasing documents have prompted criticism of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband, the former president.

Susan Cooper, a spokeswoman for the National Archives, which runs the library, said Friday that the federal agency may have misinterpreted Clinton's instructions in a 2002 letter to the Archives on his presidential records when deciding what pardon documents to release.

"We had been interpreting the easing letter president Clinton wrote in a particular way and were interpreting it very conservatively," Cooper said. "We then discovered in the course of conversations with (Clinton adviser Bruce Lindsey) that the president's desire was to interpret the easing letter less conservatively and more openly. ... It is for that reason there was more material withheld in this pardon material than we would have if we had been reviewing this stuff later."

Cooper said archivists don't have any immediate plans to revisit the pardon records to determine whether additional papers should be made public because doing so would delay the release of other records. The library is expected to release 10,000 pages of Hillary Clinton's schedules as first lady later this month.

"We're serving several masters at the same time. If we do that and look at all of the materials we've released so far, we're not going to get anything new out," Cooper said. "What that means is Mrs. Clinton's schedules would not be out on time and whatever is next in the queue would not be attended to."

Let's just say, this is not the first time the Clintons were hit with a story - one that has always been an RNC/GOP favorite - intended to make them look bad, followed by a correction or 'clarification' subsequently. The last time it was Tim Russert fraudulently claiming that former President Clinton's 2002 letter forced the records release to be delayed when the reality was *exactly the opposite* - i.e., the letter was intended to specifically speed up the release process to make the records available well before the legally allowed release date of 2012. It also wasn't the first time the Obama camp milked it for what it was worth, even though Sen. Obama himself did not bother to ensure that his State Senate records were available to the public.

eriposte :: 6:00 AM :: Comments (39) :: Digg It!