Tuesday, November 01, 2005
OK, I admit that is a rhetorical question. I ask it only to point out that the Attorney General has obligations under Title 28 Section 600.9 (1) of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as well as the Special Counsel. The Attorney General is required to inform the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member of the Judiciary Committees of each House of Congress when any Special Counsel investigation is concluded. So it would appear that Mr. Fitzgerald’s investigation will yet see the light of day. But, there’s always a but, in the very next paragraph Mr. Gonzales is absolved of all responsibility. “The notification requirement in paragraph (a) (1) of this section may be tolled by the Attorney General upon a finding that legitimate investigative or privacy concerns require confidentiality.” What greater concerns can there be than the political future of yourself and those responsible for your rise to glory. Please do not suggest an overriding concern for the good of the nation. The Bush Administration has ignored this concern for 5 years there is no reason to think they will start now. Perhaps Mr. Gonzales will prove me wrong. Perhaps the Cubs will win the World Series next year. Perhaps the end of the world will occur next month. Certainly the odds are much more in favor of the latter two.
Mr. Bush has already laid the ground work to insure that the Special Counsel’s report will never be made public. He did this on November 1, 2001 with Executive Order 13233(2). It says that no Presidential documents of an ex-President can be released without his/her approval. It goes on to state that the ex-President can set up family or a group to make these decisions after the death of the former president. The order allows for a series of designees to be appointed, so control could go on ad infinitum.
Mr. Bush probably issued the order originally to prevent the release of documents from the Reagan Administration that would prove to be embarrassing if not worse to his father, George H.W. Bush, Reagan’s Vice-President. E.O. 13233 undermined a provision of The Presidential Records Act of 1978 which allowed a twelve year only window for Presidential documents to be unavailable to the public after the President left office. So in 2001 the Reagan/Bush papers were available to the public,kind of. Reagan’s E.O. 12667 (3) had laid the groundwork for disemboweling the 1978 statute.
(1) Section 600.9
(2) EO 13233
(3) EO 12667
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