On the surface, this might appear to be a refreshing development. When Bush was president, I bashed the crap out of him for the secrecy of his administration. But I believe there is a problem with any president, Democratic or Republican, in charge of declassification of documents:President Obama created by executive order Tuesday a National Declassification Center to oversee efforts to make once-secret government documents public.
The order comes as part of Obama's promise to push government to err on the side of disclosure as it tackles the need to keep certain information from the public.
1) The president could selectively decide what to release, and keep secret information that could embarrass him or his administration, as Bush did.
2) the president could selectively release information that would damage his political enemies.
These 2 reasons are enough to demand that the president obey Congress, when they demand information as part of an investigation. It is the law, as written into the US Constitution. Of course, Bush didn't, and you can bet the farm that Obama won't either. Why? Because Congress just doesn't have the balls to force the president to do it.
In the end, the problem isn't one that that needs a new law or executive order. It is one where a law is already on the books. You all know how critical I was of Bush for flaunting the Constitution. Well, I will state unequivocally, right here and now, that what I said about Bush also applies to Obama. If he ignores Congressional demands for data, he will be committing a criminal act. Now all that remains to be seen is if Congress will make future demands, especially in the unlikely event that the GOP takes back Congress in 2010, and what Obama's response to those demands, if any, will be. If he does the same thing Bush did, under those same circumstances, I will be calling for his head on a platter. And let's also see if Republicans are the only partisan douche bags out there, or if the Democrats do the same damn thing, and support presidential lawbreaking.
Article is here.