In a recent editorial, The Washington Post fiercely defended the
National Archives’ withholding of Hillary Clinton’s White House
papers at least until after the November elections. Am I surprised?
Well, in spite of the fact that the Post
is a reliably left-of-center publication, I have to say yes. What
credible news agency would come down on the side of government secrecy?
Moreover, I recall the coverage Judicial Watch received from the Post in our lawsuit against Vice President
Cheney’s Energy Task Force: Nothing but kudos then.
At any rate, the Post finally published my response this week (by
the way, you wouldn’t believe the negotiations and editing I
had to go with through with the paper before this short letter was published):
The Feb. 8
editorial "Clinton Records Watch" sought to explain why Sen. Hillary Rodham
Clinton's White House papers could not be released by
the National Archives "at the snap of a finger." It turns out
that rather than snapping its fingers, the Archives has sat on its hands.
years, the Archives has released few significant records, instead responding to
requests for documents about "Unidentified Flying Objects,"
among other frivolous topics.
years after we requested access to the records of the health-care task force,
the Archives has not released any documents and refuses to offer an estimate as
to when it might begin to release these records. We may not see any such
records for years if the Archives gets its way in our pending litigation.
Ms. Clinton's office schedules would not now be on the verge of release but for
one of our other lawsuits.
"right to know" is poorly served by the unlawful failure to release
these records in a timely way. We do not seek special treatment; we ask
that the Archives comply with the law.
Shame on The
Post for endorsing government inaction that has the effect of helping Mrs. Clinton
on the eve of primary contests.