Blogs > Liberty and Power > Cheney to Head National Archives?

Feb 21, 2006 4:12 am

Cheney to Head National Archives?

Today's New York Times reports that the government is secretly reclassifying numerous documents, many already published, back into secrecy.

Maybe, now that Cheney says he wants no future elective office, Bush can nominate him as Head of the National Archives to remove just about everything there back into the secrecy of the agencies from whence the materials came. Remember Edward Shils' book, The Torment of Secrecy? God forbid some of those old century plus documents from the BIAs (both Indian and Insular) detailing the Army's massacres of both Indians and Filipinos be allowed in the Archives for future historians to see, part of our first"War on Terrorists." Wonder if the NSA is listening in on discussions between those"suspicious" archivists? Some with a beard may just be part of al Qaida.

Now"History" can be written the Empire's way, just as in 1984!

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Craig J. Bolton - 2/21/2006

I do not claim to be an expert in this area of law [albeit, maybe its about time to look into it in more detail], but this "reclassification" program strikes me as just plain silly and probably violative of due process.

The point of the security classification system is to create a set of legal sanctions that can be used against persons who violate the system. If, however, the government has already placed a formerly classified documents in the public domain, and then tries to prosecute someone for obtaining a copy and circulating it, well.........

I don't think that you can create a legal affirmative duty by a U.S. citizen to check back with the appropriate public official everytime a government document is accessed and utilized. Here's a website that will allow any interested person to check out the validity of my theory: