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More Bush administration follies concerning records-keeping and archives

Cheney Is Ordered to Preserve Records –

The decision by the judge, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, is a setback for the Bush administration in its effort to promote a narrow definition of materials that must be safeguarded under the Presidential Records Act.

The Bush administration’s legal position “heightens the court’s concern” that some records might not be preserved, Judge Kollar-Kotelly said.


Mr. Cheney and the other defendants in the case, Judge Kollar-Kotelly wrote, “were only willing to agree to a preservation order that tracked their narrowed interpretation” of the Presidential Records Act.

The administration, the judge said, wanted any court order on what records are at issue in the suit to cover only the office of the vice president, not Mr. Cheney or the other defendants in the lawsuit..

The Bush administration (and Cheney particularly) has been trying to destroy records of its time in government, in part through the wacky strategem of denying that the Vice President is part of the executive branch. People have been suing the administration to try and keep them from destroying their internal papers and force them to put that into the customary presidential archive.

Why did Palin do state business on her personal email? For about the same reason as the Bush administration wants to be able to destroy records of its time in office — things done on the public time are recoverable and can be viewed by history (and departments of Justice of future administrations.) There’s a parallel scandal of the Bush administration doing their own business through RNC emails that hasn’t gotten a lot of publication in the media.

So, in many ways, it’s virtually guaranteed that the bush administration will destroy the emails, and this set of legal proceedings is more or less determining whether they’ll be held accountable for it later.

Although the Bush administration has been able to refuse to cooperate with various law enforcement agencies, eventually once it’s out of office it will probably end up being held accountable for what it’s done, and may face its own Cadaver Synod.

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