"The RNC e-mail affair, standing alone, would not justify alarm. Most presidential records were maintained. Abramoff and Scooter Libby were held accountable to the criminal law. Violations of the Hatch Act were identified. But the affair betrays a White House enthusiasm for lawlessness and secret government irreconcilable with bedrock democratic values. And it is this pattern of secrecy for its own sake that is most chilling.
In the aftermath of 9/11, President George W. Bush initiated several secret programs for gathering foreign intelligence, at least one of which was in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. Neither Congress nor the public was informed. The president cannot be accountable to the law or to the electorate unless his deeds are made known. And Congress cannot legislate to thwart executive abuses unless it knows what mischief is afoot."
June 23, 2007
This is a very worthwhile story about the secrecy and illegality that are the core of the Bush presidency, in this case regarding a clear, conscious conspiracy to hide emails from the public view.