2001 November 1

President Bush Limits Access to Past Presidents’ Papers

 

President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13233, which limited public access to the official records of previous presidents. The action was consistent with the obsessive secrecy of the Bush administration in the war on terrorism. Congress made several unsuccessful attempts to repeal it. President Barack Obama, immediately upon being sworn in as president, revoked it in January 2009 with Executive Order 13489.

Key parts of the Order: (c) After review of the records in question, or of any other potentially privileged records reviewed by the former President, the former President shall indicate to the Archivist whether the former President requests withholding of or authorizes access to any privileged records.

(d) Concurrent with or after the former President’s review of the records, the incumbent President or his designee may also review the records in question, or may utilize whatever other procedures the incumbent President deems appropriate to decide whether to concur in the former President’s decision to request withholding of or authorize access to the records.”

Read Executive Order 13233: http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2001/11/eo-pra.html

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