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No New Light on Clinton Papers

Former President Bill Clinton speaks at a Slate 60 Conference today at the Clinton Library in Little Rock, Ark (AP)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The Clinton presidential library here is designed to evoke openness: towering glass windows, high ceilings and sleek exhibit designs.

But donations to the Clinton library are not transparent, and neither are many of the contents of the presidential collection, which is facing -- but has not yet acted on -- 287 open requests under the Freedom of Information Act. Many papers related to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's time as First Lady -- which she cites constantly on the campaign trail as part of the experience that qualifies her to be president -- are believed to be under lock and key.

As reported by Newsweek, the former president had claimed that such requests were moving slowly because of an order signed by President Bush making it more difficult to release presidential papers. Describing himself as "pro-disclosure," Clinton said: "I want to open my presidential records more rapidly than the law requires and the current administration has slowed down the opening of my own records."

But according to White House spokesman Scott Stanzel, there are no release requests pending from Clinton -- even though outside researchers have asked the former president to release about 10 million pages from his two terms as president.

"When we do receive documents for review, we work to review those as expeditiously as possibly," Stanzel said. "And I would add that there have been no records that the Clinton administration has cleared for release that we have decided to invoke privelege on."

Clinton, appearing on Monday at a philanthropy conference at his library sponsored by Slate, which is owned by the Washington Post/Newsweek Interactive, mentioned his wife only once by name, and did not refer at all in his public comments to her campaign for president. Shouted a question about his library records as he slowed to talk to reporters afterward, he kept on walking.

Clinton advisers described the contents of his library as a non-issue, saying he had protested new Bush administration rules slowing the release of paperwork when they were first issued. His remarks about disclosure, they said, referred to his position on presidential paperwork in general, not any specific document request currently pending.

This is not the first time the question of disclosure has arisen in the current Clinton campaign: the former president has refused to disclose the donors to his library under rules similar to those governing campaign contributions. He has said that if his wife were elected president he would make public the names of donors going forward, but not retroactively.

--Anne E Kornblut

By Washington Post Editor  |  October 22, 2007; 7:00 PM ET
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I agree with radical patriot.
We need to quit viewing things through a democrat is one way and republican another. We need to admit that both sides are not exactly the kind of leadership we deserve.
We have both Bush's who have done alot of secretive and questionable things. But, we also have to see that Bill Clinton was not exactly a raging success and has tried to do exactly what jr. did do. Expand executive powers and lie and do more questionable things.
As long as people are going to sit stubbornly in this polarized thinking - that was instigated by the msm and the politicians so we are busy attacking each other instead of watching what the so called powers that be are really up to.
We are distracted and therefore have been hoodwinked by both parties. And we are looking at the possible presidency of the continuation of the ugly and failures of the past 20 years. The ugly things and the continued slide into the abyss by another in this little cabal of the Bush/Clinton dynasties.
Quit playing their games and start questioning both sides and what are they really up to? 30 years of these two and what they have wrought is enough for any voter to reject the next sequel and start electing people who's last name is not bush or clinton and new blood and thinking.

Posted by: vwcat | October 23, 2007 8:45 PM | Report abuse

What crock.If Bushie 43 won"t let us see them all,we don"t need to see any of them.I would rather see those from the real president,you know,Cheney.

Posted by: gonfrmtn | October 23, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Would anyone expect anything different from Bush 41 and Clinton 42, now two peas in a pod, than they would from Bush 43 and Clinton hoping to be next in the anointed line? They are all secretive and cover up and lying because they all have a lot to cover up and be secretive and lying about.

Anyone who would even consider supporting Hillary has to be blind, deaf, and dumb to political realities, to current and recent history, and to the fundamental principles and best interests of our country.

Posted by: radicalpatriot | October 23, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I have a modest proposal on open records. There are eleven Presidential Libraries with papers administered by the National Archives Records Administration.

Why not do a survey and find out how many papers or what percentage are still held back? I understand 200 pages from the FDR Library in Hyde Park are still held as Secret. How does this compare with the Presidential Libraries of Hoover, Truman, Eisenhower,Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, (which is processed by NARA), Ford,Reagan, and Bush the First? A basis for comparison would place the matter is perspective.

Posted by: RENOD.BPD | October 23, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Still waiting for you to investigate why Regan & Bush 41 papers are still CLOSED to us. Remember Iran/Contra? Remember the players whom Bush 41 pardoned when he became president; all of whom had been convicted of running shadow, illegal arms to Iran to fund the murderous Contras in Nicaragua? Did you think he had a personal interest in the pardon since he was up to his eyeballs in the scheme? It still smells bad in 2007.
I'm continually amazed at the failure of this press to dig into the Bush family's self interested, slimy practices, while endlessly nagging the Clintons.
Egalitarian, you are not or you'd have exposed the Bush family fortune as one amassed from cronyism & influence peddling at the highest levels of government.

Posted by: jcgrim | October 23, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

It would be advantageous for Bush to open the Clinton papers, but that would mean he'd have a harder time keeping his under wrap beyond 2009.

Posted by: thegribbler1 | October 23, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm still looking for the WaPo calls for opening of Bush I papers during his son's campaigns. Still looking...

Posted by: zukermand | October 23, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I don't want to hear a word about lack of access to the Clinton papers until the MSM starts screaming about how Bush locked up the Reagan, and Bush I papers. NOT ONE WORD!!! They were convicted criminals for dealing drugs and selling arms to the Contras. NOT ONE WORD!

Posted by: thebobbob | October 22, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Nothing to hide? Just open them...

The law seems to set deadlines -- uh, I mean guidelines, no wait, make that benchmarks, no, maybe mileposts, no, it more like roadside indicators, well, not roadside, maybe pathways... no that's too specific, it's like a timeline, but without the time or the line, like a, uh, point along a graph, but again, that's not exactly it... but as soon as I know what "it" is, depending on the definition of "it" is, then, I'll let you know... But most of this stuff you wouldn't be interested in anyway... I mean White House menus, flower-arrangements, guest list for future donors, I mean, teas... the Easter egg hiding locations, where I put those pesky travel-gate documents, Bill's little black book... who's who in the vast right wing conspiracy... why George Stephanopolous really quit... combination to the safe at the Rose Law Firm... [CACKLES loudly]... some ballots from south Florida... and Ohio... a little background info on Teresa Heinz Kerry... and Tipper... Well, I've told you too much already... nothing to hide... nothing to hide... Tra-la-la fiddle-dee-dee...

Posted by: jade7243 | October 22, 2007 8:14 PM | Report abuse

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