The New York Times ran an op-ed this morning by controversial biographer Kitty Kelley. As the subject matter was George W. Bush, it should not be surprising that this article had nothing positive to say about the president:
“SECRECY has been perhaps the most consistent trait of the George W. Bush presidency. Whether it involves refusing to provide the names of oil executives who advised Vice President Dick Cheney on energy policy, prohibiting photographs of flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq, or forbidding the release of files pertaining to Chief Justice John Roberts's tenure in the Justice Department, President Bush seems determined to control what the public is permitted to know. And he has been spectacularly effective, making Richard Nixon look almost transparent.”
At issue this morning is an executive order that Bush signed in November 2001 concerning the release of any former president’s private papers. Kelley sees this as another sinister move by the president:
“Unless one of these efforts succeeds, George W. Bush and his father can see to it that their administrations pass into history without examination. Their rationales for waging wars in the Middle East will go unchallenged. There will be no chance to weigh the arguments that led the administration to condone torture by our armed forces. The problems of federal agencies entrusted with public welfare during times of national disaster - 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina - will be unaddressed. Details on no-bid contracts awarded to politically connected corporations like Halliburton will escape scrutiny, as will the president's role in Environmental Protection Agency's policies on water and air polluters.”
However, what Kelley fails to mention is that this order was issued shortly after the 9/11 attacks on our nation, and was designed to protect America’s national security interests in times of war. For the actual text of the order, go here.