Wednesday, September 15

Okay, I'll confess my dirty little secret. Over the past year, I've learned to appreciate, even LOVE, Lou Dobbs. His crusade against the outsourcing of American jobs has impressed me with his passion for American workers, an almost unprecedented campaign for a heretofore Republican-leaning broadcaster.

Today, Lou welcomed Kitty Kelley, author of the new blockbuster about the Bush dynasty. He was gracious (Kitty was obviously surprised and gratified), fair and HE HAD ACTUALLY READ HER BOOK. He and Kitty discussed the troubling executive order issued by GWB in early November 2001 restricting public access to the presidential papers (and that of their vice presidents) of Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush, and Bill Clinton. To remind you:

Anna Nelson, an historian at American University, is hardly alone in suspecting that the White House is worried about what the Reagan and Bush papers may reveal about officials who worked in those administrations and are now part of George W. Bush's inner circle. They include, for example, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vice President Dick Cheney, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, and Budget Director Mitch Daniel Jr.

"There may in fact be embarrassing documents," concedes White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, "but that would not be considered a legitimate reason to withhold archives from historians and journalists."

If not embarrassing moments, then what?

There is, of course, no end to growing speculation. That is the problem with trying to suppress information. It inevitably raises the question, "What is he trying to hide?"

Consider, for example, the Iran-Contra scandal that tainted the Reagan administration. In order to finance opposition to the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, certain high-level administration officials sold weapons to Iran. This was illegal. But despite a huge public scandal, no government official ever went to prison. At the time, some suspected that then-Vice President George Bush, a previous head of the CIA, knew more than he let on about the illegal Iran-Contra scheme. The elder Bush, however, always protested that he "was out of the loop."

Still, other historians think that the current Bush White House, deeply immersed in the war on terrorism, may be worried about fresh revelations that detail the Reagan administration's strong financial support of the Taliban as they rose to power.

UPDATE: Evidently, I'm not the only progressive watching Lou. His daily poll today asked the question, which presidential candidate do you believe would come closer to fulfilling his campaign promises in the next four years? Bush got 10%, Kerry 85%.


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