Bob Franken


January 18, 2008
Proof Goes Poof (Bob Franken)
@ 9:01 am

I am not breaking any creative ground here when I suggest that this administration makes the Nixon White House seem forthcoming.

After all, President Richard Nixon’s secretary, Rose Mary Woods, only erased 18 and a half minutes of apparently damning tape recordings, that we know of, during the Watergate frenzy.

The Bush people have made the destruction of evidence part of their routine.

They have no qualms whatsoever about looking the other way as the CIA incinerates the videos showing U.S. interrogators torturing their prisoners. Those administration attorneys who cautioned it might not be a good idea were only too happy to pull a Pontius Pilate and wash their hands of the whole matter.

What sets me off on this today is the disclosure that the White House may have simply “lost” forever 473 days’ worth of e-mail in a blatant violation of the law requiring its preservation.

Worse, officials in the administration tried to conceal the erasure from the public, even after they briefed members of Congress on a study that identified the missing communications.

Only after a Bush press spokesman brazenly insisted there was “no evidence” that the 473-day gap existed did Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the Bush gang’s worst nightmare, release the study.

What’s remarkable about all this? Sad to say, not a damned thing. Same doo-doo, different day-day.

This administration, time and again, has tried to hide its misdeeds. The motto seems to be not that the public has a right to know how its government operates, but that it’s none of the public’s damn business.

Any disclosures about their excesses in the war on terror damage national security. Efforts to reveal their shady deals with lobbyists and other fatcats are just the work of people who don’t believe in capitalism.

In that environment, destroying evidence is perfectly OK. Anyone who challenges their version of the “dog ate my homework” defense is obviously anti-dog.

Well, I love my dog. And I’d also love to have the kind of open government that is supposed to set us apart as a nation of laws.

It’s obvious that our country is in a heap of trouble. We need to know what mistakes were made so we can correct them.

The first correction is to never again elect people who believe they can get away with corruption and incompetence by simply hiding it.

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