More Voices Assail Bush Secrecy in Regards to Library

In addition to the Congressional hearings scheduled for this week, there continues to be a set of concerns expressed about Bush’s secrecy and especially Executive Order 13233. I was struck by this editorial cartoon from “The Moderate Voice,” which offers commentary and analysis from a self-described “centrist” position:

SECRET Bush Library SECRET

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Texas Monthly editor Paul Burka also weighs in on this question in March’s issue of the magazine. Burka, who has singled out SMU professors Susanne Johnson and William McElvaney for criticism of their initial opposition to the library, notes the changed dynamics of the debate on campus. As his title — “The Secret History” — indicates, Burka has serious “questions about George W. Bush’s penchant for secretiveness and his exalted sense of his own power and prerogatives.” These concernes are relevant to the library — indeed, central to it, Burka concludes.

The magazine’s cover story is an assessment of Bush’s presidency by a variety of invited guests. “Several contributors to our cover story argue that it may take twenty or thirty years to know the whole story of the Bush presidency-in particular, whether his vision for Iraq and the Middle East has been achieved,” Burka notes. “The irony is that his own directives may make it impossible for historians to examine the record,” he concludes to end the piece.

Burka also offers several pieces of new information. “An SMU official, speaking privately, told me that the university is entering negotiations for oversight [over the Institute], such as (hypothetically) holding seats on the foundation board. ” If this is true, it’s more than the faculty have been told about our administration’s negotiations with the Bush people. And, of course, if SMU’s president can discuss the governance of the Institute with the Bush people despite the fact that President Bush might not be literally in the room, he could certainly bring up the Executive Order, as he has been asked to by the SMU Faculty Senate. It’s dishonest to pretend otherwise.

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