Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Public's Agency And Private Agents

As the National Archives prepared to release a batch of Watergate tapes in the late 1980s, former President Nixon's team (of which I was a member) gave NARA a list of 70 tape segments that we thought should remain closed on privacy grounds. Maarja Krusten, who helped prepare the tapes for release, wonders why NARA officials didn't disclose at first that Nixon had made the objections. Instead, they claimed that the 70 segments had been identified internally by the agency itself.

The larger question is how a public agency ends up doing the bidding of former presidents and private presidential foundations when it comes to handling records and running museums. Stay tuned!

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