Sunday, April 29, 2012

National Archives Implicated In Nixon Coverup

In the fall of 2009, after a search conducted by a company he used to work for, Nixon-Haldeman operative Ron Walker was awarded a jumbo-salary "president" job at the Nixon foundation, which declared war on the director of the federalized Nixon library, Tim Naftali. Walker's former White House colleague, Sen. Lamar Alexander, provided secret if unavailing assistance.

That December, the revanchists also tried to rewrite the history of Nixon's difficult relationship with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which was now running the library. Walker's wife, Anne, claimed:
It is estimated that President Obama's presidential papers will be 80 percent electronic, something that the Nixon Presidential papers-people did not have to worry about. But, one can not help but wonder if we would have had more access to them in that format, instead of them being secreted away in College Park, guarded and hidden from the president and the other people who created them. The only access to papers was when the archives were about to release some of them. At that time, the archives would notify members of the administration whose names were about to be made public.
The truth is that after Nixon White House records were seized by the federal government following his resignation, they were never hidden or kept from the former president. He and his editorial assistants and agents (including me and anyone else he chose to designate) had access whenever they wished. As for opening Nixon's records to the public, NARA would have been pleased to do so within a few years after Nixon's resignation. But he devoted 19 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to delaying it. To claim that this was the government's doing is a war-is-peace statement. Maybe there's a George Orwell foundation somewhere they should be running.

Hat tip to Maarja Krusten

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