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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Nov > Nov 16

The Clinton Files And The X-Files

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2007 16:41:39 -0500
Archived: Fri, 16 Nov 2007 16:41:39 -0500
Subject: The Clinton Files And The X-Files

Source: Time - New York, N.Y., USA


Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007

The Clinton Files And The X-Files

By Karen Tumulty in Washington

Ever since last month's debate in Philadelphia, Hillary
Clinton's opponents have been clamoring for her and her husband
to release all the papers from the National Archives pertaining
to her role in his presidency. After all, they claim, what
better way to judge the experience that she cites as her chief
qualification to hold Bill Clinton's old job? So is Clinton
holding something back, as her rivals suggest, or is this
simply, as she insists, a question of moving "as quickly as our
circumstances and the processes of the National Archives

"I was born into a middle-class family in the middle of the
country in the middle of the last centur...

"It's complicated," says National Archives spokeswoman Susan
Cooper. "There's no wrong answer and no right answer. It's not
black and white."

Like his two most recent predecessors, Bill Clinton is subject
to the Presidential Records Act of 1978. Under the law, all
records are kept from the public for five years from the time a
President leaves office. After that, every President has an
option =97 and all of them have taken it =97 of withholding for
further review six types of records for another seven years.
Among the types of documents that can be subjected to further
review are confidential advice between the President and his
advisers. All three Presidents who have been covered by the act
have invoked that option, though Cooper notes that Clinton's
order =97 which called for further review of documents that
include negative or derogatory information about individuals
involved in the appointment process, confidential foreign policy
communications, and communications between the President and
Vice President, First Lady, or former Presidents or Vice
Presidents =97 was actually less restrictive than either Ronald
Reagan's or George Herbert Walker Bush's.

Even if Bill Clinton were to lift that restriction today,
however, it would likely be years before the public actually got
to see all of the documents from his presidency. (At the
archives, Richard Nixon =97 whose papers have taken years to sort
through and continue to yield bizarre troves of information =97 is
known as "the gift that keeps on giving.") Thanks in part to the
technology of the era in which he presided over the country,
Clinton generated an unusually large volume of material: an
estimated 20 million e-mails, averaging three pages each, plus
another 78 million pages, enough to fill something like 36,000

Before being made public, each document must be reviewed
individually by a handful of overworked archivists. The
archivists screen them for privacy issues (there are, for
instance, lots and lots of Social Security numbers in all of
this material) and potential breaches of national security. Once
the archivists scrub them, the documents go to Bruce Lindsey,
the longtime confidant whom Clinton designated to handle them.
(Lindsey wrote in a recent memo, "Currently, none of the FOIA
requests NARA has processed and provided for my review involve
Senator Clinton.") And then they go to the current President,
who under a 2001 executive order can look at them as long as he
cares to.

The first priority is requests pending under the Freedom of
Information Act. And any potential political muckrakers must get
in a line =97 a very long line =97 of nearly 300 FOIA requests.
Those requests are given full-time attention by a mere six
archivists, whose numbers reflect the budget limitations they
are working under.

What's more, the FOIA requests must be dealt with on a first-
come, first-served basis, which means that issues of national
security or domestic policy don't get priority. On the contrary,
as it happens, the first people to get in the Clinton archives
queue had a set of requests for information dealing with the
issue of unidentified flying objects.

Extraterrestrials, in fact, still seem to be getting an
inordinate amount of attention down in Little Rock. If you take
a look at collections of material that have recently become
available for research you will find:

FOIA 2006-0543-F: Records or correspondence related to President
Clinton wanting the Sci-Fi Channel at the White House and Camp


FOIA 2006-0535-F: All files on UFOs in the files of Mike
McCurry, White House Press Secretary

And my personal favorite:

2006-0492-F: All files on UFOs, Roswell, New Mexico, flying
saucers, Area 51 or the TV show X-Files in the files of John

Why John Podesta? The Clinton Library helpfully tells us of
Clinton's White House Chief of Staff:

FOIA request 2006-0492-F consists of e-mails to and from John
Podesta, containing the words either, X-Files or Area 51. John
Podesta was a renowned fan of the "X-Files" television show.

Podesta, through a spokesperson, said of the FOIA requests, "the
truth is out there." But like all FOIA requests, it may take a
while before we get to see it.

[Thanks to 'The Norm' for the lead]

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