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Kissinger?(10 posts)

Nov 27, 2002 10:51 AM
It looks like Bush has finally roped in someone who can "handle" an independent investigation of the Sept. 11 attacks. A little background:

Henry Kissinger has done something quite remarkable. He's taken the most important of his papers and hidden them in plain sight. He has installed them in the Library of Congress under a deed that makes them inaccessible until 2001 or five years after his death. That means no matter how tragic his life may be this year, we're not going to be looking at those papers for another five years.

They include authentic telephone transcripts of virtually every important meeting he had. The case in which the appropriateness of taking government records and putting them into the Library of Congress was litigated is Kissinger v. the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. The other plaintiffs were the Military Audit Project and one William Safire of the New York Times.

By an unusual Supreme Court majority that actually only had, depending on how you read the opinions, four members-it included two concurrences and a partial concurrence and two abstentions-we have established a rule of law that allows one to put his papers out of the reach of the public. General Haig and Caspar Weinberger did this. In fact, Caspar Weinberger was indicted for doing it, before he was pardoned by President Bush, because it was seen as a deliberate attempt to obstruct justice.
He'll burn in hell alongside McNamaracory
Nov 27, 2002 12:10 PM
Oh, sorry--must have had a '60s flashback.
re: Kissinger?tao
Nov 27, 2002 1:14 PM
I have no reason not to trust him. Whether he's the right man for the job is another issue, I have no idea. The posted text is misleading on a few issues. There was nothing in the slightest unusual about the High Court's decision; 5 in the majority, 2 partial, and 2 in absentia. I don't know where the number 4 comes from, or the suggestion that partial dissents or not taking part in a case is highly unusual. Having neither is more rare.

REHNQUIST, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C. J., and STEWART, WHITE, and POWELL, JJ., joined

BRENNAN, J., post, p. 158, and STEVENS, J., post, p. 161, filed opinions concurring in part and dissenting in part

MARSHALL, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the cases. BLACKMUN, J., took no part in the decision of the cases.

There's nothing usual or the slightest bit controversial about it, it's not even really close. And you'll note it's now past 2001, where's the smoking gun? The FOIA doesn't cover Klissinger as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (7-0 vote), so how can you argue he was obstructing justice, especially considering these papers (1969-77) are from after the alleged wrongdoings?
As I said, guilt or innocence is not the issue.czardonic
Nov 27, 2002 1:30 PM
It is the desire to keep the facts (whatever they may be) a secret that makes him (in my opinion) a worriesome choice for a fact finding mission.

And as for being past 2001, the deed is for 2001 or five years after his death. So, the smoking gun (if there is one) is still under wraps.

Furthermore, 1969-1977 covers the bombing of Cambodia and the U.S. involvement in Chile, incidents for which some call for Kissengers trial for war crimes.
Nov 27, 2002 1:56 PM
Forgot the Cambodia time frame. I guess it can be worrisome, though perfectly legal, which makes the obstruction charge hard to fathom in my view. So is Clinton not fit for public office again in your view for doing the same thing with some of his documents even though they're explictly covered by FOIA?

I'm no logicologist but 2001 certainly meets the condition

2001 or five years after death

inclusive and exclusive. Is there another type of or I've been ignorant of all these years?
Here's the actual provision.czardonic
Nov 27, 2002 2:12 PM
4. Future Public Access to Personal Papers.
Personal public papers shall be made available for public access, but not until 25 years after the date of this Deed of Gift and Agreement, or until five years after the death of Henry A. Kissinger, whichever is later. [Emphasis added. My transcription, apologies for errors. Original document available here:]

I hope that clears things up.

No, I wouldn't trust Clinton to head this commision either.
so who would you trust? nmtrekkie1
Nov 27, 2002 2:29 PM
Nov 27, 2002 3:00 PM
Which is to say, the American people. The findings of any commision appointed by Bush (or the Democrats) is going to be a CYA operation. We'll never really know what to think until truly indepenent parties get a look at the facts, or at least until the truth can be distilled from a broad range of informed opinion.

My concern with the appointment of Kissinger is that he does not trust the public with the facts (at least not until 5 years after it is too late to hold the proper people accountable).
I'm flatteredtrekkie1
Nov 28, 2002 8:43 AM
However, isn't Kissinger just going to lead the commission, not be the only person involved? Wouldn't having others involved mitigate the secrecy issue?

You are one paranoid dude.
I'm flatteredMJ
Nov 28, 2002 9:00 AM
in the same way that Clinton should probably not be allowed to participate in orienting white house interns to the oval office - Kissinger shouldn't be allowed to head up Sep. 11 inquries...