Well, I guess we know who the NCH blames (surprise!). It seems as if the NCH finally--and reluctantly--brought up the possibility of the Clintons being responsible for withholding their own records only after the story got too big for them to ignore. Because the NCH has certainly been ignoring most of the media accounts critical of the Clintons.
This presidential debate only added to what has become a media firestorm over the issue of whether the Clinton’s are obstructing the release of her records or whether the Bush administration’s Executive Order 13233 is responsible for delays in the processing and release of documents at not just the Clinton library, but the Reagan and Bush libraries as well. An article in the Washington Post blamed both the Clinton’s and the Bush administration for the delays. And, a lengthy piece in Newsweek sharply criticized the Clinton’s alleging that they have been less than forthcoming in the release of their papers.
Unfortunately, the media coverage has ignored the fact that consideration of legislation (H.R. 1255) in the Senate to overturn Executive Order 13233 continues to be blocked by Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) at the behest of the White House who has threatened to veto the bill. (emphasis added)
In an earlier story, the NCH seemed more than happy to quote from a piece in which President Clinton blamed the Bush Adminstration for holding up the release of Clinton Administration records. But in this latest piece, they only allude to the NEWSWEEK piece critical of the Clintons and don't actually quote anything from it. Instead, they try to delegitimize the story as just part of a confusing "media firestorm" on their way to blaming the media for not covering "the real story" that the Executive Order is completely to blame for the holdup.
Now let me be clear here: I agree with repealing the Executive Order and allowing greater access more quickly (assuming that information in the records isn't critical to national security, of course) . What troubles me is the one-sided play the NCH is giving the Clinton story. In this particular case, repealing the Executive Order would remove some roadblocks to gaining access to the Clintons' records (and it would also remove the cover that the Clintons are currently hiding behind), but it also appears that the Clintons will still manage to keep the flow of information to a slow trickle--at least until after the 2008 Presidential election.
Then who will the NCH blame?