The White House visitor logs get transferred (secretly) from Secret Service control to White House control in order to shield them from FOIA (and, no doubt, Congressional inquiry).
No, I don’t actually want the Democrats in Congress to waste time with an impeachment of GWB. As Churchill said, it is unwise to attempt to kill an opponent who is in the process of committing suicide. But the notion of signing a secret memo with the Secret Service, during the course of a lawsuit about White House visitor logs, to make the logs “White House records” instead of “Secret Service records” is truly Nixonian: a comically incompetent attempt to cover up wrongdoing.
No doubt the Republicans on the Hill will explain that the visitor logs ought to be hidden from public view. But of course they didn’t think so when they were getting Clinton’s.
So what do you think is in those records that Mr. Bush is so eager to hide? We already know Jack Abramoff virtually had a commuter pass, so it must be something even more damning than that.
It seems to me that the Director of the Secret Service — who is technically a civil servant and not a political appointee — has just earned himself several hours on the Congressional hot seat.
Author: Mark Kleiman
Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out.
Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken)
When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist
Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993)
Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989)
View all posts by Mark Kleiman