From the Winter 2004 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 25.
One-time Democratic presidential hopefuls Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark both made public access to information part of their campaign platforms.
“The Bush administration’s penchant for secrecy . . . is further eroding the public’s confidence in their leadership and making it harder for independent watchdogs to hold our government accountable,” Lieberman said in a Jan. 9 statement.
On Jan. 16, Clark made all of his military and financial records public, available for review in a reading room at a Manchester, N.H., hotel. Both also proposed a number of reforms, including:
- Rescind the October 2001 memorandum from Attorney General John Ashcroft that encourages a restrictive interpretation of the federal Freedom of Information Act.
- Rescind President Bush’s executive order that restricts access to former presidents’ records.
- Eliminate all secret task forces, such as Vice President Dick Cheney’s Energy Task Force.
- Make more government information available on the Internet, and ensure that once a record is published it remains available to the public.