Waiting for Hillary's Files
December 29, 2007
A very interesting interview has just been published related to the heavily contested Hillary Clinton files at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. Conservative elements who are demanding a magic wand be waved so that the Library can dump out all Hillary Clinton material before the November 2008 election should read it.
The article is
Inside The Clinton Archives
National Journal Group publication and it was published December 17. The article is
Alexis Simendinger's Q & A with
expert Sharon Fawcett, assistant archivist for presidential libraries at the
National Archives and Records Administration.
According to Sharon
Fawcett there are 118 million pages of material to process from the Clinton
Presidency. This includes 70 million pages of textual documents and 48 million pages
of emails. There are 10 archivists working on this material and they spend 65% of
their actual time processing the Freedom of information Act Requests which determine
which files are released first.
Fawcett stated that
one million pages of material are now public. About 100,000 pages of this was
processed through FOIAs, 500,000 pages of health care task force records that were
released in 1994 already due to litigation related to the task force held on the
subject, and some domestic policy files which were reviewed and processed at
President Clintonís request prior to the five year closed period given to the
President following his presidency.
Fawcett stated that
the Clinton Library hopes to process 200,000 pages of records in 2008. At this rate
the 10 archivists will require 585 years to complete processing the files from the
Clinton presidency. Fawcett stated that the Reagan Library which has been processing
for almost 15 years now is processing up to one million pages a year. At this rate
the task at the Clinton Library will still take 117 years.
Fawcett there are 30 FOIAs still pending that request Hillary Clinton files. This
author has about a dozen of those requests.
In a related event,
in 2001 I FOIAed UFO files from the Office of Science and Technology Policy,
otherwise known as the Office of the Science Advisor to the President. I received
just over 1,000 pages. (The OSTP was one of only a couple of White House departments
that was open for FOIAs during the Presidentís term, and didnít have to wait the 5
year period following the Presidency before FOIA requests could be made). In a reply
to a recent e-mail I was told that these files, which I already have, are not part
of the 1,000,000 pages of documents that are now open at the Library.
Life can be tough.