Entry for July 05, 2006

This  March 16, 2005  cartoon is by Rocky Mountain New’s editorial cartoonist Ed Stein, which I found at the Sunshineweek site.  See also his new cartoon of June 30, 2006, “If a tree falls.”  Mr. Stein is so on target that   I could use his cartoon every day to illustrate this blog.  You can write him at mailto:stein@RockyMountainNews.com.  (His address on Cagle’s site is obsolute.)

 Sunshineweek.org has a special feature on the Freedom of Information Act as does Steven Aftergood’s blog Secrecy News from today.   He talked with Radio Free Europe and  also links to a fuller account of LBJ  which the National Security Archive’s  Thomas Blanton was posted yesterday. In reading it I realized why Rumsfeld was a co-sponsor.  Blanton writes,

Moss led hearings beginning in 1955 that documented and denounced excessive government secrecy. But as long as Eisenhower was president, Moss could hardly find a Republican co-sponsor for his proposed openness reforms.

Republicans became more interested during the Kennedy and Johnson presidencies, especially after LBJ’s landslide victory in 1964. As a young Republican from Illinois assigned to Moss’s subcommittee, Rumsfeld signed up as a leading co-sponsor of the Moss bill for freedom of information, and denounced what he called the Johnson administration’s “continuing tendency toward managed news and suppression of public information that the people are entitled to have.” (Less than 10 years later, Rumsfeld as White House chief of staff, and his deputy Richard Cheney, would lead President Ford’s effort to veto the strengthening amendments to the FOIA, but they would lose.)

Moss, a member of the Democratic House leadership in 1965-66, had to

pretend the President was on board; but he told his staff (after cleaning up the expletives from the original) what LBJ’s real reaction was: “What is Moss trying to do, screw me? I thought he was one of our boys, but the Justice Department tells me his goddamn bill will screw the Johnson Administration.” …All through 1965…[a]ll 27 federal agencies and departments that presented testimony opposed the bill.

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