Obama to approve release of Reagan records on Monday

April 11th, 2009 - 3:12 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Washington, Apr 11 (ANI): President Barack Obama is ordering the release of nearly 250,000 pages of records from the Reagan White House years that were kept away from the public eye during a lengthy review by former President George W. Bush.

The Reagan documents, which include presidential briefing papers, speechwriting research materials and declassified foreign policy records, are expected to be released on Monday.

Officials said that the Obama Administration’s quick verdict on the documents was prompted by an executive order that Obama signed in January that gives the incumbent president 30 days to make such a decision, unless he sets out a longer period.

By contrast, Bush’s executive order on presidential records set no time limit on the White House’s review, Politico reports.

“With regard to the Reagan Administration records, I am writing to inform you that the President has not asserted executive privilege over any of this material,” White House Counsel Greg Craig told Politico.

A smaller batch of 797 pages from President George H.W. Bush’s presidential library on the topic of Saudi Arabia also has been cleared for release on Monday.

In recent years, historians and open-government groups complained bitterly that the review process President George W. Bush instituted was causing a backlog that was stalling the release of tens of thousands of pages of presidential records.

“The cynical view is that the process is deliberately inefficient,” Thomas Blanton of the National Security Archive testified at a Congressional hearing on the issue in 2007. (ANI)

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