The Arlington National Archive is that section of the United States National Archive where certain material that should be on display is instead laid to an unquiet rest. A potter's field where remains are interred in unmarked graves pending the passing of a suitable period of silence. It is easy to imagine legitimate reasons for such a period prior to archival display of all documents pertaining to a given matter. Proper cataloguing, numbering and the preparation of document inventories take time. A question remains as to identification of certain matters which are undergoing the archival process and an additional question arises as to what should be done with wholly completed documents that may be of interest to researchers if presented in their final form even without all ancillary documentation.
It is passing strange, for example, that if one uses the term "Office of Independent Counsel" in the marvelous National Archive search engine, the most comprehensive list returned is this. It seems somehow... incomplete?
We know about Watergate, of course. And who could ever be allowed to forget Iran/Contra and Walsh's effort. Understandably, the current Congressional efforts to allow a quiet, if undignified, burial to Section V of the Barrett investigation make publication of his report problematic, even without the diligent efforts of archival interment experts. It is remarkable that Congress is acting as if Executive misuse of the IRS is a matter of little public import. Are we prepared to live in a country where some Office of Independent Counsel Reports are more equal than others and some indiscretions are deemed unworthy of mention?
Wasn't there a fellow named Donald Smaltz? If memory has not failed entirely, another fellow named Kenneth Starr may have written a report that was published as a requirement in completing his service as Independent Counsel. How is it that the Smaltz Report has found its way into the archives of the University of North Texas and the Starr Report is available, (annotated, no less), via the offices of a diligent attorney but the National Archives does not deem them fit for publication?
The motto of the National Archives is "Democracy Starts Here".
That would bring a smile to Winston Smith's face.
Saturday Verse: Dylan Thomas
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