Should Hillary Clinton's White House Records Be Disclosed?

The Los Angeles Times has an interesting report on the White House records of Hillary Clinton. Apparently, many of the White House files documenting her role in various policy matters will not be publicly disclosed until after the 2008 election. There's nothing nefarious going on here. It simply takes time for archivists to process the relevant materials, respond to FOIA requests, and redact privileged or otherwise confidential material.

At the Clinton library overlooking the Arkansas River, federal archivists clad in protective smocks are sorting through 80 million pages of records and another 20 million e-mails from a Clinton presidency that ended in January 2001. About 2 million of those pages concern the first lady's office.

A staff of 11 spends most of its time answering some 250 requests for documents submitted under the Freedom of Information Act. Requests are fulfilled largely on a first-come, first-served basis. Because the earliest requests involved other Clinton administration activities, the requests for the now-New York senator's records are further back in line, staff members said. . . .

Before documents are released, archives staff must read them and, by law, must redact material that they determine contains classified information, invades a person's privacy, reveals trade secrets, reveals confidential advice from presidential advisors or raises other concerns specified in the records law.

Asked how long it might be before Hillary Clinton's records are released, the library's chief archivist said it could take years.

"We're processing as fast as we can," Melissa Walker said.