Executive Order 13233

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On July 31, 2003, Bill S. 1517 was submitted to the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs by Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-Nev.) and Bob Graham (D-Fla.) to revoke President George Walker Bush's Executive Order 13233:
"S. 1517. A bill to revoke and [sic] Executive Order relating to procedures for the consideration of claims of constitutionally based privilege against disclosure of Presidential records; to the Committee on Governmental Affairs.
"Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, I rise today with my colleague from Florida, Senator Graham, to introduce a very simple piece of legislation that would revoke President Bush's Executive Order 13233 and put back in force President Ronald Reagan's Executive Order 12667 [of January 18, 1989]--restoring the American people's access to Presidential papers. This bill is the companion to H.R. 1493, which is sponsored by Representative Doug Ose and has enjoyed bipartisan support in the House."

"On Nov. 1, 2001, Bush issued Executive Order 13233, which revoked a prior order issued by President Reagan. In doing so, Bush gave himself and former presidents the right to withhold records or delay their release indefinitely. A license to re-write history via incomplete records? You bet. But there's hope yet.

"The Senate is currently looking at The Presidential Records Act (H.R. 1255), which seeks to rescind Executive Order 13233," the Editorial Board of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer opined April 6, 2007.

On Jan. 21, 2009, President Barack Obama rescinded Bush's Executive Order 13233 to restore a measure of transparency to the actions of past administrations and to end this license to rewrite history or to hide evidence of malfeasance in office from investigation.

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