Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Which Rights Are Left?

The New York Times reports today:

In a seven-year-old secret program at the National Archives, intelligence agencies have been removing from public access thousands of historical documents that were available for years, including some already published by the State Department and others photocopied years ago by private historians.

One of those private historians, Felicity Huffstadter, told the Times, "I have a copy some place, I'm sure of it, of the Bill of Rights. But when I returned to see the original at the National Archives, I was told that the Constitution was too sensitive a document to be seen by average Americans." Ms. Huffstadter said she believed that because of the reclassification program, some of the contents of her 22 file cabinets might technically place her in violation of the Espionage Act, a circumstance that could be shared by scores of other historians, not to mention sixth grade civics class students the country over who have memorized the Bill of Rights, at least to pass the test.

In response, President Bush said, "There's a right on this Constitution that won't right on one side. So I'm taking it home to my workshop, my dear. I'll fix it up there. Then I'll bring it back here."


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