The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

January 21, 2014

George W. Bush library archives open

DALLAS — The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on Monday began accepting Freedom of Information Act requests for records from Bush’s presidency.

The day marks five years from the end of Bush’s presidency, on Jan. 20, 2009. Access to the records is governed by the Presidential Records Act, which says the records may be requested by the public five years after the presidential administration ends.

“We’re really looking forward to this new chapter of the library,” said Brooke Clement, supervisory archivist for the library. “We’ve been systemically processing and this is going to be a whole new way or processing for us ... essentially processing toward what the public is requesting.”

The requests must come in written format — email, mail or fax — and must state that the request is being made under the Freedom of Information Act. While requests could start being sent Monday, staffers were off for the federal holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. They return to work today.

The library, which opened last year on the Southern Methodist University campus, notes the process will take time and cited factors including the volume and complexity of presidential records.

Some records remain closed until 12 years after a president leaves office. Also, some materials related to personal privacy and national security remain closed.

The archives include 70 million pages of text, 43,000 artifacts, 200 million emails and more than 4 million photographs.

A glimpse at some of the holdings can be seen in the museum, which has displays on topics including education reform, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and efforts to fight the spread of AIDS. Artifacts on display include the bullhorn Bush used after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to address a crowd of rescue workers at ground zero.

Bruce Buchanan, a government professor at the University of Texas with a specialty in presidential politics, said the opening of the archives at the five-year mark gives scholars the opportunity to dig into their particular area of interest, for example, someone studying the president’s management style or a specific policy issue.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World
  • Traps set in New Jersey lake while animal control searches for snake

    JEFFERSON, N.J. — Reports of a 16-foot-long exotic snake — possibly an anaconda — slithering through New Jersey’s largest lake have stoked fears among residents and led to searches and questions about what exactly is in the water....

    July 23, 2014

  • Airlines cancel air traffic after rocket attack

    JERUSALEM — A Hamas rocket exploded Tuesday near Israel’s main airport, prompting a ban on flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada as aviation authorities responded to the shock of seeing a civilian jetliner shot down over ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Remains of victims from Malaysian airliner crash transported by train to Ukrainian controlled territory

    KHARKIV, Ukraine — A train bearing the dead from the downed Malaysian airliner reached Ukrainian government-held territory at long last Tuesday, but the pro-Russian separatists in control of the crash site showed little willingness to ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Contrarian’s case: Why the U.S. could be dragged down by struggling world economies?

    NEW YORK — Just as the U.S. economy is strengthening, other countries are threatening to drag it down....

    July 23, 2014

  • Dueling rulings: Courts split on health law

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s health care law is snarled in another big legal battle, with two federal appeals courts issuing contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday....

    July 23, 2014

  • Obama nominee pledges to ‘transform’ VA

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs pledged Tuesday to transform the beleaguered agency, saying that “systematic failures” must be addressed....

    July 23, 2014

  • Friend is first convicted in Boston Marathon probe

    BOSTON — The conviction of a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for impeding the investigation into the bombings has his lawyers wondering if anyone else who faces charges connected to the 2013 attack stands a ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Rebels release train with bodies from jet

    HRABOVE, Ukraine — Bowing to international pressure, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gaza death toll passes 560

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A high-level attempt by the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state to end deadly Israel-Hamas fighting was off to a rough start Monday: Gaza’s Hamas rulers signaled they won’t agree to an unconditional ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Perry sending Guard troops to border

    AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Rick Perry is deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border over the next month to combat what he said Monday were criminals exploiting a surge of children pouring into the U.S. illegally. ...

    July 22, 2014