WWW Opinion Times

Saturday, June 04, 2005

A.C.L.U. Shredding Documents

The New York Times reports that great concern is arising regarding the fact that the ACLU is shredding documents.
The American Civil Liberties Union has been shredding some documents over the repeated objections of its records manager and in conflict with its longstanding policies on the preservation and disposal of records.

The matter has fueled a dispute at the organization over internal operations, one of several such debates over the last couple of years, and has reignighted questions over whether the A.C.L.U.'s own practices are consistent with its public positions.
The apparent hypocrisy of this situation is evident as the ACLU has regularly called for records openness in government agencies.
In a speech to the Society of American Archivists last year, Nadine Strossen, the president of the A.C.L.U., said that at its inception in 1920, the civil liberties group arranged for the New York Public Library to archive its records and those of its predecessor organization.

"I'm especially impressed by how prescient the A.C.L.U.'s founders were in understanding the importance of preserving our organizational records," Ms. Strossen said.

In 2003, the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York gave Ms. Linde an award for her role in helping draft and enact a public records law after Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, moved records from his administration to a private institution.
As someone recently stated on FreeRepublic.com when the story was revealed there, "How very . . . Nixonian . .. of the ACLU."