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By Chuck Baldwin
March 22, 2002

Has there ever been a more secretive White House than the one that currently exists? I don't think so. The Bush administration signals the end to open government in this country. Just look at the facts:

1) The Bush administration invoked executive privilege to keep Clinton-era documents secret. The move shocked Republican lawmakers. Why would Bush want to cover up for Bill Clinton? Representative Dan Burton, who is the Chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, even threatened to hold Bush in contempt of Congress unless he releases several sets of subpoenaed Justice Department documents that he has hidden. It does not matter. Bush promises to never comply with congressional investigators. Bush is determined to keep Clinton's crimes concealed.

2) Bush flatly refuses to hand over records of internal energy task force meetings. These records could either incriminate or exonerate Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney regarding allegations of conflict of interest in the Enron scandal. Even the General Accounting Office is suing the White House (a first) to obtain the records. Again, Bush refuses to comply. The president is even willing to ignore court orders demanding the release of documents.

3) Just this week, the United States Government's top lawyer told the U.S. Supreme Court that officials have the right to lie to American citizens. No, he did not explain how that assertion jives with Bush's Christian testimony.

4) Two days ago, the White House ordered all federal agencies to delete their web sites of all "sensitive information." The White House did not say what information it considered "sensitive."

5) Vice President Cheney is already the stealthiest Vice President in U.S. history. Seldom does anyone know where he is or what he is doing.

6) President Bush admitted to forming a mysterious "shadow government" comprised of unknown persons who are living in underground bunkers at secret sites outside Washington, D.C. Not even top legislators know who these people are or what instructions have been given them. Furthermore, how does a "shadow government" mesh with the U.S. Constitution? These questions have never been (and never will be) answered.

When asked by a reporter about these and other matters, Bush said, "I have a duty to protect the executive branch from legislative encroachment." Congress, for the most part, only learns of Bush's clandestine carryings-on as brief sketches leak out in the press.

However, none of this seems to bother the American people or members of the press. Bush is a wartime president (even though no one officially declared war) and, therefore, can do anything he pleases with total impunity. In truth, the Bush administration signals the end to both open government and constitutional government - and few people seem to even notice.

© Chuck Baldwin Live commentaries may not be reprinted or republished without permission.  All Rights Reserved.

Chuck Baldwin is Founder-Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. In 1985 the church was recognized by President Ronald Reagan for its unusual growth and influence. 

Dr. Baldwin is the host of a lively, hard-hitting syndicated radio talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called, "Chuck Baldwin Live" This is a daily, one hour long call-in show in which Dr. Baldwin addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Pastor Baldwin writes weekly articles on the internet   and newspapers.  

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