US News & World Report Publishes Letter from SAA Vice President Rand Jimerson

US News & World Report
January 26, 2004



On behalf of the Society of American Archivists, I congratulate you on publishing “Keeping Secrets” [December 22], revealing the administration’s efforts to hide records from the public. Open access to government records is the hallmark of democratic government. It is vital to protect the rights and privileges of each citizen. As professionals charged with ensuring adequate documentation of actions by government and other organizations, archivists recognize the necessity of holding leaders accountable. Our democratic institutions depend on accurate records and public access to such information. The rationales presented by Bush administration officials to withhold records from public scrutiny eerily echo the Nixon administration’s arguments during the Watergate scandals. Such policies threaten the public interest. The freedom that we claim to represent depends on an informed citizenry. As such, we must demand the overturn of recent administration policies that cloak our public servants’ actions in secrecy.

Randall C. Jimerson
Vice President
Society of American Archivists