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OPINION | Trump, Biden and… Pence, the trio of the moment, and the National Archives


All three committed the same sin, each with their own style. | Opinion | CNN

Editor's Note:

Jorge Dávila Miguel has a degree in Journalism since 1973 and has maintained a continuous career in his profession to date.

He has postgraduate degrees in Social Information Sciences and Social Communication Media, as well as postgraduate studies in International Relations, Political Economy and Latin American History.

Dávila Miguel is a columnist for El Nuevo Herald on the McClatchy network, and a political analyst and columnist for CNN en Español.

The comments expressed in this column belong exclusively to the author.

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(CNN Spanish) --

The three committed the same sin, each with their own style.

The Donald Trump scandal made headlines, following a police search at Mar-a-Lago and his clumsy insistence that he as president could declassify the secret documents "just by thinking about it."

The declassification of a document in the United States is a complex process.

It is in charge of the National Archives, a government agency that is in charge of classifying them, due to their historical importance or for national security.

It is true that the president of the United States has an exceptional ability to declassify, but it is never a one-person process, like an absolutist monarch.

It's true, Donald, you could have tried it when you were president.

But it's not worth it anymore, dear, not anymore.

From Biden, what is surprising is the trail of documents he had.

We still don't know how many were restricted, confidential, secret, top secret, or just plain chocolate wrapping paper.

He simply scattered them around an office he had in Washington and his Delaware home.

Nor do we know why we found out about the sin so late, with a press that we have so shrewd.

The first batch was found on November 2, 2022, six days before the midterm elections, and it was not until January 9, 2023, two months later, that CBS published the news.

Then followed those of the second batch, those of the third, those of the fourth, and those of the fifth batch.

A sequence of surprises where the biggest, at least for this columnist, is that he had some for 15 years, when he was vice president of Barack Obama.

And Pence… well, Pence is Pence.

Always Pence, in the permanent background, even if it is in a scandal, with his immutable face as a quiet second son.

The same face with which he assured the CBS chain that he was sure that "everything" had been returned upon his departure from the vice presidency.

What will they look for?

Well, that's how it was, dear Mike, they searched and found classified documents!

Greg Jacob, Pence's attorney, excused Mike from authorities, saying that "the vice president ... was unaware of the existence of confidential or classified documents at his personal residence."

Trump has made no excuses.

Because Donald is sure that he has never done anything wrong.

Like him, he must be convinced of possessing the infusa scientia, that is, the divine wisdom to solve things that mere humans are forbidden to do, such as declassifying secret documents, when he sees fit.

And as they say, the law is blind, or appears blindfolded, holding a scale, always balanced, to be fair in its verdicts.

But it is also true that there are certain types of bandages and scales to be able to manage them when the need arises.

Since 2005, the Department of Justice has investigated at least eleven cases involving US citizens for misuse of classified documents.

All eleven were charged and brought to trial.

Ten received prison sentences and only one, that of Kendra Kingsbury, awaits sentencing.

Remember Kristian Saucier, that sailor convicted of taking some silly souvenir photos inside a nuclear submarine?

I bet that none of our three famous investigators will serve a day in jail, nor will they spend a day on trial.

The National Archives, faced with the current scandal, have asked all living presidents and vice presidents to check their drawers, libraries and garages to see if they have any classified documents, obviously forgotten by their naive will.

The National Archives are, by mandate of the United States Congress since 1934, the registry of historical and governmental documents of the American nation.

Your responsibility is to obtain them, classify them and guard them jealously.

control them.

It has close to 3,000 employees, but the current situation indicates an unacceptable lack of control.

How is it possible that there are documents already classified, missing for 15 years from the National Archives and the National Archives have not denounced the fact or at least pronounced about it?

It's like a mockery of seriousness.

If I withdraw a dollar from a personal account, the most inexperienced bank notices, and if I owe it, they charge me.

The National Archives are part of an imperfect system:

each administration generates daily classified documents that must be delivered to the National Archives once the government ends.

In other words, there are documents being generated at this time that will only reach the archives when the administration delivers them.

There are some that do not reach the archives because they remain in the hands of other agencies with authorization such as the CIA or the NSA.

Where is the system control, in that case?

And what happens with already classified documents, which are removed from the National Archives, and do not return?


And what happens with already classified documents, which are removed from the National Archives, and do not return?


And what happens with already classified documents, which are removed from the National Archives, and do not return?

The National Archives are possibly guilty, possibly the biggest culprit, of what has happened these days, and what will continue to happen, if more documents from other previous presidencies miraculously appear, in addition to naive forgetfulness, or culpable conduct: ( [act, omission] That is reckless or negligent and originates responsibilities.) of the trio of the moment.

And none will receive punishment, unlike the ten convicted Americans.

Because as George Orwell said in his novel "1984": "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2023-02-02

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