The long awaited secret papers documenting Bill Clinton’s time in the White House were released Friday, but it was the role of then-first lady Hillary, now a prospective 2016 presidential hopeful, that attracted the most scrutiny.
The National Archives released more than 3,500 pages of internal memos, notes and other documents which were posted on the website of the Clinton presidential library.
Included are national security documents and notes that address key foreign-policy challenges of the era including unrest in Haiti, the slow response to atrocities in Rwanda, and terror strikes that preceded the attacks of September 11, 2001. Hillary Clinton’s friends and foes alike will search the files for insight on her role in her husband’s presidency, and how the new information might impact her reputation as she mulls a second run for the White House.
The September 9, 1993 transcript echoed the current debate over President Barack Obama’s health law known as “Obamacare,” which requires most Americans to purchase health insurance and which he rammed through Congress in 2010 with no Republican support.
Clinton critics quickly seized on the material, with the Republican National Committee highlighting a passage that eerily presaged what has become one of the biggest problems of Obamacare: the president’s promise that all Americans would be able to keep their doctors under the new law.
“We have a line on p. 10 (of a draft of the president’s January 1994 State of the Union address) that says ‘You’ll pick the health plan and the doctor of your choice,'” a White House aide wrote in a memo.
“I know that it’s just what people want to hear. But can we get away with it?” he added. “I am very worried about getting skewered for over-promising here on something we know full well we won’t deliver.”
The documents, released 13 years after Clinton left office, were withheld under legislation that allows presidents to prevent their disclosure for 12 years.
They are part of a batch of some 25,000 pages of documents cleared for release, according to Politico, which has pressed to obtain the material since January 2013, when the exclusion expired. Such documents can be declassified through Freedom of Information Act requests and more releases are expected in the coming weeks.
~Rebel Rebellion III%