The National Archives just released 20,000 pages of telephone transcripts from former National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger’s private files. Kissinger wanted the sensitive records to be made public five years after his death. But New York Times columnist William Safire, the non-profit National Security Archive, and others sued to open up the tapes sooner.
That pattern has repeated itself for the past twenty-five years, ever since a disgraced President Nixon tried to whisk his papers off to his retirement home. Franklin Roosevelt was the first president to give his papers to the country, but his successors have had mixed feelings about opening up their secrets for all to see.
Robert Dallek, Presidential Historian, author of a number of books about Presidents, including the most recent, “An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963.” Dallek is currently working on a book on Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger
Tom Blanton, Director of the National Security Archive, based out of George Washington University in Washington, DC
Sharon Fawcett, Deputy Assistant Archivist for Presidential Libraries.