Skip to comments.Clinton says he wants 'whole record out'
Posted on 12/06/2001 12:47:02 AM PST by HAL9000
Though the mission of the Clinton Presidential Center will focus on building a better future, Bill Clinton said Wednesday that the library won't avoid the controversies that riddled his presidency when examining the past.
"Impeachment? Absolutely," Clinton said during an hour-long discussion with reporters. "One day we'll have some presidential historians who know something about what went on, who don't have such a vested interest in appearing on television.
"What I did was a matter of record, but what I want is the whole record out."
After Clinton broke ground on his $104 million presidential complex east of the River Market District, he went to the Old State House, where he first spoke with the History Channel's Roger Mudd and then met with local reporters.
He touched on several subjects, including the challenge of writing his memoirs, and expressed regret that U.S. soldiers died Wednesday in Afghanistan. Most questions focused on the future of the Clinton Presidential Center.
In past months Clinton received high-dollar offers to build his library elsewhere. The former president's graduating class from Georgetown University offered $30 million to move the planned facility to Anacostia, a part of Washington notorious for crime and urban blight.
"I was offered maybe even more to take it to New York," Clinton said.
But in the end, the big money and the delays over acquiring the Little Rock site didn't matter.
"I always wanted it to be here," Clinton said. "If it hadn't been for the people here, I never would have become president. I think that it's better to have these national assets dispersed throughout the country."
Far removed from the Oval Office, Clinton said he is having a good time writing his memoirs, but structuring the outlines and recalling events is more difficult than he expected. And his memory isn't as sharp as it once was, he noted.
"The project is under way," Clinton said of his writing, for which he is reported to be paid more than $10 million. "I've got all my records together. I've got an elaborate outline. I've got a system so that every time I remember something when I go somewhere, I write it down."
When he's finishing writing about his eight years as president, will he ever run for public office again? Perhaps for governor of Arkansas?
"I can't imagine that," Clinton replied.
And what about President Bush's recent executive order to deny public access to thousands of presidential papers despite a law that mandates they be open 12 years after a president leaves office?
"I'm comfortable with the current law and I intend to follow it," Clinton said. "I'm not criticizing. ... I'm just saying what I think the law ought to be, and people can do what they want."
Clinton said he wouldn't comment much on Bush's plans to try Osama bin Laden and other suspected terrorists in military tribunals rather than in open court. Some fear that such a system, intended to protect national security, eventually will erode freedoms.
"I just think that while this thing is going on, you should all comment about that and say whatever you believe about that. But I don't think I should," Clinton told reporters. "It's not the right thing for me to be doing right now. Maybe after some time passes, I'll have something to say about this."
Through his presidential library, scheduled to open in 2004, Clinton said he wants to pursue several initiatives from his administration, such as racial and religious reconciliation, the fight against the AIDS epidemic in Africa, and economic empowerment.
He's working on many of these goals now, he said, noting he's already focusing on New York City's economic recovery as well as India's.
"I have done a lot of work in India through a foundation I set up with the Indian-American community ... to help rebuild western India after the earthquake," Clinton said. "I hope [it] will change the future for all of the parts of India."
Meanwhile, from his work with former South African President Nelson Mandela to start an AmeriCorps program in that country to his efforts to promote racial tolerance, Clinton said he keeps busy.
"In January the [Clinton library] foundation may have its first religious reconciliation conference," Clinton said. He didn't say where the conference would be held, but it would focus on Islam and the modern world in light of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Former presidents are among an elite group that has unique opportunities and resources to reach out and help people, Clinton said.
"So I'm not going to wait until this library opens."
Copyright © , Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved.
Oops, my mistake.
Guess this means Alan Dershowitz is out. He's probably curled up in a fetal position, crying his eyes out over this snub.
Silly Bill...that's not "whole"...but rather "hole"...
I think he means the first "CAIR Gets to Write Press Releases for the Clinton Library Conference"
I would be greatly surprised if CAIR and the AMC weren't running the show at this "reconciliation" conference.
It will be a "Christians Apologizing for Defending Themselves During the Crusades and Apologizing for the Weather" conference. Everything will be the Christians' fault, and they (the Christians Xlinton invites) will be there to grovel on their knees before a bunch of Imams (and denounce right-wing Christians). MEGA-BARRRRFFFFF!!!
Knowing who made this statement, this may indicate his library may turn into a porn exhibit, limiting access to adults over 40.
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