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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/3/23

This document has been declassified

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Bob Gaydos
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Classified intelligence material found during search of Mar-a-Lago.
Classified intelligence material found during search of Mar-a-Lago.
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org), Author: United States Department of Justice)
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By Bob Gaydos

With a tip of the hat to the late, great Jimmy Cannon. "

"- Maybe it's just me, but: I'm happy to report that, after an exhaustive search of my file cabinets, mini-safe, closets, boxes that never got unpacked from the last move, junk drawer and basement, I have no classified government documents in my possession. I think.

I'd say I was 100% certain, but recent news stories suggest that such documents are turning up where people least expected them to be. Like in the homes and offices of former vice presidents, including one who is now president. I did my own search after the National Archives asked all living former presidents except Jimmy Carter to check their home files. Even though I never worked for the federal government, I just wanted to be sure because, you know, I'm a patriot. Plus I wanted to make sure no one planted any of those sneaky little documents only because I used to work for newspapers. Can't be too safe these days.

Having said all that, I'm willing to chalk up the recent discovery of a few classified documents in the home offices of Joe Biden and Mike Pence to sloppy packing up by staff when both men left office. Nothing nefarious going on, especially since lawyers for both men apparently reported the presence of the documents as soon as they were found. No one even knew they were missing.

That's completely different from the Trump document story. Not only did he deny having any documents at his Mar-a-Lago golf course/home, he ignored requests from the National Archives to return them, ignored a subpoena, accused the FBI of planting classified documents, had his lawyers sign papers saying there weren't any more documents left on the premises after the FBI raid (there were), and even asked to have them returned. He also claimed to have "declassified" them. Plus, he had boxes upon boxes full of hundreds of sensitive documents at a golf resort frequented by foreign nationals, not a quiet, private office.

So, no, cry and try as Republicans might to make the Trump document story equivalent to Biden's, it won't fly.

Obviously, the National Archives, which must be at least slightly embarrassed by all these reappearing "missing documents" they didn't know about, needs to review its record-keeping practices, and the whole matter of what gets "classified" should also be reviewed. By the way, Carter got a pass because the law about not taking these documents home took effect after he left office. But I'm guessing he probably had a couple gathering dust in Plains, Ga., too.

"- Maybe it's just me, but: Despite all the jokes being made, I find the George Santos story sad on several levels. Sad that an individual (Santos) could be so mentally and emotionally messed up that lying is as natural to him as breathing. Sad that the state of politics in America today is such that someone like Santos could be elected to Congress. Sad that House Speaker Keven McCarthy is so devoid of moral principles and courage that he won't demand that Santos resign. On the other hand, I am encouraged that Republicans in Nassau County on Long Island, where Santos was elected, are angry and embarrassed and are not only urging him to resign, but actually investigating some of his lies. A glimmer of hope for a party mired in cynicism.

"- Maybe it's just me, but: Philadelphia versus Kansas City is a legitimate championship game for the National Football League, even though KC got a break on that last call on the push out of bounds and Philly got a big break when the Forty-Niners lost their starting quarterback right at the start. Two legit survivors for the crown.

"- Maybe it's just me, but: When a six-year-old brings a gun to school and shoots a teacher, it's not only school staff that has some explaining to do on how it happened, but really, where were the parents in all this? A six-year-old, apparently an angry one, goes off to school with a handgun in addition to his homework? Some serious explaining and accountability is due.

"- Maybe it's just me, but: Ran across this brief item wandering through YouTube: "Cardi B says, 'Don't do butt shots.'" Umm, I'm a child of the '50s. Do I really need to know who Cardi B is? And what in the TikTok world is a "butt shot"?

rjgaydos@gmail.com

Bob Gaydos is writer-in-residence at zestoforange.com.

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Bob Gaydos is a veteran of 40-plus years in daily newspapers. He began as police reporter with The (Binghamton, N.Y.) Sun-Bulletin, eventually covering government and politics as well as serving as city editor, features editor, sports editor and (more...)
 

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