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Thursday, September 02, 2004

That's Right, Rudy, They Don't Need To Know

According to a recent Village Voice article, New York's ex-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has transferred all of the city archive materials pertaining to his time in office to "The Fortress", a secure archiving location in Long Island City. According to Village Voice,

Virtually everything at the Fortress is public property, hijacked by the mayor in a secret agreement signed by George Rios, the city records commissioner he appointed. The agreement was executed amid a flourish of stadium and movie studio transactions for friends—on December 24, one of the final, busy days of an administration that departed with just as little regard for the law as when it governed. The 12-page contract was also signed by lawyer Saul Cohen, a longtime friend of Giuliani's, who lists himself as the president of the Rudolph W. Giuliani Center for Urban Affairs Inc., the institute incorporated on December 6 that now controls these records. The Voice obtained a copy of the agreement under the freedom-of-information laws after the Daily News reported the records transfer early this month.

Calling the "official papers" of Giuliani a matter of "great historical significance" and "unique value," the agreement acknowledges that "the documents are the property of the City" and that "under the City Charter," the Department of Records "is ultimately responsible for the preservation and organization" of these materials. Yet the contract conveys the records to a Giuliani nonprofit so new it has no board, no director, no site, and no identifiable archivist, permitting the center to catalog, organize, and "permanently" maintain them.

I am not 100% sure what all of that means, but I wouldn't be surprised if that essentially means that the public will hardly ever see or know what is stored at "The Fortress". And that includes the 9/11-related documents.

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