Or at least so sayeth Judge Royce Lamberth today in DC:
White House visitor logs are public documents, a federal judge ruled Monday, rejecting a legal strategy that the Bush administration had hoped would get around public records laws.
The ruling is a blow to the Bush administration, which is fighting the release of records showing visits by lobbyist Jack Abramoff and prominent religious conservatives.
Access to the White House have been an extremely touchy subject with the Administration. For years, citizens have been trying to learn the comings and goings of Jack Abramoff and his lobbying team, prostitute-cum-journalist Jeff Gannon, Dick Cheney's Energy task force and others.
The White House has stonewalled at every turn and tried every tactic they could think of. Like retroactively changing the logs from public view/access to "Presidential Records." Like handwriting the names of all visitors to Dick Cheney's house and giving him the final copy. And fear of being caught even led stalwarts like Karl Rove to conduct his business outside of the White House on street corners. And last week, the Administration went so far as to say, well, there may be other records about Abramoff's visits, but providing those details would endanger the President's own personal security and the effectiveness of the Secret Service to protect him.
What's to hide?
Will today's ruling finally shine some light on the matter?
Oh, hello again Jack. How are the kids?
Bush "has one of the best memories of any politicians I have ever met," Abramoff wrote to Kim Eisler of Washingtonian magazine. "The guys saw me in almost a dozen settings, and joked with me about a bunch of things, including details of my kids."
Photo Credit: Citizens For Ethics in Washington