web analytics
November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Doctoring Official Documents

The current issue of Commentary magazine tells of sordid – and possibly criminal – Obama administration efforts to alter some files of the George W. Bush administration that refer to Jerusalem as being part of Israel. The article also adds a fascinating footnote to the much-publicized Zivotofsky case.

It will be recalled that, pursuant to a federal statute that required the State Department to list “Israel” as the country of birth of U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem if so requested, the parents of Menachem Zivotofsky applied for that recordation on his behalf.

The State Department denied the request on the grounds that the U.S. does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that such a designation would be tantamount to U.S. recognition and therefore an unconstitutional Congressional intrusion on the powers of the president in setting American foreign policy.

However, the Commentary article, “Capital Offense: The Obama Administration and its Jerusalem Problem” by Omri Ceren, reports that in the course of the litigation in the matter, and shortly in advance of its Supreme Court phase, the Obama administration seems to have “scrubbed” Bush-era documents to eliminate existing references to Jerusalem as part of Israel, apparently fearing the references would belie its position on the significance of the passport designation. According to the article,

In August 2011, the administration was caught digitally altering archived historical documents of previous White Houses in order to suggest, falsely, that past administrations had had the same policy. The administration had erased parts of publicly available documents in a brazen attempt to trick people into thinking that other administrations had taken positions they had not.

When “the White House’s tactics sparked accusations of a cover-up,” writes Ceren, “the administration claimed [the references] were simply a mistake, and that neither the Obama administration nor any prior administration ever referenced ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ in official documents.”

However, Ceren continues,I uncovered several references to “Jerusalem, Israel” throughout the web pages of the George W. Bush presidency…. Politico later found dozens of documents stretching back to the Nixon administration, including the official daily diaries of presidents visiting the city, stamped “Jerusalem, Israel.”

Ceren said the documents he and Politico uncovered “were on archive servers beyond the administration’s control. But there were other servers, including those run by the State Department, that were within the administration’s reach” which related to pre-Obama presidencies:

There had been pre-Obama documents on the State Department servers that mentioned “Jerusalem, Israel.” Two documents listing the locations of American consulates, one from 2002 and one from 2003, placed the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem in “Israel.” Some time after the controversy began in 2011, somebody went back to those documents and scrubbed them to read only “Jerusalem.”…. Thus, while some administration officials were telling reporters and the public that there were no Bush-era documents referencing “Jerusalem, Israel,” other administration officials were busy scrubbing Bush-era documents referencing “Jerusalem, Israel.” Such digital alteration is no small task. Somebody at the State Department had to go back to the original 2002 and 2003 documents, convert them into PDF files, then upload the new ones to the State Department servers under the same file names as the old documents.

Federal law makes it a criminal offense to tamper with federal documents. In 2004, Sandy Berger, former national security adviser to President Clinton, narrowly avoided prison but paid a fine of $50,000 and lost his law license for pilfering archived documents.

Further, the position the Obama administration has presented to the Supreme Court and other federal courts is that the designation of Jerusalem as part of Israel would signify U.S. recognition as a matter of foreign policy. Yet the above-mentioned references to Jerusalem were made at the same time that previous administrations refused to officially recognize the city as part of Israel. This is a story with legs.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Doctoring Official Documents”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry .
NYT Ignores US Condemnation of PA Incitement, Prints Info on Ferguson Cop
Latest Indepth Stories
Kessim (religious leaders) mark the opening of a synagogue in the village of Gomenge, Ethopia, one of five built in Gondar with JDC aid, 1988
Courtesy of American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, New York.

In a world where people question whether they should be engaged, we are a reminder that all Jews are responsible for one another.

Greiff-112814-Levaya

My son is seventeen; he didn’t want to talk about what happened, or give any details of the Rosh Yeshiva’s words of chizuk.

Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri

All involved in the Ferguson debate should learn the laws pertinent to non-Jews: the Noahide Laws.

Charley Levine

Prominent Jewish leaders acknowledged that their predecessors had mistreated the Bergson Group.

Abbas has been adding new layers of rhetoric to his tactical campaign to de-Judaize Jerusalem

The Jew’s crime is his presence.

Hamas’s love for death tried to have as many Palestinian civilians killed as possible

Israel recognizes the fabrication called a Palestinian nation; So what do we want from the Swedes?

Arab attacking Jews in the land date back a century, long before Israel was created or in control.

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

Golden presents a compelling saga of poor but determined immigrants who fled pogroms and harsh conditions in their homelands for a better life in a land of opportunity.

It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”

Too many self-styled civil rights activists seemed determined to force, by their relentless pressure, an indictment regardless of what an investigation might turn up.

Unfortunately, at present, the rabbinate does not play a positive role in preventing abuse.

More Articles from Editorial Board

It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”

Too many self-styled civil rights activists seemed determined to force, by their relentless pressure, an indictment regardless of what an investigation might turn up.

Last year the Obama administration sought to minimize civilian deaths from drone strikes by generally requiring that missile attacks be limited to instances where Americans were directly threatened and there was a “near certainty” that no civilians would be killed.

If anything, Operation Protective Edge showed that Israel will not pull punches when it comes to combating terror.

Toward the end of Operation Protective Edge this past summer, the president was unusually vocal about Israel’s so-called disproportionate use of force and alleged lack of compliance with international humanitarian law.

There was no accompanying caption, but the cartoon could not help but feed the anti-Semitic canard that Israel was responsible for 9/11.

An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/doctoring-official-documents/2012/05/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: