Making Government Operations More Open

Provide free, online access to the Watergate Report and all other investigation reports

Unlike reports for the 9/11 Commission, the Columbia Shuttle Accident Investigation and other taxpayer-funded investigations, the Senate Select Committee Report on the Watergate investigation is not available in its entirety, free and online. Even the commercially published version of the report is unavailable at many public libraries and bookstores (in part because it's out of print). This is a national tragedy because the Watergate report covered much more than the break-in at the Watergate hotel. It also described the Nixon administration's efforts to politicize government and silence dissent. Many of the individuals involved in the activities investigated went on to powerful positions in society and government.

 

The Watergate report is a poster child for free public access to government-produced reports, particularly older reports. With rare exceptions (classified information). all reports of investigations funded with taxpayer dollars should be available free of charge, online and in public libraries. Reports like the Watergate report, that relate to significant historical events should be scanned into electronic format and made available at no cost to citizens online.

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Idea No. 425