Society of American Archivists reproves the Hoover Institution for meddling in Iraqi affairs & controlling archives
The Society of American Archivists (SAA) and the Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) are deeply concerned about the whereabouts, current custody, and ultimate fate of records captured or otherwise obtained by the United States of America, and those removed by private parties, during the first and second Gulf Wars. SAA is the world’s largest organization of archivists, comprising more than 5,100 members from around the globe. ACA represents 600 archivists from Canada and internationally.
Archivists are professionals who are engaged in identifying, preserving, and making accessible the
historical and governmental manuscripts and records that document the cultural patrimony and political
accountability of localities and nations.
We are concerned about events related to archives and archival records that have transpired in Iraq
during conflicts involving the United States, and also about the precedents that these events may have
set for the conduct of the United States and other nations in future conflicts. We believe that the
American government has an obligation under commonly shared international agreements and its own
past practices to return to the lawfully established government of Iraq – with all deliberate speed – Iraqi
records now in its possession. Moreover, the United States government has the responsibility to
intercede, to the greatest extent possible, in ensuring the return of Iraqi records removed by private
parties during the conflicts. The U.S. should also intercede with its Kurdish allies in Iraq to return
records seized by their fighters from the Iraqi government and third parties....
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