"Revamping" is a euphemism. Another way to put it might be"gutting, with the long-term intention of completely destroying."
The ambition of the Bush crew to do away with the National Publications and Records Commission is not exactly a well-kept secret. But they keep meeting resistance, particularly, it seems, from Senator Byrd.
So now they resort to the clever expedient of undermining both peer review and the role of university presses in publishing collections of documents.
The new policies seem difficult to justify on scholarly grounds -- or even at the level of bookkeeping. We're talking about levels of funding comparable to what the State Department spends on gold-plated toothpicks and fancy napkins.
And yet the moves do make sense, of a kind.
Because, let's face it, the right wing has no great love of history (whether one means by that either the academic discipline or the dimension of reality). Nor does the present administration have any vested interest in its own internal documents ever becoming part of the public record.
Historians take note: Rumors that the Bush folks are incapable of long-term, rational decision-making appear to be greatly overstated.
When it comes to building a state-of-the-art Orwellian memory hole, they have skill to spare.