Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bush invents rule of implied intent

By Libby
Updated below

Now that Keith Olbermann exposed the White House's latest lie on the executive order regarding oversight on classified information that Cheney refuses to comply with, Bush has been forced to do a Texas two-step to explain it all away. Judging from the contradictory explanations though, it appears the White House could use some dancing lessons.
WASHINGTON — The White House said Friday that, like Vice President Dick Cheney's office, President Bush's office is not allowing an independent federal watchdog to oversee its handling of classified national security information.

An executive order that Bush issued in March 2003 — amending an existing order — requires all government agencies that are part of the executive branch to submit to oversight. Although it doesn't specifically say so, Bush's order was not meant to apply to the vice president's office or the president's office, a White House spokesman said.

Bush amended the oversight directive in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to help ensure that national secrets would not be mishandled, made public or improperly declassified.

The reporter apparently doesn't find it odd that the order "in response to 9/11" wasn't issued until two years later, around the time the first evidence that they had misused classified intelligence for political reasons in the Plame leak and mischaracterized intelligence to sell their war, began to surface. Me, I find that a rather damning coincidence. And I love this part:
"Our democratic principles require that the American people be informed of the activities of their government," the executive order said.
It's obvious to me this order was amended solely to facilitate their own investigations into who was leaking information that was damaging their carefully constructed facade of lies. Since they were convinced at this point that Rove's 100 year majority plan was going to work, it never occurred to them that it would force them to undergo scrutiny themselves, as spokesmouth Fratto makes clear.
"We don't dispute that the ISOO has a different opinion. But let's be very clear: This executive order was issued by the president, and he knows what his intentions were," Fratto said. "He is in compliance with his executive order."

Sure the order doesn't specifically exempt either Cheney or Bush, but Bush says he intended it to, so that's all that matters. We shouldn't be troubled by that pesky rule of law thing. After all, what are laws or the constitution but, as Bush himself put it, just a god-damned piece of paper. No oversight needed here. As the old joke on the sitcoms used to go -- Trust me. Have I ever lied to you?

Meanwhile, as we wait and wait and wait for Congress to take some meaningful action to shut down this criminal cabal, Rahm Emanuel offers the best response so far to Cheney's contention that he is his own branch of government.
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) said he plans to propose next week, as part of a spending bill for executive operations, a measure to place a hold on funds for Cheney's office and official home until he clarifies to which branch of the government he belongs. Emanuel acknowledged that the proposal is just a stunt, but he said that if Cheney is not part of the executive branch, he should not receive its funds. "As we say in Chicago, follow the money," he said.

How is that a stunt? I think it's a practical response. If Cheney doesn't belong to any branch of government, why the hell should we be footing his bills with tax dollars? Let him run his shadow government on his own dime. With all the money he's bled out of the treasury for his corrupt cronies, he can afford it.

Update:Ron Beasley at Gun Toting Liberal, who kindly links, Sully and Cernig all have something good to add to the discussion and I liked this, from Joe Cannon at Brad Blog a lot.
More than that. Dick Cheney has claimed "executive privilege" a number of times, most notably when asked to disclose his energy policy meetings. Legislators have no such privilege. May we see the documents now?

More than that. Do you know the technical grounds for the impeachment charges brought against Richard Nixon? Subpoenas. Nixon ignored them, and so he had to go. Any congressional committee may now subpoena anything it wants from Cheney's office. Not a single document in the joint is protected by executive privilege. Not a single person working under Cheney may claim executive privilege. Dick Cheney has made very clear that he is not part of the executive branch of government.

If Cheney does not comply, he becomes instantly and impeccably impeachable.
Meanwhile, Avedon provides historical background on how Nixon was impeached and some advice to Democrats and anyone who wants to save our country from this lying pair of thugs.

[Photo shameslessly stolen from Ron Beasley's own blog Middle Earth Journal.]

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Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Cheney has driven so many nails into his own coffin you'd think he'd never get out - but he does.

Wooden stake anyone?

10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

First we have to figure out the "undisclosed location" Fogg.

1:54:00 PM  
Anonymous rockync said...

The next 17 months are going to be very scary.There is no telling what the ticking time clock on this adminstration will prompt them to do.

2:25:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Indeed Rocky. It's time to be very afraid.

5:09:00 PM  

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