By LibbyUpdated below
In the world according to Dick Cheney, the rule of law stops
just outside his door. Now back in the days when Veeps did little but attend state funerals and kiss babies at fundraisers while the president was busy governing this wouldn't have been as great a matter of concern. However, as investigations reveal Cheney as a chief architect of all of our Clueless Leader's disastrous policies of imperialism and remains a prime instigator for permanent mayhem in the Middle East, to the point where he is apparently coniviving behind the scenes to force Bush into an insane military confrontation with Iran, his shameless pissing on the constitution cannot safely be ignored.
His latest dodge of oversight underscores the danger.
Since 2003, the vice president's staff has not cooperated with an office at the National Archives and Records Administration charged with making sure the executive branch protects classified information. Cheney aides have not filed reports on their possession of classified data and at one point blocked an inspection of their office. After the Archives office pressed the matter, the documents say, Cheney's staff this year proposed eliminating it.
According to the twisted logic of Dick's il-legal team, the VP is not accountable to anyone. Not to the people, not to the Congress, not the judiciary and not even to the unitary executive. Their argument seems to be that since the office belongs to everyone, it really belongs to noone but the person holding the office.
But this is just his latest assault on the people. How much does Cheney hate us? Let us count the ways. Jesse Lee at the Gavel
provides a link to oversight committee's letter
to teh big Dick and kindly provides the list of pertinent bullet points for the pdf adverse.
He doesn't want us to know how he handles classified information.
We're not allowed to find out who advises him on policy planning.
He doesn't want to tell who pays for his secret jaunts.
Who works for him in an official government capacity is none of our business. Nevermind that we pay their salaries.
Who he meets with on official business is too much to ask.
And thanks to an order signed by Bush, providing a sort of pre-emptive pardon for his criminality, he can carry his black secrets to the grave. He never has to tell us a bloody thing.
Meanwhile, the LAT
connects the dots on the timing of when Cheney decided not to co-operate with a long-standing policy.
According to documents released Thursday by a House committee, Cheney's staff has blocked efforts by the National Archives' Information Security Oversight Office to enforce a key component of the presidential order: a mandatory on-site inspection of the vice president's office. At least one of those inspections would have come at a particularly delicate time — when Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and other aides were under criminal investigation for their suspected roles in leaking the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.
That's a key point. He fully co-operated for the first two years of the Bush reign, but once he figured out how to co-opt the system to his own benefit, he's started singing, "Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do." It also explains a lot about why he's so keen on maintaining a state of permanent chaos in the Middle East. As long as he can keep the "necessity" of secrecy in a time of war fiction alive, he can protect his prodigious butt and he clearly doesn't care how many have to die for his lies in order to keep his sorry ass out of the slammer.
Another good reason to get out Iraq now I'd say. The toxic mold of the neo-cons' grand plans thrives under the fog of war. Exposing them to the broad sunlight of peaceful co-existence might destroy the slime that destroyed our former tranquility, once and for all.Update:Steve Benen
catches the White House presser and finds Bush is unwilling to claim Dick as part of the executive branch. The White House finds this an "interesting" constitutional question and open to debate. Spokesmouth Perino thinks Waxman is a bad boy for making a fuss over it.
As Steve so adroitly puts it, "So, the problem here is that Waxman believes the Bush administration should enforce its own rules?" Think Progress
catches another choice clip from the presser.
[Perino] repeatedly said that Cheney exempt from a mere “small portion” or “small section” of the executive order, and that President Bush never intended for the executive order to apply to Cheney any differently than it applies to the president’s own office.
Perino later contradicted herself: first, she stated definitively that Cheney’s office is “complying with all the rules and regulations regarding the handling of classified material.” But when questioned how she could be sure, Perino said it was a “good question” and admitted she isn’t “positive” that his office is in compliance.
The White House thinks the VP holding himself above the law is "a little bit of a non-issue." I guess that's no so surprising considering the Bush administration built it's unitary power based on ignoring any and every "small section" of the laws they find incovenient.
The only remaining question here really is, how many little sections of the law do they get to ignore before they're held to account? We don't need to impeach these bums. We need to indict them before they do any more damage.
Labels: Cheney, ethics, national security, rule of law, unitary executive theory