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Friday, June 22, 2007

Dick Cheney Does Whatever the &*$! He Wants

Dick Cheney has decided he just doesn’t have to follow an executive order that requires reporting on how classified information is handled in any "entity within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information".

In theory, Cheney’s office should have been reporting what it does with classified information to the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), whose sole purpose is to ensure that the Executive Branch takes care in maintaining the integrity and secrecy of said classified information.

Since 2003 (same year that Cheney was given the authority to classify and declassify information...see below), Cheney’s office has refused to comply. They haven’t filed an annual report and they stonewalled attempts for an office visit. In fact, this past year, when the ISOO really started to put the hard press on Cheney’s office to file their missing reports, Cheney’s staff suggested that the ISOO be abolished all together (who really needs checks and balances these days anyway!). Cheney argues that since he is not only the Vice President, but also the President of the Senate, he is not governed by rules that apply to the Executive Branch, or seemingly any rules or laws at all for that matter.

The really funny thing is that the order that established the ISOO and requires this kind of reporting, is also the order that gave the Vice President the authority to classify and declassify information in the first place. In 2003, President Bush changed and re-issued an Executive Order first issued in 1995 by Bill Clinton to specifically include the Vice President in the very short list of individuals charged with the authority to classify and declassify information at will. And the VERY BEST part is that the exact line that gives the Vice President the power to determine the classification status of information, also identifies that he can do this ONLY when acting the capacity of a member of the EXECUTIVE BRANCH:

The authority to classify information originally may be exercised only by, (1) the President and, in the performance of executive duties, the Vice President.

Let me break this down for you, Cheney is part of the Executive Branch when he classifies or declassifies information, but apparently he is not part of the Executive Branch when he actually has to answer to somebody about what he has done with that power.

I would love to go visit Cheney’s office one day. I bet he uses classified documents as scratch paper. The report would be easy enough to write. Here, I'll do it for him:

Classified Information: Hid it from Congress or Leaked it.

Done and done.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucky for you, Lulu, Cheney also keeps secret who comes to visit him. Especially if they are there to talk about energy policy. We wouldn't want to know who's whispering in his ear on that one, now would we?

11:35 AM


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