For four years, Vice President Dick Cheney has resisted routine oversight of his office’s handling of classified information, and when the National Archives unit that monitors classification in the executive branch objected, the vice president’s office suggested abolishing the oversight unit, according to documents released yesterday by a Democratic congressman. Source: New York Times.
Our government is in the hands of dangerous, megalomaniacal people. That is not hyperbolic. And the most dangerous of all is Richard “Darth” Cheney.
We are in deep, serious trouble. We have domestic terrorists, fronting as a presidential administration. Cheney et al have burrowed their way to the heart of our country, and we are on the brink of total organ shutdown. More, unfortunately.
Get this. The Information Security Oversight (ISO) Office is the “unit” referenced above. And guess who’s going to rule on their objection. The Justice Department, aka the playground of Harriet Meiers and Alberto Gonzales. What’s wrong with THIS picture?
Henry Waxman (D-CA) is the one who publicly blew the whistle on Cheney’s attempt to shut down the ISO Office.
…After repeatedly refusing to comply with a routine annual request from the archives for data on his staff’s classification of internal documents, the vice president’s office in 2004 blocked an on-site inspection of records that other agencies of the executive branch regularly go through….
But the National Archives is an executive branch department headed by a presidential appointee, and it is assigned to collect the data on classified documents under a presidential executive order. Its Information Security Oversight Office is the archives division that oversees classification and declassification.
“I know the vice president wants to operate with unprecedented secrecy,” Mr. Waxman said in an interview. “But this is absurd. This order is designed to keep classified information safe. His argument is really that he’s not part of the executive branch, so he doesn’t have to comply.”
You can see where this is going, can’t you?
A spokeswoman for Mr. Cheney, Megan McGinn, said, “We’re confident that we’re conducting the office properly under the law.” She declined to elaborate.
Folks, “under the law” used to mean something in our nation of laws. But for the past 6½ years (the first egregious public action being the SCOTUS decision that resulted in the crowning of Emperor George), the law has become a tool of the Bush administration as it is tweaked, distorted, and often completely disregarded.
Cheney and his legal advisor (what, just one?) David Addington don’t think executive orders apply to Cheney’s office since it is both legislative and executive, per the Constitution. In other words, Cheney believes himself an entity separate from the law.
The dispute is far from the first to pit Mr. Cheney and Mr. Addington against outsiders seeking information, usually members of Congress or advocacy groups. Their position is generally based on strong assertions of presidential power and the importance of confidentiality, which Mr. Cheney has often argued was eroded by post-Watergate laws and the prying press.
The prying press? Give me a break. One of the principal reasons we’re in this abysmal mess is failure of the press to pry and report.
The NY Times goes on to say that Cheney started up with this mega-secrecy thing in 2003 by refusing to supply information and blocking on-site inspections that are “routinely carried out across the government to check whether documents were being properly labeled and safely stored.”
Read the article. It’s an Orwell on steroids scenario, only it's not fiction. And here’s my jejune question about all of this. If you have nothing to hide, why hide everything? Just asking.