Wow, not part of the executive branch? An amazing position from a Vice President who is constantly exercising his 'executive privilege' to maintain the secrecy of his actions.
Does this remind anyone else of Nixon's famous quote: "when the president does it, it's not illegal..."?
We all remember from school, the three branches of our federal government: executive, judicial, and legislative. Well now, there is a fourth branch. It's called the "Secret Dick Cheney branch." Why would Dick declare that his office is no longer an entity of executive branch? True to form, to avoid oversight and accountability.
But wait a second... according to the White House website, the executive branch consists of the President and the President's Cabinet. The White House clearly states that the Vice President is part of the President's Cabinet. So, indeed the Vice President is officially part of the executive branch but ... tricky Dick has withdrawn from it and formed his own private branch of government - the"Secret Dick Cheney branch."
Why would Cheney break away from the executive branch? Reason - to exempt his office from the presidential order that establishes government-wide procedures for safeguarding classified national security information. Why would he do that if he acted appropriately and safeguarded classified national security information? Obviously, Cheney has something to hide. A clear violation of the Presidential Records Act. Hmm, wonder if this has to do with those secret erased emails? I see a pattern. Cheney has tried to abolish the agency that tried to oversee him - the Information Security Oversight Office of the National Archives, according to documents released by Congressman Henry Waxman.
Under the executive order - the Presidential Records Act, executive branch offices are required to give the Information Security Oversight Office at the National Archives the data on how much material their office has classified and declassified. Cheney's office provided the information in 2001 and 2002, then stopped. Starting in 2003, the vice president’s office began refusing to supply the information. In 2004, Cheney blocked an on-site inspection by the Information Security Oversight Office, a unit of the National Archives. Such inspections were routinely carried out across the government to check whether documents were being properly labeled and safely stored.
Henry Waxman, chairman of the committee, said Cheney's office claims it need not comply with the
"Your position was that your office 'does not believe it is included in the definition of 'agency' as set forth in the Order' and 'does not consider itself an 'entity within the executive branch' that comes into the possession of classified information"The Vice President's office's refusal to comply with the executive order and the National Archives's request prompted the National Archives to file a complaint with the Attorney General's office. But the Justice Department has not followed up on the Archives's request.
-- National Archives summary of Cheney's chief of staff David Addington response to the National Archives request for information
In his letter to the Vice President, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Henry Waxman writes:
"I question both the legality and wisdom of your actions. ... It would appear particularly irresponsible to give an office with your history of security breaches an exemption from the safeguards that apply to all other executive branch officials ... Your decision to except your office from the president's order is problematic because it could place national security secrets at risk."Waxman and the House Oversight Committee has prepared an excellent document on this pattern of deception and efforts to avoid accountability:
THE VICE PRESIDENT’S EFFORTS TO AVOID OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Isn't it great that we can find our own president's lies and the VP's efforts to avoid accountability on an official US government website? We're living in a great country.
"Don't need no shadow man, runnin' the government. "BREAKING: NEW YORK TIMES STORY on Cheney's efforts to avoid accountability and retaliate against those government agencies that try to oversee his actions.
-- Neil Young, Living With War CD