I’m still too busy laughing at the recent insistence of the Office of the Vice President (with the tacit blessing of the President) that Dick Cheney is above the law (as usual) to comment on it. This time, Cheney and Addington argue that OVP is above the law of handling classified information, because the office of the vice-president, which John Adams and numerous others have regarded as the epitome of a do-nothing post when they held the office– is super-special and part of the legislative branch! Hey, whatever gets you above the law, right?
This LATimes piece, “No veep is an island”, more or less summarizes the silliness of it:
Cheney’s rejection of mandatory inspections required of all federal offices to make sure they are properly protecting top secret documents defies basic standards of good government and common sense. And his argument that he needn’t comply because his office isn’t part of the executive branch is specious. Moreover, after clashing with the National Archives’ Information Security Oversight Office, which conducts the routine inspections, Cheney’s vindictive staff reportedly tried to abolish the unit. That’s like trying to disband the Internal Revenue Service for demanding a tax audit. Has the veep taken leave of his senses?
Unfortunately, Cheney’s behavior is entirely in keeping with his long-standing views on executive powers, executive privilege and the divine rights of vice presidents. He also has championed policies that have shredded American privacy rights in the name of national security, with methods that have included warrantless wiretaps, e-mail and postal-mail snooping, monitoring library withdrawals, mining data on the telephone and buying habits of millions of citizens and the expanded use of national security letters. But Cheney has been vigilant in defending his own privacy rights. The vice president’s office has been operating in stunning secrecy for six years.
Of course, until Congress decides to impose discipline– such as, oh, impeachment, or cutting off funding to his office and staff, or passing a law requiring the Vice President to behave in conformity with the rest of the Government and American society… just expect more of this crap.
Or, more to the point, as my Bush Countdown Calendar tells me… 576 days to go…