Sunday, June 24, 2007

Dick Cheney: the unitary (vice) executive ?

From the Washington Post:

Across the board, the vice president's office goes to unusual lengths to avoid transparency. Cheney declines to disclose the names or even the size of his staff, generally releases no public calendar and ordered the Secret Service to destroy his visitor logs. His general counsel has asserted that "the vice presidency is a unique office that is neither a part of the executive branch nor a part of the legislative branch," and is therefore exempt from rules governing either. Cheney is refusing to observe an executive order on the handling of national security secrets, and he proposed to abolish a federal office that insisted on auditing his compliance.

Cheney's obsession with personal privacy and security is legendary. After 9/11 it was the vice president who fled to an undisclosed location, vanishing from the public eye for most of the next 2 years. And while you can easily find high resolution satellite images of the White House, the Pentagon, military bases and nuclear reactors, the historic residence of the Vice President has been absurdly pixelated.

Cheney's refusal to follow the rules governing national secrecy (which exist to ensure those secrets aren't deliberately or accidentally released), show that he believes the president is his subordinate, not the other way around.

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