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Cheney's Office Not Part Of Executive Branch?

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Check this craziness out…

The Oversight Committee has learned that over the objections of the National Archives, Vice President Cheney exempted his office from the presidential order that establishes government-wide procedures for safeguarding classified national security information. The Vice President asserts that his office is not an “entity within the executive branch.�

HAHAHA! I’m sorry, but how obscenely ludicrious is that? Not part of the executive branch? Are they out of their effing minds?

Here’s more background…

As described in a letter from Chairman Waxman to the Vice President, the National Archives protested the Vice President’s position in letters written in June 2006 and August 2006. When these letters were ignored, the National Archives wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in January 2007 to seek a resolution of the impasse. The Vice President’s staff responded by seeking to abolish the agency within the Archives that is responsible for implementing the President’s executive order.

So their fix is to get rid of the oversight agency tasked to enforce the law?

Amazing.

But this does say volumes about the Libby/Plame affair. If Cheney’s office doesn’t think they have to keep national security matters secret, well, does it make sense they’d be completely comfortable spreading around the identity of a covert agent? (Note: the story in question talks about not reporting what they classified and declassified to the archives, so this paragraph could be seen as misleading. My apologies.)

ABC News has more…

For the first two years of the George W. Bush administration, Cheney’s office complied with a presidential order that requires officials to report statistics on the number of documents it classifies and declassifies.

Since 2003, however, Cheney’s office has refused to submit the data to ISOO. And when ISOO inspectors tried in 2004 to schedule a routine inspection of the vice president’s offices, they were rebuffed, Waxman’s letter claims.

Other White House offices, including the National Security Council, did not object to similar inspections, according to Waxman.

So what changed? Hmm, could it be the election? I hate to be so cynical, but this is one power-hungry VP we’ve got here.

Thoughts?