Dick Cheney’s own branch of government

The White House has had to defend Vice President Cheney’s decision to opt out of a presidential order regulating the handling of secret information by the executive branch. Cheney’s reasoning: His office is not really part of the executive branch.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino insists that this is a “non-issue,” but the vice president’s effort to create a separate branch of government for himself has become one, and given congressional Democrats an opening to launch another investigation.

In 1995, President Bill Clinton issued an order intended to ensure that classified data was properly labeled and stored within executive-branch agencies, and established an Information Security Oversight Office within the National Archives to ensure that it was.

President Bush modified the order in 2003, which, coincidentally or not, was when Cheney’s office, which had complied in 2001 and 2002, stopped cooperating with the oversight office and blocked oversight investigators from the vice president’s offices altogether in 2004.

Following standard procedures, the oversight office appealed to the Department of Justice, where the matter now rests with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Cheney aides — in a hardball manner said to be typical of the vice president’s operatives — tried to have the appeals process eliminated. When that failed, they tried to have the oversight office eliminated altogether.

Bush is apparently OK with his vice president ignoring a presidential order. Cheney’s rationale is that because under the Constitution he is president of the Senate — with the sole duty of breaking ties — he is actually a member of the legislative, not the executive, branch.

Cheney might not want to push this line of reasoning too far. The Constitution gives the Senate and House — the legislative branch to which the vice president says he belongs — complete latitude in determining their rules and punishing offenders.

Does the Republican vice president really want the Democratic-run Senate laying down the rules for his office? On the other hand, with this administration you never know.


  1. Rick Fuller

    Vice-President Cheney has gotten himself into a mess – finally!

    Investigate the man and place him on trial once he leaves office – everyone knows the man is as crooked and as unethical as they come.

  2. kent shaw

    Better yet, sneak up behind him and shout BOO!! Hey, its worth a shot — he’s already had four heart attacks.

  3. SEAL

    Darth Cheney embraced the dark side of the force long ago and has had many years to build his personal legions, some of which turned our elections into a matter of who installs the electronic chips in the vote counting machines. From the beginning the plan was to get himself in the position that everyone ignores so that he could impliment his neocon agenda unimpeded. No one pays any attention to a Vice President. So he, together with Daddy Bush’s collection of dirt on certain jurists engineered the appointment of himself and the otherwise useless son of privilidge to the White House.

    With all the attention and blame for what he has been doing focused on the bumbling antics of young Bush, Cheney has quietly increased the power of his dark side to the point where he feels invincible. Unfortunately, no Skywalker has appeared to challenge him. And with only 18 months remaining, it is unlikely that the just barely rulers of the new empire have the power to bring him to justice. They may expose much of what he has done but it will be to no avail due to Cheney’s power to control key people and stonewall.

    Once again we will be witness to much ago about nothing accomplished other than political posturing in preparation for the next election cycle which is the primary thing our legislators do.

    I’m beginning to wonder if we would be smart to throw all the support we can behind the new kid on the block, Obama, so that he would not have to cater to the not so secret ruling powers in order to be elected. It would be nice to have a president beholding to the people for his power for a change.

  4. Steve Horn

    Dang – there’s that pesky constitution again – rearing its ugly head and keeping the Dick and Bubba show from being able to dominate the world all by themselves.

    Perhaps the CIA can do it’s extraordinary rendition thing to Cheney – a couple years at GITMO or in some other “torture free” zone would do him good.



  5. Lively Lady

    Cheney is between a rock and a hard place.

    If the Vice-President insists that his office is not part of the “executive branch”, then maybe, just maybe, Americans will finally know who attended the Veep’s clandestine meetings (Energy Task Force anyone?), his secret hiding places for said meetings, as well as the names and title of his staff.

    However, I would not be surprised to have him cite “executive privilege” for these “asks”, whereby defunding his office becomes the stick.

  6. www.nazilieskill.us

    Oil globalists never die. I wish they’d fade away.

    John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming

  7. UpChukker

    Naw…Let’s get clever about this. Many EE’s are capable of rigging an airport metal detector for Maximum Pacemaker Destruction. The result: a completely bloodless termination. His freeze-dried body could be placed in the Capitol Rotunda for a century as a contemplative example for prospective future VPs.

  8. almavro

    The president cannot complain about the VP creating his own legal rationale, no matter how contentious. In doing so, the VP is simply following the lead of his master, who does the same thing beginning with signing statements and continuing, ad infinitum.