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The Rogue State of Dick Cheney


As you all know by now, Vice President Dick Cheney has asserted that his office is not bound by certain sections of a presidential executive order that seeks to protect national security information generated by the government. Under the order, offices of the executive branch are required to give the Information Security Oversight Office regular reports on how much material they classify and declassify. Cheney's office provided the information in 2001 and 2002, then stopped.

Cheney's argument is essentially that his office isn't part of the executive branch and is, therefore, not required to comply. Cheney's imaginative argument is that because the vice president also serves as president of the Senate, his office is not part of either the Executive or Legislative branches of government. Consequently, it isn't subject to rules governing the Executive branch, nor the much more restrictive Senate rules when it comes to the handling of classified documents! Really folks, you can't make this stuff up!

So now, as Raw Story reports, Rahm Emanuel has moved to cut funding for Cheney's office:

Following Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that his office is not a part of the executive branch of the US government, Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) plans to introduce an amendment to the the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill to cut funding for Cheney's office.

"The Vice President has a choice to make. If he believes his legal case, his office has no business being funded as part of the executive branch," said Emanuel in a statement released to RAW STORY. "However, if he demands executive branch funding he cannot ignore executive branch rules. At the very least, the Vice President should be consistent. This amendment will ensure that the Vice President's funding is consistent with his legal arguments."

At a press briefing yesterday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino said that Cheney's assertion that he operates outside of the executive branch of government was "an interesting constitutional question that people can debate" and a "non-issue."

On Thursday, Emanuel suggested that if Cheney feels his office is not part of the executive branch "he should return the salary the American taxpayers have been paying him since January 2001, and move out of the home for which they are footing the bill."

Cheney is clearly not a judge so he can't be part of the Judicial branch. He's hasn't been elected or appointed to a seat in the Senate and doesn't have the status or privileges of a Senator. And, if he's not subject to rules governing the Executive branch then he can't be vice president either since the vice presidency is an integral part of the Executive branch according to the US Constitution.

The only conclusion we can come to is that Dick Cheney is a rogue state all unto himself. A rogue state shouldn't be receiving taxpayer funding, it shouldn't receive the protection of the Secret Service and it shouldn't be allowed to fly on Air Force Two. Cheney has clearly just maneuvered himself right out of the US government and the office of the vice president.

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Comments (8)


"At a press briefing yesterday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino said that Cheney's assertion that he operates outside of the executive branch of government was "an interesting constitutional question that people can debate" and a "non-issue."

Here's a brief retrospective on Cheney for the liberals out there. He's been accused of everything evil under the sun. He is, according to his critics, the most evil man in politics. He has also done very little to take on his critics. He's accused of lining his pockets with Halliburton cash and secretly operating as President while his boss acts like putz.

You guys need to take a deep breath and consider something else: Cheney and Bush simply don't care what their critics think. In fact, that disregard has been taken to a new level: their refusal to acknowledge their critics has become a bold KMA statement. Republicans have sufferd from this response more than Dems as evidenced by the frequent pleas from his own Party that President Bush and VP Cheney engage more in the debate. The 2006 Elections are a keen example.

What we are seeing is an Executive (not to be confused w/ Cheney's legal defense; he simply could care less) that has focused on one mission. Defense of the US. That is the legacy he has chosen. Remember his rebuke to Rumsfeld after 9/11: "Don't let this happen again."

That one commandment has driven all policy and political decisions (except the immigration reform debate, where The President is simply wrong). Why else would a President let himself be so singularly minded on one objective to the detriment of his Party and a Majority?

BTW, I agree with the President and Vice President on the above w/ the exception of the immigration reform bill.

Paul Hamilton:

Hugh, with all due respect, you sound like a classic example of the person who is willing to give up liberty for the illusion of security. Are you actually willing to just let Cheney be a power unto himself, answerable to no one just because he's said that security is is primary concern?

Paul Hamilton:

Larkin, that's a very imaginative argument about cutting off Cheney's funding. It will be interesting to watch him tie himself in a knot trying to argue two contradictory notions.

Or maybe he'll just go to the senate floor and tell ALL of them to go f--- themselves.

That would be interesting, too. :)


"Are you actually willing to just let Cheney be a power unto himself,"

Certainly not. Let the legal process move forward and let justice prevail.

I take exception to your phrase "illusion of security"...there is no illusion here. There is the reality that, thank God, we have not had a major attack on our homeland since 9/11.

As I stated above, Bush and Cheney have subordinated much of their domestic agenda (including winning elections) toward accomplishing this goal.

Steve Crickmore:

Let the legal process move forward and let justice prevail.
HughS..You have better faith in the administration of the Justice Department and the protector of laws and constitution of the land, enabler Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales than I do?..Well let's just see what Gonzales' position is on the Cheney dispute, whether Cheney's office is considered part of the executive branch? Gonzales aides say "it has been under review" for the past five months-- but they can't find any documents on the matter that the letter from Leonard, the chief of the Archives' Information Security Oversight Office generated.


I think Cheney's legal argument is a bad one. Here is a quote from Glenn Reynolds, who lays it out much better than I can:

"None of this is to say that the President can't, in his own capacity, decide to apply different rules to the VP (who, after all, is an elected official, unlike cabinet secretaries, NSC staffers, and the like) if he chooses. But that's a different issue entirely from the "legislative official" angle. Like a lot of the Bush Administration's arguments, this is one that would make an interesting law school paper topic, or law review article, but that is politically idiotic and legally self-defeating. It's reminiscent, as one of Capt. Ed's commenters notes, of the Clinton Administration's effort to stall Paula Jones' lawsuit by claiming that as Commander-in-Chief the President is a serving member of the military. Clever, in a way. But definitely not smart."

My main point is that I don't think Cheney is going to give up anything without a fight for reasons I state about above in my post about him and the President. Given the vitriol between them and the Congress/MSM, nothing will happen easily; their legal argument is a one finger salute to Congress.

As to Gonzales, I can't see Bush firing him. Will Gonzales support Bush on this matter? Of course he will. This is a political fight.

Ryan D.:

So, did you have a problem with Sandy Berger, I wonder?

Or do you just selectively search out republicans?

Ron Holland:

Cheney acts as if he is above the law.

Dick Cheney is the power behind the throne. Of course, he and Bush believe they are exempt from Presidential Executive Orders.

Still, Presidential Executive Orders during the War on Terror can be used by the executive branch to further destroy the Constitution and our liberties.

Read the Final Presidential Executive Order from the online book, "The Swiss Preserve Solution" at http:// www.swissconfederationinstitute.com/swisspreserve14.htm


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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