Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Tuesday, 10.21.2014
Classifieds
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9
 10  11  12  13  14  15  16
 17  18  19  20  21  22  23
 24  25  26  27  28  29  30
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local




Members Of



Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Jun 29,2007
Absurd claim reflects Bush's recklessness
by The San Diego Union-Tribune

President George W. Bush has pushed to expand the scope of executive authority in unprecedented and often reckless fashion. From decreeing the United States could detain anyone anywhere in the world without due process, to using "signing statements" as a policy line-item veto on major legislation, to unilaterally setting up a covert, quite possibly illegal mass surveillance system, the Bush White House's assault on convention has been relentless. Nevertheless, even by this administration's standards, the recent reports that Vice President Dick Cheney essentially considers his office to be a fourth branch of government, accountable to no one, are astounding.

For four years, Cheney has defied an executive order - issued by Bush himself - requiring that executive branch agencies demonstrate they are handling classified information with proper security and care. Cheney contends that because he also nominally serves as president of the Senate, his office is not part of the executive branch. But, of course, Cheney also contends he is not part of the legislative branch and thus not subject to congressional oversight. In other words, the vice president is above the law.

This line of legal reasoning is so attenuated, so at odds with constitutional provisions requiring separation of powers and checks and balances, it would get an F-minus at the worst law school in America.

But, of course, Cheney (and Bush) know this. This was reflected in the White House's quick declaration that it not only agreed with Cheney that the vice president wasn't accountable to anyone, but that the White House was also exempt from the president's own directions to the executive branch. Bush, Cheney and their staffs are making it up as they go along. They simply don't care about the legal niceties.

Yet there may be other factors at play here beyond a determination to expand executive power. The vice president cooperated with requests that his office demonstrate it handled classified data properly in 2001 and 2002.

What happened in 2003 that might have prompted Cheney to escalate the walls of secrecy around his office? Many things. The leaking of information on CIA analyst Valeria Plame, which led to a prison term for Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's chief of staff. The emergence of allegations that the White House had manipulated intelligence reports to build support for the invasion of Iraq. The escalation of battles between Cheney and Attorney General John Ashcroft over the legality of the mass surveillance program.

The upshot: Cheney may well have sought more secrecy not just on (misguided) principle but to prevent damaging revelations. The combination of more power and less accountability encourages just such confusion between the national interest and self-interest.

Which, of course, is precisely why the Founding Fathers set up a federal government with authority divided among the White House, Congress and the courts. They knew the perils of concentrated power. Now we are learning this old lesson anew.

Reprinted from The San Diego Union-Tribune.

© Copley News Service

993 times read

Related news
Non-executive privilege by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch posted on Jun 29,2007

Cheney to testify in rights case? by UPI posted on Feb 04,2008

The four themes of the State of the Union by UPI posted on Jan 24,2008

House panel to subpoena Cheney aide by UPI posted on May 07,2008

Fire breaks out on White House grounds by UPI posted on Dec 20,2007

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 22 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County
Fairgrounds

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum

Advertisements



Deschutes County

Google  
  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
Advertisement
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?