Why Cheney Isn’t Following Executive Order
One of his aides explains.
In a letter to Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), Cheney Chief of Staff David S. Addington wrote that the order treats the vice president the same as the president and distinguishes them both from “agencies” subject to the oversight provisions of the executive order.
Addington did not cite specific language in the executive order supporting this view, and a Cheney spokeswoman could not point to such language last night. But spokeswoman Lee Anne McBride said the intent of the order, as expressed by White House officials in recent days, was “not for the VP to be separated from the president on this reporting requirement.”
Addington did not repeat a separate argument that has been previously advanced by Cheney’s office: that it is not strictly an executive branch agency but also shares legislative functions because the vice president presides over the Senate. That argument has drawn ridicule in recent days from Democrats and on late-night television.
Oh! Now I get it. Cheney is all powerful. Why didn’t you guys just say that earlier?
By the way, I’ve written about this David Addington guy before. He’s pretty much a legal maverick in his views about the power of the Executive Branch, and the following is from my post about Addington…
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦this strategy rests on a reading of the Constitution that few legal scholars shareÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬?namely, that the President, as Commander-in-Chief, has the authority to disregard virtually all previously known legal boundaries, if national security demands it. Under this framework, statutes prohibiting torture, secret detention, and warrantless surveillance have been set aside. A former high-ranking Administration lawyer who worked extensively on national-security issues said that the AdministrationÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s legal positions were, to a remarkable degree, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œall Addington.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? Another lawyer, Richard L. Shiffrin, who until 2003 was the PentagonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s deputy general counsel for intelligence, said that Addington was ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œan unopposable force.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?
So let me get this straight…as long as terrorism exists, the Executive Branch can do whatever they damn well please because it can be dressed up as “in the interest of national security.” Good times.
Come on people…this defies basic logic and Addington knows it. But he, along with Cheney, have used the WoT to do things that no VP would ever dream of doing.
Very unfortuante behavior during times like these when we need to trust our leaders more than ever.