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Tilting at Windmills

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June 21, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

ABOVE THE LAW....A few months ago I briefly mentioned Dick Cheney's refusal to comply with the federal requirements on document classification and declassification activity that every other executive office has to comply with. Cheney's office said the matter had been "thoroughly reviewed," and I figured that meant that "David Addington has written a memo saying Cheney doesn't have to do anything he doesn't want to."

Wrong! Apparently they didn't even bother doing that much — at least not publicly. ThinkProgress has an update:

To resolve the matter, the ISOO wrote Cheney's chief of staff David Addington on two separate occasions in summer 2006, disputing the claims made by Cheney's office and requesting that the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel settle the matter. Cheney's office ignored both letters.

There's more at the link.

Kevin Drum 1:24 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (125)

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Comments

"that every other executive branch..."

are there more than one executive branch? is that like "the internets"?

Posted by: supersaurus on June 21, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure glad we have a stiff-spined Congress that's not willing to let these flagrant violations go and and on without calling Bushco on their lawlessness.

Posted by: shortstop on June 21, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

There are exactly two executive branches -- the Office of the VPOTUS, and everyone else.

Posted by: Disputo on June 21, 2007 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

"They ignored the request."

Why the hell not. That's been a perfectly successful MO for virtually every individual, agency and politician in this administration to follow because when they fail to respond....NOTHING HAPPENS!

Nobody challenges them, nobody subponeas them, nobody presses them to clarify.

Hell...Alberto Gonzales, Paul McNulty, Brad Stolzman, Monica Goodling, Lurita Doan, Condeleeza Rice....

You can add to the list....if they have testified...they clearly lied...and if they didn't, nobody seems to be pressing them to do so.

But what the f...k....we got a Democratic Congress that thinks the only answer to the shrub's refusal to accept timetables and benchmarks in return for cash to keep running a war that is chewing up scores of lives every month and surging to new levels of chaos with no cohesive plan in sight.....is to let him have his wish.

Gimme a few more Friedman Units....I know the end must be in sight somewhere!!!!!!

Posted by: dweb on June 21, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney's making Spiro look good.

Posted by: Robert on June 21, 2007 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Bush and Cheney looked at the Constitution, saw that the only check there was impeachment, instructed Unca Karl to not ever let Dems get within' snorting distance of sufficient votes, dropped their drawers, painted their heinies blue, waggled them at the world, and then proceeded to do what they damned well wanted to. Traditions and restraint be damned.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on June 21, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney's not above the law? Prove it!

Posted by: slanted tom on June 21, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

I don't blame the Democrats.

If they do not bend down on their knees to plaintively ask Cheney and other members of the executive branches to comply with their requests for information, they will be branded as being soft of terrorism and national security, and they will lose the elections, thus losing the power to bend down on their knees to plaintively ask Cheney and other members of the executive branches to comply with their requests for information.

Posted by: gregor on June 21, 2007 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Good post. The Carpetbagger Report had something on this today, too.

I posted this yesterday about the candidates, for anyone who hasn’t seen it. A couple things I’d just like to qualify- although I’m assuming Bloomberg wants to enter, I think I was jumping the gun by calling him “the money candidate” in that it’s an open question whether he’ll really get decided corporate/finance/upper-class support. Another thing I left out but that is important to mention is that the Democrats got very unfavorable questions in their first debate, which tended to be in the form of “devil’s advocate” style set-ups (i.e., what do you have to say about hedge funds- almost hoping Dems won’t have heard about the Edwards story and will indavertently bash their fellow Dem) while the Repubs were given favorable questions in their debate (i.e., do you think it is okay to use torture on a terrorist-suspect if it will help stop an imminent terrorist attack).

Posted by: Swan on June 21, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Well hell, Kevin. Bush’s signing statements have encouraged law-breaking by federal agencies. The tone starts at the top. When you have a criminal in charge, everyone down the chain of command is going to feel compelled to behave like a criminal. Until the Dems find the balls to impeach these bastards, nothing will change.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 21, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK
Cheney's office said the matter had been "thoroughly reviewed," and I figured that meant that "David Addington has written a memo saying Cheney doesn't have to do anything he doesn't want to."

You arent wrong as much as not taking the proposed memo litterally. Cheney probably didnt want to respond to the ISOO either.

Probably Addington did write such a memorandum and it covers both the issue of classification AND the responding to the ISOO.

Cheney probably feels he neither has to comply with the law or go through trouble of justifying his decision not to comply with the law.


Posted by: Catch22 on June 21, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Sometimes, when it all gets to be too much, I pull volumes from my geek-sized collection of Watergate books and read selected passages in a reverential whisper. It both saddens and comforts me to know that this country once held its executive branch to the standards of the law, and that abuse of power, criminality and subversion of the Constitution actually resulted in removal from office and/or imprisonment for the perps.

Just kidding about the whisper, but the rest is true.

Posted by: shortstop on June 21, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

It both saddens and comforts me to know that this country once held its executive branch to the standards of the law.

This country still does. Republicans once did. Now, not so much.

Posted by: Gregory on June 21, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's time to get the axes and pitchforks and storm the castle...

Posted by: elmo on June 21, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's time to get the axes and pitchforks and storm the castle...

I'm sure the FBI will be very interested when I report this direct threat against the POTUS and VPOTUS, elmo.

Posted by: "Charlie" on June 21, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

The Vice President is uniquley positioned because it has both legislatice and executive qualities. It really is a hybrid. THere is no other government office like it and in that respect it is unique.

Cheney's robust usage of the office I believe is actually good for the government and returns the office to the station for which I believe it was at first intended for. Rather than a withered government bueracrat collecting a paycheck, Cheney has been instrumental in assisting Bush in his management and policy development. This is good, because the Vice President is now in the postition to accept some of the political blowback, and therefore makes the president's office less suspectable to the whims of polling experts and demigods.

But, of course, anything that helps Bush is richly ridiculed by the Bush haters, so the persecution of Cheney, who is an elderly and frail man, is more than contemptable.

Posted by: egbert on June 21, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Just don't say "Charlie" three times. That's two.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 21, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Bwa ha ha! Does the third time raise him from where he rots in his shallow grave?

Posted by: shortstop on June 21, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

But, of course, anything that helps Bush is richly ridiculed by the Bush haters, so the persecution of Cheney, who is an elderly and frail man

It beats the hell out of me why everyone doesn't love egbert like I do.

Posted by: shortstop on June 21, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

The Vice President is uniquley positioned because it has both legislatice and executive qualities.

No it doesn't, jackass.

But, of course, anything that helps Bush is richly ridiculed by the Bush haters, so the persecution of Cheney, who is an elderly and frail man, is more than contemptable.

Now *that's* funny!


.

Posted by: spork_incident on June 21, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

I have my tomato vines growing on a legislatice.

Posted by: Disputo on June 21, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Where are the moderates and conservatives voice shouting out that this just is not right? The only way this will be challenged along with all of the other lawlessness (at best the weird reading of the constitution and the take on Executive power) of this Administration is for a few good moderates to come to the front and demand some answers. But alas such wishing and hoping is about as futile as wishing and hoping to play french horn in the Chicago Symphony.

Posted by: jonwash on June 21, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

and therefore makes the president's office less suspectable to the whims of polling experts and demigods.

I'm sure both John Zogby and Hercules will be dismayed at this development.

Posted by: tRex on June 21, 2007 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Where are the moderates and conservatives voice shouting out that this just is not right?

They're scheduled to speak out against executive overreach in January of 2008.

Posted by: Disputo on June 21, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure the FBI will be very interested when I report this direct threat against the POTUS and VPOTUS, elmo.

Oh, I'm so scared...

Posted by: elmo on June 21, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Shouldn't that be legislattice Disputo?

But that was good, you made my day just turn all sunny!

Posted by: optical weenie on June 21, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

sorry, that should of course be Jan 2009.

Posted by: Disputo on June 21, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

It is more that Cheney does not view the Office of the Vice President as part of the normative state, but the state extension into, or interface with, the crooked world.

Posted by: cld on June 21, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

The heat's been killing all my legislettuce.

Posted by: Disputo on June 21, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Dick Cheney’s office makes any excuse it needs, no matter how anti-constitutional, illegal, unprecedented, or absurd to avoid accountability. They do not believe in democratic transparency. Transparency was created by your enemy to undermine your position. At least that is how ‘conservatives’ would use it. They believe in doing whatever it takes to get what you want- what you know is right- even if it is illegal. That is what they mean by ‘principled conservatism”. This is an enduring characteristic of a certain mindset that came into American government, for the most part, with the Nixon administration.

They do not believe that government exists to better the whole nation or that transparency is consistent with democratic principles. They believe in the all against all struggle where everyone is in competition and only the most brazen and daring can win. Laws are for the masters to impose upon the losers.

Posted by: bellumregio on June 21, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

egbert: "Cheney's robust usage of the office I believe is actually good for the government..."

Yes, it's rivaled only by his robust use of your anus. Just keep smiling!

Posted by: Kenji on June 21, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it should be 2008, so we forgive you.

Posted by: Trollhattan on June 21, 2007 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone notice Chuckles, posting as "Jake," on that thread. Just as hilariously obtuse as ever.

Loved the fake Chuckles here, by the way:

"I'm sure the FBI will be very interested when I report this direct threat against the POTUS and VPOTUS, elmo."

LOL... That is exactly what the original Chuckles did a long time ago -- claiming that he had reported me and another poster here to the Secret Service. There were only two problems:

1. He cited the wrong law.

2. He completely misread and misinterpreted the actual law.

When this was pointed out to him, instead of admitting his mistake or just ducking out, he spent an entire thread trying to defend himself in his own inimitable, drama queen, way, invoking, among other things, the assassination of JFK.

Normally, I have to pay for comedy that good.

Posted by: PaulB on June 21, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Back on topic, the really sad thing is that unless someone actually stands up to this administration, these de facto "rulings" on the limits of executive power and Congressional oversight will stand.

Posted by: PaulB on June 21, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

elmo, that was just me, funnin' with you. I couldn't resist a good old-fashioned hysterical Chuckles post.

When this was pointed out to him, instead of admitting his mistake or just ducking out, he spent an entire thread trying to defend himself in his own inimitable, drama queen, way...

Just like Nathan does. Their knowledge of the law is about equal. I'd never spoof Nathan, though, although he has been known to hijack my handle when we're pounding his arguments into a pulp. Quel loser.

Posted by: shortstop on June 21, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

The Office of the Vice President has asserted that it is not an entity within the executive branch and hence is not subject to presidential executive orders.

!!!!!!!!!

Which branch of government does Mr. Cheney believe he belongs to?

Posted by: Mark S. on June 21, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Back on topic, the really sad thing is that unless someone actually stands up to this administration, these de facto "rulings" on the limits of executive power and Congressional oversight will stand.

That's a huge concern. People who are thinking, "Well, the corrupt bastards' term is almost up, and then we'll go back to rationality!" aren't considering how the lack of real challenge to all this stuff sets precedent--if not legal, at least political.

Posted by: shortstop on June 21, 2007 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

What an interesting argument from Cheney's office. If we take it at face value though then Cheney has just declared that Executive Privilege does not apply to him and the actions of his Office since he has now stated that the OVP is not a part of the Executive Branch. It will be very interesting to see how they try to square that particular circle, especially given the OVP reliance on Executive Privilege to block access to things like the 2001 Energy meeting attendees that he claimed was protected by Executive Privilege.

Did that inherent contradiction even occur to them or did they simply presume that it doesn't matter because whatever they say or do is unchallengeable which has been their de facto pattern of governing since taking power in 2001. I have to say this argument is one of the better examples of someone trying to eat his cake and have it that I have seen in some time.

Posted by: Scotian on June 21, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Scotiano, come stai?!

Posted by: shortstop on June 21, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

The whitehouse web page says that vp is member of president's cabinet and cabinet is executive branch.

Posted by: optical weenie on June 21, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

They're going to say that since they're not part of the Executive Branch, and their status isn't defined in the Constitution, Congress can't have any oversight capacity.

Posted by: cld on June 21, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop:

?!?

"Scotiano, come stai?!" You will need to provide defintion here because you have me completely baffled with this one.

Posted by: Scotian on June 21, 2007 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure glad we have a stiff-spined Congress that's not willing to let these flagrant violations go and and on without calling Bushco on their lawlessness.

Hey! Buck up camper! They DO do something. Something big, again and again and again. They send letters. They just zipped off another one of those babies to Dick asking him to please explain his astute reasoning on why he is outside and beyond the law. A LETTER. Get it? How would YOU like to receive one of their letters, eh?

They have sent letters up and down the hallways of the Whitehouse. TAKE THAT BUSH! Here's ANOTHER letter fer ya! How do you like them apples?

I wouldn't be surprised if this latest little bitty episode of extraconstitutional illegal shenanigans (Rush Limbaugh would call them "fraternity pranks") bought Dick a certified letter. Ouch!

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on June 21, 2007 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian, just sayin' hey.

Funny, Praedor! Or possibly they'll hand-deliver this missive to show they really, really mean business this time.

Posted by: shortstop on June 21, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

I assume it has occured to some of you that Cheney's claim of being above or beyond the rules because his office is a hybred means that he can tell top secrets at will to his neocon friends without the slightest consern for the damage they or the professionals who spy upon them might do with the information. The same can be said about the RNC email contraversy. The single dumbest thing about this bunch of incompetent yahoos is their pathelogical assumption nobody is trying to read their mail.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 21, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

!!!!!!!!!

Yes. Wouldn't a coup d'etat normally be front-page headlines?

Oh, well. Going back to sleep now.

Posted by: skeg on June 21, 2007 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

The whitehouse web page says that vp is member of president's cabinet and cabinet is executive branch.

Gawd, I certainly hope the WH isn't that daft.

Posted by: Disputo on June 21, 2007 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney won't even release a list of the people who work for him. On the page of the handbook it should be is the above-mentioned theory that the Office of the VP isn't really executive or legislative. Apparently, it is the sole entity of the fourth branch of government nobody in America has ever discovered until now.

It's hilarious, if it weren't so tragic.

Posted by: joshua on June 21, 2007 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop:

AH! I get it now, sorry about that, the expression you were using is not one I have heard recently and it slipped my mind. Once you explained the meaning suddenly I heard it in my head. Nice to see you too, and I suspect I will be hanging around a bit more over the summer, if nothing else I need a break from the insanity that has become Canadian federal politics under our own Cheney/Rove fusion, PM Harper. I did not include GWB because whatever else Harper is he is not the puppet of a strong ideologically dominant figure behind the scenes, he is that ideologue himself, and a Straussian one at that since his Calgary School of political thought is strongly influenced by the same Leo Strauss that formed the basis of the neoconservative movement in America. I added the Rove element because Harper is also a big one on dirty tricks and anything goes sleazy political acts. Look up the Grewal recordings fraud of May-June 2005 for a classic example.

As regarding Cheney himself, is anyone really surprised? Given that President Cheney has been the power in this Administration all along using GWB as his figurehead and as his shroud of secrecy to hide all that he has done to pervert and destroy the American non-partisan judiciary, prosecutorial service, Interior Service, indeed every aspect of the Executive branch this latest contradictory claim is consistent. Basically Cheney doesn't feel he answers to anyone and will use whatever reason suits him best at the time no matter how factually wrong, no matter whether it inherently contradicts prior positions. For Cheney is nothing if not first concerned with power and nothing else.

I would not be surprised if historians record this Presidency as the Cheney Administration and not the Bush43 Administration given who has always clearly been the dominant force within this Administration while it still had any real political capital/power to exert. Nowadays Cheney's power is on the wan (although still potent, just not as extremely so as it was is all) as the Bush Presidency is shown to be at best a lame duck if not a dead duck politically speaking. I always feared what he was doing behind closed doors, and given all that has come out in the past half year about how the Administration has turned the legal system into an extension of the GOP political arm those fears were alas justified. Indeed, I strongly believe that as much has been revealed already it is only the tiniest tip of a very massive iceberg even now in terms of the damage done to the basic institutions America and Americans have relied upon to act first for the Constitution and rule of law instead of the rule of a particular party/person.

Posted by: Scotian on June 21, 2007 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Little Dickie Bird was busy in helping denying global warming
...Tim Dickinson writes in Rolling Stone: "It is no secret that industry-connected appointees within the White House have worked actively to distort the findings of federal climate scientists, playing down the threat of climate change. But a new investigation by Rolling Stone reveals that those distortions were sanctioned at the highest levels of our government, in a policy formulated by the vice president, implemented by the White House Council on Environmental Quality and enforced by none other than Karl Rove...
He sounds more like the Chief Executive.

Posted by: Mike on June 21, 2007 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

impeach him, now.

Posted by: jim on June 21, 2007 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Easy solution: take away all Federal monies that support the VP, no salary, make him pay rent on the house and offices for his staff, make him pay his staff's salaries, etc. No compliance with Federal regs, no Federal money.

Posted by: Mazurka on June 21, 2007 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

If Bush and Cheney are above the law, why stop there?

Why not have, say, the Secretary of the Interior issue a "signing statement" stating that he will permanently run his department, any "orders" from the White House to the contrary notwithstanding ( and declaring null any effort by the President to remove him. )?

And why not have some FBI agent issue a "signing statement" stating that henceforth he will conduct searches according to standards that he, himself, deems to be appropriate?

Indeed, I right now am - on Kevin's blog - issuing a signing statement asserting that henceforth I will not be bound by the speed limit but rather will travel at the speed I deem to be appropriate.

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on June 21, 2007 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Waxman is not amused.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 21, 2007 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

"the lack of real challenge to all this stuff sets precedent--if not legal, at least political"

Yes, which is why so many liberal activists want the Democratic Congress to challenge the bastards and get this settled in court, once and for all. While on some issues, there is a real chance of an Alito-led court supporting the Bush administration, on most of them, including this one, I don't think there's a chance in hell of them supporting Bush and Cheney.

And, yeah, the idiots will have stepped down by the time it's settled, but it will be, in fact, settled, and the next power-hungry administration to come along will have a great deal of difficulty asserting this kind of nonsense.

If Cheney wants to insist he's not a member of the executive branch because he has legislative branch responsibilities, then that places him in the legislative branch, which means that Congress has even greater oversight privileges (and a lot more). Either way, he loses.

Posted by: PaulB on June 21, 2007 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the Vice President's office ought to suck it up and fill out the paperwork, but I can undstand the impulse.

I once wrote a study analyzing the cost and effectiveness of a civilian company's proposed service to the DOD, using the company's own proprietary data. Because I had used classified material in the analysis, the final report was labled "SECRET - Unclassified when classified attachments are removed." It was a simple matter of derivative classification - the report itself was carefully written to remain unclassified.

Over some years, I supplied the report, without the classified attachments, to numerous DOD commands and agencies. After an ISOO audit, I had to justify each and every release of the report, despite the fact that I had never included the classified attachments after making the initital presentation to my chain of command. What with reassignments and misfilings, it took quite a long time to track down all those reports. And the most fun was justifying all the correspondence I had over the course of a year with the company whose information I had used to write the report.

Posted by: trashhauler on June 22, 2007 at 7:21 AM | PERMALINK

Here's another example of classification fun. The conversation is between me and a security boffin in the Pentagon:

Boffin: "You mean to say that XXX number of temporary contractors were given classified information during the deployment to XXXXX?"

Me: "Well, yes. You see they all needed access to the information so we could deploy the troops in time to go to war. It was for their own safety. No problem, though, they were all screened in accordance with the established procedures and given temporary security clearances."

Boffin: "But nobody has the authority to issue those temporary clearances but our office!"

Me: "Don't worry, we were operating under authority issued by your office. Here's the authorization letter."

Boffin: "No you weren't! We've been reorganized and that letter is from our predecessor office. See the letterhead?"

Me: "So? Your office performs all the same functions, doesn't it?"

Boffin: "So, we changed the rules and you can't do that."

Me (getting a bit miffed): "Well, too late, now. We already did. Anyway, it was two years ago, under the old office."

Boffin: "Well, we'll need a report about this. In the meantime, your organization better not do that again."

Me (now getting pissed): Do what? You mean, go to war? Because we need those contractors to perform our mission.

And on and on and on....

Posted by: trashhauler on June 22, 2007 at 7:49 AM | PERMALINK

Here's another example of classification fun. The conversation is between me and a security boffin in the Pentagon:

Listen here, you moron: the Pentagon is fighting a war. They need all the support they can get. Here you are, coffee cup in one hand and donut in the other hand, giving them grief. If it were possible to create the perfect example of why bureaucrats such as yourself should be REMOVED as soon as they demonstrate such willful ignorance and incompetence, I would submit your tirade against the people fighting this war as that perfect example.

Outrageous. And you take money for doing such work? Money from the private sector? Or money sucked directly out of Uncle Sam's dry teat?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 22, 2007 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

"And you take money for doing such work?"
______________________

Some days, not nearly enough.

Posted by: trashhauler on June 22, 2007 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

If Cheney wants to insist he's not a member of the executive branch because he has legislative branch responsibilities, then that places him in the legislative branch, which means that Congress has even greater oversight privileges (and a lot more). Either way, he loses.

No, no, I think the model Cheney's office is using is a virus...neither alive nor dead, and no known cure.

Just kidding. Of course I agree with all you say here. I am eagerly awaiting Congress noticing that Cheney's new self-classification effectively strips him of the executive privilege he uses and abuses.

Posted by: shortstop on June 22, 2007 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

This should be a MUCH BIGGER STORY...but, I'm betting, it won't be. My vote may go to the first candidate that uses some of their $$$ to make up and hand out XXLARGE t-shirts with the growing list of Bush outrages! Make that XXXXlarge to give room for all...at the very least SOMEONE should keep a running list and add to it and put it out there over and over again...Silly me, that would get in the way of talking about Hillary's voice, Obama's wife, Edwards' haircut, Rudy's expertise, Romney's fakeness (?), and McCain's demise...

Posted by: Dancer on June 22, 2007 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

This is my personal attempt at the inevitable Onion article about this:

VICE PRESIDENT DECLARES VICE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE SOVEREIGN NATION
New nation to be referred to as Veepotuswana

In a move that stunned the Washington establishment, Vice President Dick Cheney today declared the office of the Vice President a new country that he referred to as Veepotuswana.

His Chief of Staff and former legal counsel David Addington released a statement in which he explained that the Office of the Vice President had decided, “after a close and thorough reading of the U. S. Constitution”, to “finally fulfill the true intent of the Founding Fathers” by declaring themselves an independent country.

During a press conference after the release of the statement, Addington acknowledged that while the move was bound to be controversial, those who opposed it were clearly, “Democrats with no respect for the U.S. Constitution or concern about national security playing yet another round of Washington political theater.” When asked by ABC’s David Gregory if this move meant that the Vice President would still maintain executive authority within the United States of America, Addington responded that yes, of course, the constitution had established for this as well, and furthermore, “Hey David, hello? Duh.”

Cheney’s staff is reportedly at work setting up a U. S. Embassy in the Vice President’s office, as well as one of the largest U.S. military bases outside of the U.S. Halliburton was also reportedly being given a multi-billion dollar contract for what Addington referred to as “reconstruction” within the Office of the Vice President, or as it is now known, Veepotuswana . Reports that the CIA was setting up secret prisons, known as “black sites”, in the Vice President’s offices, went unconfirmed. When pressed by Helen Thomas about the rumors of the secret CIA torture prisons, Addington responded, “Helen, let me introduce you to the new national motto of Veepotuswana: “Go f*ck yourself.”

According to Addington, details of the new nation’s constitution were still being hammered out, but he did confirm that it would not provide for either a judicial or legislative branch. “We’ve seen what the liberal media can do with such tools available to them. Do we really want to repeat such a failed experiment?”

Buzz in conservative outposts was overwhelmingly favorable concerning the new move. John Podhoretz, in National Review’s blog The Corner declared, “It’s about damn time.” Conservative columnist, radio personality, and self-acclaimed constitutional expert Hugh Hewitt applauded the Vice President’s office on the move, claiming, in a prolix, incomprehensible and largely self-congratulatory essay, to have come to the same conclusion regarding the constitution years earlier.

Posted by: RFritz on June 22, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Hugh Hewitt applauded the Vice President’s office on the move, claiming, in a prolix, incomprehensible and largely self-congratulatory essay.

Umm, I guess he doesn't understand that applauding the Vice President for openly defying the President destroys any and all myths Hewitt and company have created for Bush. I mean it was Shrub who updated and reissued this executive order. So much for the unitary thingy.

This is how the dems should frame it and then get out of the way. Even Fox News couldn't resist a "Bush vs Cheney?" headline.

After that all the dems have to do is cleanup up aisle five. That's where Bush's shattered presidency will be laying.

Posted by: Daryl Campbell on June 22, 2007 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK
Which branch of government does Mr. Cheney believe he belongs to?

Presumably the legislative, since the only Constitutional authority or role the Vice President has, other than his standing around hoping to succeed the President, is to preside over the Senate.

Actually its not that much of a stretch to argue that the VP, except when he is Acting President, is, Constitutionally, in the Legislative, not Executive Branch.

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