SECRECY….Via Andrew Sullivan, Mark Silva of the Chicago Tribune writes that Dick Cheney refuses to follow the orders even of his own boss:
A standing executive order, strengthened by President Bush in 2003, requires all agencies and “any other entity within the executive branch” to provide an annual accounting of their classification of documents….Explaining why the vice president has withheld even a tally of his office’s secrecy when such offices as the National Security Council routinely report theirs, a spokeswoman said Cheney is “not under any duty” to provide it.
Other executive agencies have complied with the order, but not the OVP. Not only does Cheney think he can ignore congressional legislation, he apparently thinks he can ignore executive orders too.
Read the whole thing for an excellent rundown of the vastly increased secrecy that George Bush has imposed on the federal government since he took office. (Not just since 9/11. Since he took office.) And while you’re at it, read today’s Boston Globe article about Bush’s startling fondness for presidential signing statements that assert his authority to ignore, among other things, “military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ‘whistle-blower’ protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.” And remember: these are complaints about laws passed by his own party.
For more on this, including links to some more detailed analysis, check out my post on the topic of the “unitary executive” from last January.