History will not be kind to Dick Cheney. The man is the single greatest force behind America’s plummeting international standing, the shredding of the U.S. Constitution and increasing insecurity at home and abroad. Many of us have suspected that his actions have come at a high price (the death of habeas corpus, illegal domestic wiretaps, leaking covert CIA agents’ names to the press, etc.), but recent findings have revealed what might be the height of Mr. Cheney’s hubris regarding the rule of law. Evidently the Vice President of the United States doesn’t consider himself or his office part of the Executive Branch.
Cheney’s penchant for über-secrecy has caused the Vice President’s office to claim they are exempt from Executive orders that pertain specifically to THEM. He doesn’t feel the need to comply with a law stating he must report his handling of classified information to an office created expressly for this very purpose. Yep, I’m not making this stuff up, Cheney is basically arguing that he can ignore whatever laws he wants, simply because it suits him. As Dana Milbank of MSNBC reports, Cheney holds to the dictatorial position of the “Unitary Executive Theory” which basically sates the Executive branch is unassailable and can do whatever it chooses. The founding fathers must be somersaulting in their graves.
Now Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) is fighting back. He is in the process of introducing an amendment to the the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill to cut funding for Cheney’s office. Says Emanuel of Mr. Cheney’s extraordinary claim:
“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. However, if he demands executive branch funding he cannot ignore executive branch rules.”
Yep, that sounds about right. Should also help clarify if Cheney’s office really enjoys the protection of Executive Privilege that he so tightly clings to. Either he has it and must comply with Executive branch rules, or he doesn’t and we get to see his meeting notes for all those White House energy meetings. So, which is it gonna be, Dick?
UPDATE: Why am I not surprised that the only person on Fox News Sunday’s weekly panel to take Cheney’s side was Weekly Standard editor, William (the Bloody) Crystal? Thank God Juan Williams laid the smack down on him for Fox’s viewer-ship. Even Britt Hume knows what Cheney is doing is nonsense, and that is saying something. Watch the video at Think Progress