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Posted by on Sep 9, 2008 in At TMV | 13 comments

What is Palin’s Position on Vice-Presidential Exemptions?

About one year ago, Rep. Henry Waxman noticed—not that it was hard to notice—that Vice President Cheney believed that his office is in a unique Constitutional position. That it is exempt from various government requirements that apply to every other branch of government.

Cheney’s claimed exemption, then, was on the requirement for executive agencies to report each year to the National Archives on the volume of documents that they classify or declassify.

At the time, Waxman wrote to Cheney:

It would appear particularly irresponsible to give an office with your history of security breaches an exemption from the safeguards that apply to all other executive branch officials.

Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, has said: “[Cheney’s position] undermines oversight of the classification system and reveals a disdain for presidential authority”…”It’s part of a larger picture of disrespect that this vice president has shown for the norms of oversight and accountability.”

Well, Cheney’s disrespect for the norms of oversight and accountability and for other government requirements apparently continues.

In a Sunday LA Times article, “Suit seeks to save Cheney files,” Christopher Lee of the Washington Post describes how:

Historians and open-government advocates are concerned that Vice President Dick Cheney, who has long bristled at requirements to disclose his records, will destroy or withhold key documents that illustrate his role in forming U.S. policy for the last 7 1/2 years.

Although, according to Lee, “Cheney has not disclosed his plans for his papers, nor has he argued publicly that any are exempt from the 1978 law,” Stanley I. Kutler, an emeritus professor and constitutional scholar at the University of Wisconsin Law School, and others, including the American Historical Assn. and the Society of American Archivists, “are not reassured,” and were planning to file a lawsuit to protect the people’s records from just one more of Cheney’s infamous pre-emptive attacks. Good for them!

Fortunately, we only have five more months of this Imperial Presidency and Stealthy Vice Presidency. But perhaps, someone should ask the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate how she feels about these issues…if we can ever get her to grant an interview to the common press.

Read full story here.

Footnote: By the way, has anyone seen our secretive VP lately? I wonder why he wasn’t at the Republican Convention. Someone told me he was in Georgia to announce a $1 billion package to help fix that state’s schools, hospitals, bridges, highways and other infrastructure. About time that we do something for our own country. Oops, sorry: Someone just told me I had the wrong Georgia. Oh well, our Georgia will have to wait until the next administration—if it is the right one.

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