AFP World News
Politics, Friday, June 22, 2007
White House defends Cheney over security secrets
WASHINGTON – The White House on Friday defended Vice President Dick Cheney’s four-year-long refusal to divulge information about the handling of classified material, saying an executive order did not apply to him.
Cheney has not cooperated since 2003 with a government office charged with safeguarding national security information, despite a presidential order that says all executive branch entities must report annually on the information they keep secret.
According to official documents, the vice presidency believes that the order does not apply to it because it believes it is not a part of the executive branch.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said although she did not know why Cheney’s office stopped reporting the information the same year the US-led war in Iraq began, he was following the rules when it came to the handling of secret documents.
“The president and the vice president are complying with all the rules and regulations regarding the handling of classified material and making sure that it is safeguarded and protected,” she said.
“There’s no question that he is in compliance in terms of the meat of the issue, which is the handling of classified documents,” she said.
“This is simply a matter of a small portion of an executive order (EO) regarding reporting requirements of which he’s not subject to in the interpretation of the EO.”
The Democratic chair of a House committee that is investigating the matter, Henry Waxman, said Thursday that Cheney’s office conformed in 2001 and 2002 with requests to report on how much material was classified and declassified.
However, Cheney stopped cooperating after that and his office refused an inspection in 2004. When the Information Security Oversight Office pressed the matter, Cheney’s office recommended that it be shut down, Waxman said.
The Bush-Cheney administration has been an administration of criminal conduct worthy of impeachment. They have betrayed democracy and have relied on lies, deceit, propaganda, and manipulation in a way that would have been worthy of a totalitarian regime.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeating it.” (George Santayana)
This nation can’t afford a “repeat performance” by the next administration.http://www.polidics.com/images/cheney/cheney-daily.flv
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