Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Is Dick screwed?

I posted about this last week, and the story isnt going away anytime soon, not with the Washington Post’s 4-part series about Vice President Dick “President” Cheny having just concluded this morning.

Cheney obviously thinks he is above the law and can do no wrong, and that seems to have risen the ire of House oversight chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA), who has revealed some damaging new evidence that both Cheney’s office and the White House have “
flaunted multiple requirements for protecting classified informationand that those go far beyond the violation of the executive order reported that I wrote about last Thursday.

White House deputy trainwreck press secretary Dana Perino stated last Friday that Bush and Cheney are “
complying with all the rules and regulations regarding the handling of classified material.”

Uh… I think Mr. Waxman would disagree with that statement Ms. Perino.

Waxman wrote a letter to White House Counsel Fred Fielding in which he detailed the administration and their habit of repeatedbly breaking their “
own guidelines for securing classified information.”

Mr. Waxman pointed out three such incidents…

  • The White House Security Office (WHSO) who, like The National Archives, is supposed to ensure that White House officials comply with the requirements for protecting classified information had their security officers blocked . Waxman states that WHSO employees “have been blocked from conducting inspections in the West Wing of the White House, where most of the President’s most senior advisors work.”

  • Even though the “deliberate or negligent disclosure” of classified information can be a “disqualifying” condition to receive security clearance, White House advisor Karl “President 2” Rove has had his security clearance renewed “and not altered in any respect” despite the fact he admitted that he publicly disclosed Valerie Plame’s status as a CIA officer.

  • The management at the White House Security Office has been unwilling to “take actions that could embarrass White House officials,” which has been “condoned” by the White House. Waxman points to an example where the office ignored security breaches that were reported by the Secret Service or CIA agents, and gives a specific example of the time a “White House official left classified materials unattended in a hotel room. (oops)

Waxman has been trying to arrange interviews with White House officials overseeing security matters but those requests have always been ignored, but now Waxman says that if interviews are not granted, he will bring a motion to subpoena the officials on June 28th.

And to add more deliscousness to the troubles Dick Cheney is having is Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), who has announced that he will
introduce an amendment aimed at cutting off funding to Cheney’s office. Said Emanuel on MSNBC;

“[Cheney] is acting like he’s unaccountable to anybody…and he’s taking an unbelievable step saying he’s not a member of the executive branch, he’s a member of the legislative branch, therefore he doesn’t have to provide information. … So I said, If that’s your logic, then we shouldn’t be funding you through the executive branch. Either Wednesday or Thursday my amendment will be on the floor, because the funding for the executive branch is on the floor. And I’ll strike the money for the Vice President’s Office. He can live off the Senate presidency budget that funds him up here. And that’s fine. But if he’s going to be funded in the executive branch, he complies with the rules that apply to everybody. He is not above the rules of the executive branch.”
Sucks to be a Dick this week, doesn’t it?

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