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Cheney Reinterprets the U.S. Constitution

September 8, 2008

Personal politics in the White House attempts to reinterpret the Constitution.

real appearance of impropriety

real appearance of inpropriety

Who would have thought it? Dick Cheney, sometime political maverick and vice-president of the United States is accountable to only himself or so he would have you believe. So what’s the story?

Cheney’s position is that his office is not part of the executive branch of government and is not beholden to turn over his executive records. Cheney warned the country back in 2003 with this assertion and his office has recently told Congress that the vice president belongs to neither the executive nor legislative branch of government, but rather is attached by the Constitution to Congress. This is a reinterpretation of Constitutional powers that Cheney believes will render him protected by the uniqueness of his office even as he presides over the Senate.

The vice president’s office has refused to comply on four occasions with an ethics in Government Act requirement that all executive branch agencies file reports on privately paid travel. The vice president’s office has refused to submit a staff list to Congress.

George Bush hasn’t made a direct comment lately, but issued an order in 2001 that the Presidential Records Act applies to the executive records of the vice president. Apparently, this law is supposed to mean that all records are public at end of a term of office, a law in place since Richard Nixon held office.

What is the muss and fuss about? In theory, millions of emails have somehow been discovered as missing. Cheney often acts as a rebel with attitude. A recovery effort is unlikely by the time Cheney leaves office. Once that happens, recovery is highly unprobable. Accountability groups are angry as hornets and one has sought legal action to prevent Cheney from destroying his records. Suddenly Cheney’s office has revealed that Cheney will turn over vice presidential records to the National Archives at the end of the term. No mention was made of missing emails.

Historians have reportedly wrote congressional leaders saying that the Presidential Records Act should be strengthened to include some kind of enforcement mechanism for violations. This nation doesn’t need more laws. The nation, including politicians, need to follow the valid laws that are in place and if necessary Congress needs to deal with Cheney. If he won’t comply with law, impeach him for official inpropriety. Let him know that he will face criminal charges if his office doesn’t comply, just like the law would any man. Choose freedom or the possibility of prison and Republican disgrace. Take your pick. Does Congress have the guts to force the issue? That is the question of the day regarding the political situation in Washington. ~ E. Manning

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