Dick Cheney's new powers

If you have not read, Byron York's article, "The Little-Noticed Order That Gave Dick Cheney New Power," at:

then you probably know very little about what is happening to the Vice Presidency in this country.

Do you know what executive order 13292 is? Most people don't.

It breathtakingly expands the power of the Vice Presidency to something only the President had power to do. This includes being able to both classify and declassify documents independently of the President. The article above goes through the executive order, and then the chilling interview where it was revealed on Fox News to Brit Hume.
Read it now.

This power was given to him as a result of the "war on terror" in 2003 right after the "Mission Accomplished" banner was displayed. There was little coverage in the press.

But now with the President's pardon of Scooter Libby this week, Vice Presidential powers have come to the forefront. Not only did Cheney have the power to declassify the status of any CIA agent for any reason (including political), but he also has claimed this week that he doesn't have to tell us that he did it. Why? Because he actually claimed this week that he is not a member of the Executive branch.

What? Yes, that's right. The Information Security Oversight Office, which oversees the Executive Branch, has had to appeal to the Justice Department because, not only has Cheney tried to destroy their Office in the government, but Cheney has
repeatedly refused to comply with routine annual requests for data on his staff's classification of internal documents, and blocked onsite inspection of records that other agencies of executive branch regularly go through. Why? because he claims he is not a member of the Executive Branch.

No, I am not making this up. Cheney says that he is not part of the Executive Branch but instead part of the Legislative Branch because he can cast his vote to break ties in the Senate (of course that's when he's not there to tell other Senators from up on the podium to go f*** themselves like he did on 22 june 2004 with Sen Leahy).

So, let's put this all together. He has his own branch of government. He is immune to oversight by the executive, he can declassify or classify with the powers of a President. He can basically run the government by himself but has more freedom from checks and balances than the President himself.

And so the President pardons Scooter Libby, a convicted felon, who went through the legal process. In spite of the fact people died to support the rule of law, it was just dealt a huge blow by the Bush administration. And yet the Republicans wanted to Impeach President Clinton because he lied about sex. Where is their outrage now? In yesterdays CNN poll, 72% of Americans said that the President should not pardon Libby, and only 19% said they should. And yet, who cares what the American people think anymore?

As the Constitution hangs by a thread, the American people are closer than ever to letting that thread break. We have given almost unlimited power to the Vice Presidency, something never intended by the framers. Now, how do we get it back? Do Americans have the stomach to do the right thing in the next election?