Sunday, June 24, 2007
Finally someone is getting some cajones and standing up to the Bush administration: my congressman, Rahm Emanuel.
As Dr. Zaius, Tennessee Guerilla Women and others have reported, Vice-Chancellor, er, Vice-President Dick Cheney has essentially declared himself a fourth branch of the government. Zaius' friend Jess Wundrun is even running a contest to name that fourth branch. My suggestion was "The Fourth Reich."
Let me back up a bit. This all started when the National Archives' Information Security Oversight Office, which was created by an executive order (i.e. a presidential legal fiat) to insure that classified information and documents are properly handled by executive branch agencies.
CNN reported that according to William Leonard, director of the oversight office, Cheney informed them it did not meet the definition of an executive branch agency and therefore was exempt from oversight.
You think that is chutzpah? Try this one on for size: according to the CNN article, Cheney then tried to abolish the oversight committee.
I'm just curious on this one-- since he's not, according to himself, within the executive branch, then under whose authority did he plan on abolishing the agency?
Fortunately, a couple of Democrats have finally gotten bold. First, veteran California congressman Henry Waxman, who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent a letter to Cheney's office questioning both the "both the legality and wisdom of (Cheney's) actions."
What's better, my congressman, Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) has really called him on this. He's planning to to introduce an amendment to the the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill to cut funding for Cheney's office.
Emanuel has suggested that since Cheney does not feel he is within the Executive branch of the government, he should not be recieving funding earmarked for the Executive branch.
I was just talking to my son Adam about this all and explaining it, and he asked the logical question-- what does Cheney have to hide? Why is he avoiding oversight?
Gee, I'm wondering, just who was it that gave the original order to "out" Valarie Plame as a CIA agent when her husband refused to provide false data to support an invasion of Iraq?
You may want to go to Mr. Emanuel's House website and email him a "thank you" for what he's done.
And if your congressperson hasn't done this, you may want to go to the House of Representatives website, find your representative (you can do that by zip code in the upper left corner) and let him or her know how you feel.
And in case other Democrats don't also grow cajones and call Cheney out on this, as a public service I'm forwarding a revised "Branches of Government" chart to reflect the new structure of the U.S. government: