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the Talking Can
06-23-2007, 02:34 AM
Their contempt for our government is breathtaking. I can not believe Americans put up with this nonsense.


Bush claims oversight exemption too
The White House says the president's own order on classified data does not apply to his office or the vice president's.
By Josh Meyer, Times Staff Writer
June 23, 2007

WASHINGTON — The White House said Friday that, like Vice President Dick Cheney's office, President Bush's office is not allowing an independent federal watchdog to oversee its handling of classified national security information.

An executive order that Bush issued in March 2003 — amending an existing order — requires all government agencies that are part of the executive branch to submit to oversight. Although it doesn't specifically say so, Bush's order was not meant to apply to the vice president's office or the president's office, a White House spokesman said.

The issue flared Thursday when Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles) criticized Cheney for refusing to file annual reports with the federal National Archives and Records Administration, for refusing to spell out how his office handles classified documents, and for refusing to submit to an inspection by the archives' Information Security Oversight Office.

The archives administration has been pressing the vice president's office to cooperate with oversight for the last several years, contending that by not doing so, Cheney and his staff have created a potential national security risk.

Bush amended the oversight directive in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to help ensure that national secrets would not be mishandled, made public or improperly declassified.

The order aimed to create a uniform system for classifying, declassifying and otherwise safeguarding national security information. It gave the archives' oversight unit responsibility for evaluating the effectiveness of each agency's classification programs. It applied to the executive branch of government, mostly agencies led by Bush administration appointees — not to legislative offices such as Congress or to judicial offices such as the courts.

"Our democratic principles require that the American people be informed of the activities of their government," the executive order said.

But from the start, Bush considered his office and Cheney's exempt from the reporting requirements, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said in an interview Friday.

Cheney's office filed the reports in 2001 and 2002 but stopped in 2003................


hgfjkgfyjkfgy (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-cheney23jun23,0,863839.story?coll=la-home-center)

CHIEF4EVER
06-23-2007, 05:43 AM
I hear ya TC. Effing Democrats stuffing documents into their socks and skivvies.....wait, OH you meant the CURRENT administration. My bad. LMAO

Taco John
06-23-2007, 09:02 AM
Yeah, he means the ones who have power and are breaking laws NOW, right in front of us.

Bowser
06-23-2007, 09:50 AM
Bush and Cheney can't be bothered with such frivolous nonsense. They have a busy schedule......

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patteeu
06-23-2007, 11:18 AM
Bush should probably issue a new executive order making these exemptions explicit and avoid the argument about what the previous order actually means, but no one can reasonably argue that he doesn't have the power to do so.

Since I don't know what the previous order says, it's hard for me to judge whether the President's interpretation is reasonable or not. However, in the absence of convincing proof otherwise and given that the President is the one who issued it in the first place, I have to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to understanding what it means.

Ugly Duck
06-23-2007, 02:35 PM
I have to give him the benefit of the doubt

Well, there's a big surprise....

|Zach|
06-23-2007, 02:47 PM
http://thinkprogress.org/2007/06/22/wh-order/

During a heated press briefing today, White House spokesperson Dana Perino tried desperately to downplay yesterday’s report showing that Vice President Cheney has exempted his office from a presidential executive order designed to safeguard classified national security information. At one point, Perino called it “a little bit of a non-story.”

She repeatedly said that Cheney exempt from a mere “small portion” or “small section” of the executive order, and that President Bush never intended for the executive order to apply to Cheney any differently than it applies to the president’s own office.

Perino later contradicted herself: first, she stated definitively that Cheney’s office is “complying with all the rules and regulations regarding the handling of classified material.” But when questioned how she could be sure, Perino said it was a “good question” and admitted she isn’t “positive” that his office is in compliance.

Perhaps most importantly, Perino failed to answer two key questions raised by the scandal:

– Perino offered no explanation for the fact that Cheney’s office followed the requirements of the executive order in 2001 and 2002, then abruptly stopped. “That I don’t know,” she said. Later, she responded sarcastically when asked whether Cheney’s office would offer more than the one-line statement it released yesterday. “I’ll ask the vice president if he’ll come to the press briefing room and answer your questions,” she said.

– Perino refused to say definitely whether Vice President Cheney is part of the executive branch. She would only say it is an “interesting constitutional question that people can debate.”

patteeu
06-23-2007, 03:05 PM
Well, there's a big surprise....

Don't you think it's a reasonable position to take on the issue of whether or not the President is a good judge of what he, himself, meant when he issued an Executive Order?

patteeu
06-23-2007, 03:10 PM
http://thinkprogress.org/2007/06/22/wh-order/

During a heated press briefing today, White House spokesperson Dana Perino tried desperately to downplay yesterday’s report showing that Vice President Cheney has exempted his office from a presidential executive order designed to safeguard classified national security information. At one point, Perino called it “a little bit of a non-story.”

She repeatedly said that Cheney exempt from a mere “small portion” or “small section” of the executive order, and that President Bush never intended for the executive order to apply to Cheney any differently than it applies to the president’s own office.

Perino later contradicted herself: first, she stated definitively that Cheney’s office is “complying with all the rules and regulations regarding the handling of classified material.” But when questioned how she could be sure, Perino said it was a “good question” and admitted she isn’t “positive” that his office is in compliance.

Perhaps most importantly, Perino failed to answer two key questions raised by the scandal:

– Perino offered no explanation for the fact that Cheney’s office followed the requirements of the executive order in 2001 and 2002, then abruptly stopped. “That I don’t know,” she said. Later, she responded sarcastically when asked whether Cheney’s office would offer more than the one-line statement it released yesterday. “I’ll ask the vice president if he’ll come to the press briefing room and answer your questions,” she said.

– Perino refused to say definitely whether Vice President Cheney is part of the executive branch. She would only say it is an “interesting constitutional question that people can debate.”

"tried desperately to downplay"? LMAO

Calling it a contradiction because a spokesperson admits that they don't have personal knowledge of the statements they make on behalf of others. ROFL

Perhaps a hint for the basis behind the change in proceedure between 2002 and 2003 can be found in this passage of the article posted by the Talking Can in the OP:

An executive order that Bush issued in March 2003 — amending an existing order — requires all government agencies that are part of the executive branch to submit to oversight.

WoodDraw
06-23-2007, 04:53 PM
Don't you think it's a reasonable position to take on the issue of whether or not the President is a good judge of what he, himself, meant when he issued an Executive Order?

Everyone who follows the executive branch knows that executive orders don't mean much; they can be changed at will. The bigger question here is why is Cheney avoiding oversight? Now he won't even let the executive branch, under the full control of the President, do oversight? What branch is he a part of? I'm assuming he won't be throwing himself in front of Congress any time soon. What branch does he hold himself responsible to? The VP branch?

patteeu
06-23-2007, 06:35 PM
Everyone who follows the executive branch knows that executive orders don't mean much; they can be changed at will. The bigger question here is why is Cheney avoiding oversight? Now he won't even let the executive branch, under the full control of the President, do oversight? What branch is he a part of? I'm assuming he won't be throwing himself in front of Congress any time soon. What branch does he hold himself responsible to? The VP branch?

Who is it that he's avoiding oversight from? The OP says it's an independent federal watchdog, not the executive branch, under full control of the President.

Ugly Duck
06-23-2007, 08:07 PM
Don't you think it's a reasonable position to take on the issue of whether or not the President is a good judge of what he, himself, meant when he issued an Executive Order?

Absolutely not! The guy is a friggin halfwitted moran... he has no idea what the stuff that he is told to read means. But everyone knows that I'm so biased that my opinion doesn't mean a thing. You, unfortunately, are so biased in a diametrically opposite direction that it is no surprise to anyone that you automatically give the neocon regime the benefit of the doubt. You and I are so very much alike. We are both extremists in our evaluations of the neocon regime - we just came to opposing conclusions. 'Cept that I'm right & you are wrong....

patteeu
06-23-2007, 08:10 PM
Absolutely not! The guy is a friggin halfwitted moran... he has no idea what the stuff that he is told to read means. But everyone knows that I'm so biased that my opinion doesn't mean a thing. You, unfortunately, are so biased in a diametrically opposite direction that it is no surprise to anyone that you automatically give the neocon regime the benefit of the doubt. You and I are so very much alike. We are both extremists in our evaluations of the neocon regime - we just came to opposing conclusions. 'Cept that I'm right & you are wrong....

ROFL :)

Logical
06-23-2007, 08:25 PM
Don't you think it's a reasonable position to take on the issue of whether or not the President is a good judge of what he, himself, meant when he issued an Executive Order?

Well it is good to be King.

patteeu
06-23-2007, 08:43 PM
Well it is good to be King.

It's also nice to be the boss of your own business. Or the head of the household. Or the duly elected President in whom the Constitution vests the power of the executive.

NewChief
06-23-2007, 08:59 PM
Well, there's a big surprise....

I would imagine that patt will be very, very happy to see the Bush regime leave office, so he doesn't have to constantly spin for them. He does a damned fine job of it, but it must be absolutely exhausting.

patteeu
06-23-2007, 09:28 PM
I would imagine that patt will be very, very happy to see the Bush regime leave office, so he doesn't have to constantly spin for them. He does a damned fine job of it, but it must be absolutely exhausting.

Yeah, I'm ready for the Rudy Mitthompson regime to begin. The good guys need some new energy. ;)

Taco John
06-23-2007, 09:46 PM
Bush should probably issue a new executive order making these exemptions explicit and avoid the argument about what the previous order actually means, but no one can reasonably argue that he doesn't have the power to do so.


As well, no one can reasonably argue that this entire act of Bush and Cheney's is slimy, and raises red flags. No one could reasonably argue that they don't look like they have something to hide.


Since I don't know what the previous order says, it's hard for me to judge whether the President's interpretation is reasonable or not. However, in the absence of convincing proof otherwise and given that the President is the one who issued it in the first place, I have to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to understanding what it means.


Of course you would. You don't question anything Bush does.

Taco John
06-23-2007, 09:59 PM
Don't you think it's a reasonable position to take on the issue of whether or not the President is a good judge of what he, himself, meant when he issued an Executive Order?



What do you mean "what he meant?" I thought you were a lawyer or something. Since when did lawyers start getting so concerned about "what he meant" once the signature is applied?

WoodDraw
06-23-2007, 10:07 PM
Who is it that he's avoiding oversight from? The OP says it's an independent federal watchdog, not the executive branch, under full control of the President.

I think the article is wrong. The agency was created by executive order, the head guy is appointed with approval of the President, and his jurisdiction only deals with the executive branch. To me, that doesn't qualify as independent. I'm only basing this off of one reading through the executive order though, so I could be wrong.

patteeu
06-23-2007, 10:14 PM
What do you mean "what he meant?" I thought you were a lawyer or something. Since when did lawyers start getting so concerned about "what he meant" once the signature is applied?

The words are certainly important, but intent is important to clear up ambiguity.

patteeu
06-23-2007, 10:16 PM
I think the article is wrong. The agency was created by executive order, the head guy is appointed with approval of the President, and his jurisdiction only deals with the executive branch. To me, that doesn't qualify as independent. I'm only basing this off of one reading through the executive order though, so I could be wrong.

Fair enough. Do you have a link to the executive order? Or a title/number for googling?

Logical
06-23-2007, 10:19 PM
It's also nice to be the boss of your own business. Or the head of the household. Or the duly elected President in whom the Constitution vests the power of the executive.You are entirely too defensive, it is a hoot.

Taco John
06-23-2007, 10:20 PM
Fair enough. Do you have a link to the executive order? Or a title/number for googling?



http://www.fas.org/sgp/bush/eoamend.html

WoodDraw
06-23-2007, 10:25 PM
Fair enough. Do you have a link to the executive order? Or a title/number for googling?

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030325-11.html
http://www.fas.org/sgp/clinton/eo12958.html

The first link is Bush's 2003 revision of Clinton's, the second link. It's in the regular government, legal speak so it isn't that intersting. I think 5.2 in Bush's and 5.3 in Clinton's are the relavent areas here, but again I could be off. Let me know if you see anything.

patteeu
06-23-2007, 10:54 PM
Thanks for the links guys. I read the sections that you pointed out Woodraw, but I'm afraid those are far too long and boring for me to give it much scrutiny.

It looks to me like you are right about the OP article getting the "independent federal watchdog" part wrong.

The other thing that struck me is whether or not the VP's office or the WH fall into the category of "agencies". I didn't see the word defined in that particular executive order although I found it defined in another one. Unfortunately, that definition led me to the term "executive department" which wasn't defined. And that particular definition of "agency" might not be relevant to this EO anyway so I gave up.

If there is an argument for why Cheney and the WH aren't subject to this oversight group, it's not obvious to me unless it has something to do with whether or not they qualify as agencies. But since Clintons version used the same term, that wouldn't explain why behavior changed betweeen 2002 and 2003.

I guess I'll leave it to the lawyers who are paid to argue about these things to figure it all out. Unfortunately, I don't think most of our reporters are in much better position to judge the merits of the WH's argument than I am, which, obviously, isn't a very good position. I have faith that the opposition party won't let this slip by if there is any real scandal present though so we can all rest easy on that count.

WoodDraw
06-23-2007, 11:05 PM
Thanks for the links guys. I read the sections that you pointed out Woodraw, but I'm afraid those are far too long and boring for me to give it much scrutiny.

It looks to me like you are right about the OP article getting the "independent federal watchdog" part wrong.

The other thing that struck me is whether or not the VP's office or the WH fall into the category of "agencies". I didn't see the word defined in that particular executive order although I found it defined in another one. Unfortunately, that definition led me to the term "executive department" which wasn't defined. And that particular definition of "agency" might not be relevant to this EO anyway so I gave up.

If there is an argument for why Cheney and the WH aren't subject to this oversight group, it's not obvious to me unless it has something to do with whether or not they qualify as agencies. But since Clintons version used the same term, that wouldn't explain why behavior changed betweeen 2002 and 2003.

I guess I'll leave it to the lawyers who are paid to argue about these things to figure it all out. Unfortunately, I don't think most of our reporters are in much better position to judge the merits of the WH's argument than I am, which, obviously, isn't a very good position. I have faith that the opposition party won't let this slip by if there is any real scandal present though so we can all rest easy on that count.

Agency is defined in Clinton's (Bush's doesn't replace his, just revises).

"(i) "Agency" means any "Executive agency," as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105, and any other entity within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information."

The US Code doesn't help, only saying "For the purpose of this title, 'Executive agency' means an Executive department, a Government corporation, and an independent establishment."


Cheney never argued that he wasn't an agency or entity though, he argued he isn't part of the executive branch. And he followed the executive orders for the first few years before deciding he didn't have to. Kind of odd.

Sam Hall
06-24-2007, 10:01 PM
STOP IT

Sam Hall
06-24-2007, 10:03 PM
haha

patteeu
06-25-2007, 06:28 AM
Agency is defined in Clinton's (Bush's doesn't replace his, just revises).

"(i) "Agency" means any "Executive agency," as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105, and any other entity within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information."

The US Code doesn't help, only saying "For the purpose of this title, 'Executive agency' means an Executive department, a Government corporation, and an independent establishment."


Cheney never argued that he wasn't an agency or entity though, he argued he isn't part of the executive branch. And he followed the executive orders for the first few years before deciding he didn't have to. Kind of odd.

Yeah, I didn't see the agency definition in the Clinton version, but I ended up at the same place based on the definition in a different EO.

I agree that Cheney's argument appears to be pretty weak. I don't see any basis for it in the EO and surely he doesn't believe he is exempt from Presidential direction altogether.