Dick Cheney Says He's Not Part of the Executive Branch of Government

Posted on June 23, 2007

In what is an astounding display of arrogance -- even for him -- Vice President Dick Cheney is claiming that he is not part of the executive branch of government. Yes, that's right. Even though he is the #2 man in the Executive Branch of government, Cheney claims that for purposes of securing classified information, he is not part of the Executive Branch of government. Which is just...nuts.
The Office of Vice President Dick Cheney told an agency within the National Archives that for purposes of securing classified information, the Vice President's office is not an 'entity within the executive branch' according to a letter released Thursday by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

"The Oversight Committee has learned that over the objections of the National Archives, you exempted the Office of the Vice President from the presidential executive order that establishes a uniform, government-wide system for safeguarding classified national security information," Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), the Committee's chairman, wrote in a letter to Cheney. "Your decision to exempt your office from the President's order is problematic because it could place national security secrets at risk. It is also hard to understand given the history of security breaches involving officials in your office."

Waxman noted that Cheney's office had declared itself not affected by an executive order amended by President George W. Bush in 2003 regarding classification and declassification of government materials.

"Your position was that your office 'does not believe it is included in the definition of 'agency' as set forth in the Order' and 'does not consider itself an 'entity within the executive branch' that comes into the possession of classified information,'" a National Archives official claims Cheney chief of staff David Addington wrote to him.

The Vice President's office's refusal to comply with the executive order and the National Archives's request prompted the National Archives to file a complaint with the Attorney General's office. But the Justice Department has not followed up on the Archives's request.
But two can play at that game. The Democrats have decided that if Cheney doesn't consider himself part of the Executive Branch, then his office clearly doesn't need any more Executive Branch funding.
Following Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that his office is not a part of the executive branch of the US government, Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) plans to introduce an amendment to the the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill to cut funding for Cheney's office.

The amendment to the bill that sets the funding for the executive branch will be considered next week in the House of Representatives.

"The Vice President has a choice to make. If he believes his legal case, his office has no business being funded as part of the executive branch," said Emanuel in a statement released to RAW STORY. "However, if he demands executive branch funding he cannot ignore executive branch rules. At the very least, the Vice President should be consistent. This amendment will ensure that the Vice President's funding is consistent with his legal arguments."
Dick Cheney: hoist on his own petard.

Who knew that Rahm Emanuel had such a great sense of humor? Let's see how Cheney manages to pay his assistants, secretaries, air conditioning bill (remember, he has to have any room he is in chilled to precisely 68 degrees), and the gas bill for Air Force 2 when his "Executive Branch" funding disappears.

I know. How about he pays his office expenses out of his own pockets from his hefty, ongoing Halliburton retirement payments? That works for me.