Power Elite and the People; Cheney, Carville Express Contempt for Citizens

DICK Cheney “SO”

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

In March 2008, as Americans pay homage to the thousands of soldiers and civilians lost in five years of battle we discover that the Administration and the elite allied with earlier Executive Branches are more contemptuous of the citizenry than we ever thought possible.  

In a interview with ABC News reporter, Martha Radditz, Vice President Cheney declared the Iraq war a stunning achievement,  Arguably, the most powerful Vice President in American history stated, “On the security front, I think there’s a general consensus that we’ve made major progress, that the surge has worked. That’s been a major success.”  Perhaps, somewhat startled by the assessment Journalist Radditz observed; “Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting.”  The Vice President, Cheney, curtly, replied, “So?”

Martha Radditz, with a notable inflection inquired, “You don’t care what the American people think?”

Dick Cheney content with his current tour of the Middle East offered his retort, “You can’t be blown off course by polls.”  Indeed, the people they were elected to represent have never influenced this Administration.

A similar contemptuous statement for the citizens of America was heard from a prominent ally of a former President, Bill Clinton, and his aspirant wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Bill Richardson, a man who served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations and Energy Secretary during the Clinton administration, announced his support for Barack Obama, Democratic Presidential hopeful, and the man deemed the Former First Lady’s rival.

After New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson, a public spokesperson, but still an individual who speaks for himself, as by law, he is allowed to do, offered his endorsement to potential President Barack Obama, James Carville criticized the statesman.  Former lead strategist for the Bill Clinton’s Presidential campaign, and animated, ardent consultant for the Hillary Clinton crusade, Carville proclaimed.

“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic.”

The reference to the Holy Week was stark and said much about what those in high places think of people who dare to defy them.  Governor Richardson telephoned the New York Senator, and Presidential candidate Clinton the day prior to the formal announcement.  He wanted to inform her of his decision.  When asked of the tone and tenor, Richardson recalled, “It was cordial, but a little heated.”  The scorn Richardson experienced this weeks seems characteristic of what occurs when we the people exert our power.  For too long, Americans have not stood up to those who  are supposed to represent us.  Now, legislators, lawmakers, congresspersons, candidates, Presidents, and pundits think they can tell us what to think, say, and do . . . and we let them.

The Founding Fathers established that in this country, we, the people would be the power.  We, the common folk, would be free to elect government officials that we believe would best represent our interests.  Bureaucrats would work for the commonweal.  In a democracy, such as the United States, the administration represents the average citizen.   In this territory, we are  a nation of equals.  Each individual is able to choose for him or herself who they wish to endorse for President.  We, the people need not be loyal to a legacy or a dynasty.  Yet, those who serve us may be unaware of the principles they promise to uphold.  The President of the United States of America is required to recite.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

George W. Bush has demonstrated that his skills do not save the original charter from harm.  After the President placed his signature on  statements that allow he and his cohorts to violate laws on more than 800 Bills, finally, a report called this action into question.

Bush signings called effort to expand power

Report sees broad strategy

By Charlie Savage

Boston Globe

October 5, 2006

Washington — President Bush’s frequent use of signing statements to assert that he has the power to disobey newly enacted laws is “an integral part” of his “comprehensive strategy to strengthen and expand executive power” at the expense of the legislative branch, according to a report by the non partisan Congressional Research Service.

In a 27-page report written for lawmakers, the research service said the Bush administration is using signing statements as a means to slowly condition Congress into accepting the White House’s broad conception of presidential power, which includes a presidential right to ignore laws he believes are unconstitutional.

Sadly, Americans did nothing.  We, the people accept that the President of the United States is powerful.  Perhaps, he, or she has absolute power.  Certainly, the people have given our Commander-In-Chief privileges beyond those bequeathed by the Constitution.  Without active censure and legally enforced constitutional constraints, citizens, and Congress, give the Executive Branch free reign.

We, the people have also provided the Vice President with a free pass.  The Vice President was not required to pledge a specific allegiance before he entered into his prominent position.  Richard B. Cheney needed only to avow that he would defend the Constitution, now perhaps permanently altered.  Indeed, the office of Vice President is no longer recognizable.

Dick Cheney, who has wielded extraordinary executive power as he transformed the image of the vice presidency, is asserting that his office is not actually part of the executive branch.

The President also asserts that he [Cheney] need not comply with orders intended for the officials within the Executive Branch of the United States government.

Our forefathers did not imagine that the American people would sit silently by as a President transformed his power.  The signers of the Constitution made provisions to avoid such an abuse of power.  Yet, when the American people prefer apathy, absolute power can corrupt absolutely.  Perchance, that is the paradox.  What do we do when the people forget they are the power.  Government is of, by, and for us.

Apparently, we sit idly by and watch our country crumble.  The common folk resign themselves and claim we can do nothing.  It is too late.  We are too little.  It may not be much longer.  If life goes on as it has, the people may be but a speck of dust.  In Iraq, we see what occurs when American leaders decide what is best for average people in one country or another.  What for one official is a “major success” is death and  bitter survival for millions more.

Missing persons

In the small world of a Baghdad bureau, monstrous losses

By Liz Sly

Chicago Tribune

March 16, 2008

I asked a close Iraqi colleague, Nadeem Majeed, to write down a list of the people he knows who have died in the five years since the Iraq war began. It took a long time. And as Nadeem tapped away on the computer, unknown to us, another name was being added to the list.?? A friend, Nassir Jassem Akkam, 38, was among the 68 people killed in the recent suicide bombing of a busy shopping street nearby, one of the bloodiest attacks in Baghdad in a while. Akkam had slipped back to Baghdad for a quick visit after fleeing to Syria with his wife and 1-year-old son. When he died, he had in his pocket a ticket to travel the following day.?? Akkam became No. 44 on Nadeem’s list.

Let us reflect on the number of persons we, personally know, friends and family in our lives who have passed in the last few years.  How many were brutally killed, slaughtered in the streets, innocent of any crime, yet, assassinated merely because they are citizens.  While we honored those we loved, who passed, as humans, people of worth, many of our representatives and their minions barely acknowledged a life was lost.  Is this the country you dear reader, want, or  is this what our fore fathers intended?.

Perhaps the time is now.  Americans, we, the average people must take our country back.  Censure is essential.  If we do not impeach those who “lead” us with a discernable show of disdain, if we elect elitist who disrespect our decisions, then our fate will be our failure.

Sources of Scorn and Sadness . . .

Citizens Vote; Democracy In Question

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

In this a Presidential election year, citizens of this country are intensely aware, every vote counts.  The world witnessed, in State after State people scrambled to the polls.  Voters of every age have turned out in large numbers.  The sprint to the White House is on.  Most every electorate wants to join in.  the people wish to return to power.  Much is at stake.  The people want to participate in the process.

In America, in a democracy, government is defined as organization that operates of, by, and for the people.  The people choose who will represent them in the Executive and Legislatives Branches.  Executives appoint persons to occupy Judicial seats.  Supreme Court Jurists may serve the public for a lifetime.  Legislators also have infinite influence.  Members of Congress make laws and approve nominees.  Thus, those who speak and stand in for the common folk have much power.

Hence, it is essential, before the average Joe or Joanne casts a ballot they must be very well informed.  When the American people vote they place their lives in the hands of a few.  Access to the candidates is vital if people are to make an informed decision.  During a Presidential election year, it is imperative that the people, one and all, be given an opportunity to meet and greet the hopefuls.  A President of the United States is the single most important being on the globe.  He or she is superior to all other officials who reside in this region.  Since the United States is considered the world’s only true Super Power, the President of this nation is virtually omnipotent, or at least some often act as though they are.

It is for this reason the electorate must choose wisely.  Each adult needs to ponder, who is the person who will best represent my interest?  Which Presidential hopeful will serve persons in every community equally?  Who will work for the common good of the people and not for personal fame and fortune?  There is much to research.  Reflection needs to be deep and thoughtful.  The public must ensure that a Presidential aspirant knows of and wishes to honor the desires of his or her constituents.  However, this determination is difficult to make.

Most of the citizens in this country only see the hopefuls in well-crafted, scripted moments.  Television and the Internet dominate the delivery of news about the candidates.  Pew Research Center for the People and the Press reported.

The internet is living up to its potential as a major source for news about the presidential campaign.  Nearly a quarter of Americans (24%) say they regularly learn something about the campaign from the internet, almost double the percentage from a comparable point in the 2004 campaign (13%). ?

Moreover, the internet has now become a leading source of campaign news for young people and the role of social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook is a notable part of the story.  Fully 42% of those ages 18 to 29 say they regularly learn about the campaign from the internet, the highest percentage for any news source.  In January 2004, just 20% of young people said they routinely got campaign news from the internet.

[T]he proportion of Americans who rely on traditional news sources for information about the campaign has remained static or declined slightly since the last presidential campaign.  . . .

By contrast, the proportion of Americans who say they regularly learn about the campaign from the internet has more than doubled since 2000 – from 9% to 24%.

While it may seem that mainstream media has less of an influence of the electorate; indeed, the reverse may be true.  When we assess the sources of information accessed on the Internet we realize, corporate control still speaks volumes.

People who rely on the internet for campaign news turn to a wide array of websites.  The most frequently mentioned online news outlets are MSNBC (at 26%), CNN (23%) and Yahoo News (22%).

Few constituents know more than the media allows.  What the press makes available is extremely limited.  Independent-minded persons believe they know more.  Yet, these persons are also influenced.  Chant as the indies might, the media is hostile to anti-establishment candidates, John Edwards, Ron Paul, and Mike Huckabee, the three barely-acceptable do appear on stage.  Corporate controlled columnists recognize it is important to appear unbiased.

Americans must wonder of those whose exposure is eliminated.  Perchance, constituents might consider the plight of Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich.  Presidential aspirant Kucinich was excluded from the American Association for Retired Persons [AARP] debate in the Hawkeye State.  In Granite country, ABC News declared Dennis Kucinich would be barred from the dialogue.  Silver State voters were not able to see the profound Presidential hopeful on stage.  He was relegated to the streets allowed to speak only to the neon lights.  The Palmetto State decreed, “Dennis, this is not your kingdom.”  Indeed, you are locked out in this land of liberty.  Texas told its tall tale.  Dennis Kucinich would not be the hero in the Lone Star State.  Ultimately, the only Presidential hopeful who is a member of a Union, endorsed an authentic Universal Health Care program, a Single Payer, Not For Profit plan was forced to withdraw his name from the ballot.  Perhaps the lack of press coverage played a role.

While Congressman and Presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich was ahead in many Progressive surveys, among the general public the candidate remained an unknown.  In August 2007, the aspirant was heard to say “Polls are a function of name recognition, not a function of whether people support your ideas.  As people become aware of my candidacy, the evidence of that support is going to rise.”  Yet, sheltered from view few voters ever knew who Dennis Kucinich was or is.  Fewer still know when or where they could cast a ballot.

Confused Florida voters try to cast ballots in Super Tuesday primaries

The problem?  Florida had its presidential primary Last week.

Robert Perez

Orlando Sentinel

February 5, 2008

Millions of Americans in 24 states are turning out vote to in Super Tuesday presidential primaries from Georgia to Alaska today.  Meanwhile, some dedicated if confused Florida voters are trying to, as well.??

Elections offices across the state are reporting hundreds of calls from voters wanting to know where they can vote today.  The answer is that Florida already had its presidential primary — last week.??

“We’ve had over 100 calls at least over the last two days,” said Kathy Adams, a spokesperson for the Palm Beach County Election Supervisor.??

Closer to home, Orange County elections officials say they are dealing with a combination of confused voters from Florida and California.??

“One of my staffers has figured it out,” said Orange County Election Supervisor Bill Cowles.  “They are California voters going online and looking for the Orange County [California] election office and calling us instead.”

Of course that doesn’t explain the man who showed up at a polling site this morning in Orlando wanting to vote, Cowles conceded.?

Nor does this story enlighten the electorate as to why, in this the Information Age, so little is known, or shared with expectant voters.  If people do not know to ask, instructions are not given.  Votes, as important as they are, in 2008, are not counted.  In this the Twenty-First Century, not only is Florida a foible, California has come to encapsulate election fraud, folly, or failures.

Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble.

By Steven Mikulan

LA Weekly

February 5, 2008 3:22 PM

Election cross-over dreams become a nightmare

Last Friday members of the nonpartisan election group, CourageCampaign.org, were surfing the Web when they discovered a blog posting noting that Los Angeles County voters faced what organization spokesman Rick Jacobs calls “bubble trouble.”  In order for any of the county’s 776,000 voters who have registered Nonpartisan to vote in the open primaries for the Democratic or American Independent parties, they would have to mark an extra bubble on the ballot naming the party for which they wished to cast a cross-over ballot.  After a weekend of research, Jacobs says, CC.org contacted the office of L.A.’s Registrar of Voters on Sunday and were told it was true — an extra bubble had to be inked, and, yes, it could prove to be a big headache on election day.  The bottom line: If the “declaration” bubble is not inked on a Nonpartisan ballot, the voter’s presidential preference would be voided, though not the part pertaining to propositions.

By noon election day, CC.org’s worst fears were realized as voters began complaining that poll workers hadn’t pointed out the extra bubble.  The registrar’s office has tried to get word out to its workers about the issue but at this point, it’s impossible to know how many votes have been lost.  One thing is certain, however: It will be impossible to conduct a recount of the cross-over ballots because voters were handed both Nonpartisan and Democratic ballots and there are cases where the bubble numbers for candidates from different parties overlap.

Common characteristics, the overlap, be it in bubbles, ballots, or the barrage of disinformation is unavoidable.  The public peruses multiple sources, seeks infinite references; nonetheless, little of what the people know is untainted or from an independent and genuinely reliable source.  In this global village, we are all connected, interconnected, on the Internet, near the television, or scanning the periodicals.  Each is owned by one of the six, General Electric, Time Warner, Walt Disney, News Corp, CBS, or Viacom, all of whom are friendly with the others.  Internet users say this matters not to them.  However, in truth it does.

Well, you might comfort yourself by thinking about cyberspace.  Think again.  The dominant Internet service provider, America Online, is combining with already-number-one Time Warner- and the new firm AOL Time Warner would have more to lose than any other corporation if a movement grew to demand antitrust action against media conglomerates.

Amid rampant overall commercialization of the most heavily trafficked websites, AOL steers its 22 million subscribers in many directions-and, in the future, Time Warner’s offerings will be most frequently highlighted.  While seeming to be gateways to a vast cybergalaxy, AOL’s favorite links will remain overwhelmingly corporate friendly within a virtual cul-de-sac.

Hype about the new media seems boundless, while insatiable old hungers for maximum profits fill countless screens.  Centralization is the order of the media day.  As Bagdikian points out: “The power and influence of the dominant companies are understated by counting them as ‘six.’  They are intertwined: they own stock in each other, they cooperate in joint media ventures, and among themselves they divide profits from some of the most widely viewed programs on television, cable and movies.”

So, Americans please take no comfort.  Do not think you made an informed, independent choice. All that you read, all that you heard, what you viewed was influenced. The decision was made before you knew you could have had a choice.  This, the United States, is not a democratic system.

Cast A Vote, Give Voice To Your Needs.  Pray for a Democracy . . .

Wexler, Gutierrez, Baldwin, Kucinich, and the People Call For Cheney Censure

Rep. Wexler Wants Cheney Impeachment Hearings

copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

May I offer my sincerest gratitude to Representatives, Robert Wexler, Luis Gutierrez, and Tammy Baldwin.  These glorious members of the House Judiciary Committee, recently raised the volume on the issue of impeachment for Vice President Cheney.  The three invite us, the average citizen, to join them.  Please express your distress; sign the petition.  Call for Hearings. Without you the Vice President will continue to avoid an official and necessary censure.

Please sign the petition. Join Congressman Wexler’s Call For Cheney impeachment Hearings.

Please do not stop there.  Americans have seen what occurs when we are complacent.  For too long Congressman Dennis Kucinich spoke of what many thought obvious, and only a few listened.  

Throughout his term, Vice President, Richard B. Cheney acted on questionable  information.  He made decisions that many considered problematic.  Cheney “may” have committed numerous “high crimes and misdemeanors.”  However, no matter how many millions of Americans joined in the call to censure, the cry was hushed.  The mainstream media barely and rarely spoke of the measure.  Only a scant number of Representatives endorsed House Resolution 333, submitted by the Representative from Ohio.

As House leaders sat silent, Vice President Cheney continued to violate the doctrine known as the United States Constitution.  He did so without charge or challenge.  

For years, Richard B. Cheney declared the Executive Branch has “supreme” power.  Many scoffed; however, Congress initiated no formal action.  The Vice President did not stop doing as he pleased.  Complaints from the House and the Senate mounted; yet, Cheney remained safe from censure.

It seemed the Vice President’s skin, and his contempt for law, were impenetrable.  Richard B. Cheney refused and rebuffs accountability.

The Vice President prefers aggression and plans attacks against other Nation States.  Until now Congress, and the American people stood by.  Finally, the tide may have turned.  

Each day, Americans and Legislators discover much occurred within the White House walls over the last seven years.  We are increasingly certain the Vice President acted with dubious authority.  The more we learn, the more we realize a need to impeach Richard B. Cheney.  Representatives and House Judiciary Committee Members Robert Wexler, Luis Gutierrez, Tammy Baldwin, and the cyberspace community have stated their extreme concern.  However, just as Presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich realized during his campaign to hold Cheney accountable, the media would rather not address this state of affairs.

If we the people are to be served, if we are to honor the rights afforded us by the United States Constitution, we must do more than wait for Congress to act.  Our signature on a petition will not be enough to convince a reluctant House Speaker that it is time to embrace this cause.  I invite you to submit a Letter to the Editor of any and every newspaper.  For Representative Wexler alone, although he tried, cannot create the news storm necessary for impeachment.

I offer my own submission for your review.  Please request coverage.  Ask Journalist nationwide to report on more than this Administration wants us to hear.  I thank you for all that you are and all that you do.

If you wish to use my letter, without the links and signature, I offer a Portable Document Format [pdf] version.

  • Letter to the Editor, Call to Cover Cheney Impeachment Hearings.

  • Dearest Editorial Staff . . .

    I am aware of a troublesome campaign to ignore the call to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney.  I write to express my distress and to request coverage.

    On Florida Progressive Radio, Representative Robert Wexler spoke of what he and his colleagues experienced when they submitted an Op-Ed essay on the topic.  The major print media outlets did not publish this important treatise on impeachment.  The message was not muffled; it was ostensibly silenced.

    The mainstream media acted as though an investigation into the practices within the Oval Office, or the Office of the Vice President, were permanently “off the table.”  No matter the outcry from the masses, the media continues to dismiss the call.  

    Auspiciously, after the news organizations cast the cry for censure aside, Representative Wexler turned to the public.  The cyberspace community connected to the memorandum the Congressman and his colleagues wrote.  Those that surf the Web not only endorsed the crucial communication, Internet users garnered greater support for the proposition.  An ambitious online effort heralded the need for immediate impeachment hearings.  Within a short time, more than a hundred thousand signers stated they were in favor of a move to censure Vice President Dick Cheney.  

    Constitutional scholars have warned us.  The precedent we set when we overlook what an arrogant Administration does will forever damage our nation.  If Americans do not uphold democratic principles, we weaken our Constitution.

    For too long, Presidential aspirant Dennis Kucinich has been a lone Congressional voice.  On more than one occasion, Kucinich spoke of the need to censure Vice President Cheney.  In November 2007, Representative Kucinich presented a Privileged Motion on the floor of the House.  Even that bold overture received little press.  

    Nonetheless, some of his fellow Representatives considered the possibility.  With the introduction of new evidence, three prominent Representatives felt as though they too had reason to move forward with an investigation and hearings.  

    Representatives Robert Wexler (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), all Members of the House Judiciary Committee, considered the novel revelation offered by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.  The Vice President and his staff purposefully gave then Press Secretary McClellan false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson, a covert Central Intelligence agent.  Dick Cheney and his team intentionally chose to release erroneous reports to the American people.  This realization prompted the newly stated and amplified concern for impeachment.  

    Only after much protest from readers did the Miami Herald print an edited version of the original letter from the Representatives.  However, it seems that Florida publication and all other periodicals are happy to leave the issue behind.  We, the people are not willing to remain silent.

    The need to impeach is imperative.  I implore you.  I invite your newspaper to truly inform Americans.  Rather than encourage apathy, please tell the people, print, more than the White House wants us to know.

    Sincerely . . .

    Betsy L. Angert


    Dear friends, family, and familiars; I thank you all for your interest and participation in the process.  On behalf of Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Representatives, Robert Wexler, Luis Gutierrez, Tammy Baldwin, our country, and the Constitution may I extend my deepest appreciation for your thoughts, words, and deeds.  We can only hope that United, America will peacefully stand strong again.  We cannot know unless and until we begin to censure those that fight against us.  We are one, or were, the United States of America, a democratic nation, of, by, and for the people.  Together we can take our country back.

    References and Resources in Support of Impeachment Hearings . . .

    Power and the Presidency; The Cheney, Nixon, Bush Affair

    When the President Does it That Means That it is Not Illegal

    copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

    Today is as yesterday was.  Some of the players remain the same.  Vice President Dick Cheney helped to expand Presidential power three decades ago.  Today, he pushes the envelope further.  As Americans stand on the brink of self destruction, we might ponder the past.  Perhaps we can learn from it.  Bill Moyers, of Public Broadcasting Services offers a bit of perspective.  He asks us to  . . .

    Remember “The Lives of Others” – the movie that won this year’s Academy Award for best foreign language film . . . a story of life under East Germany’s secret police. The critic Roger Ebert said: “The movie is relevant today, as our government ignores habeas corpus, practices secret torture, and asks for the right to wiretap and eavesdrop on its citizens. Such tactics, he said, did not save East Germany; they destroyed it, by making it a country its most loyal citizens could no longer believe in.” You want to say it couldn’t happen here but we’ve been close before. During the cold war with the Soviet Union and then the hot war in Vietnam, a secret government mushroomed in this country.

    Please Review the transcript  . . .

  • The Path to Power. By Bill Moyers

    In a powerful program aired on October 26, 2007, Bill Moyers observes that the times are not a changin’.  He reminds us, on December 22, 1974 The New York Times published an exposé by Seymour Hersh, The  article  alarmed Americans.  The evidence revealed could not be ignored.  Americans were not safe.  Their own government threatened their security.

    A Senate Select Committee  headed by Senator Frank Church [Democrat, Idaho] was established.  The purpose was to investigate allegations; the Fed’s were spying, and plotting against citizens of this country.  As we review the findings, we understand.  What occurred thirty years ago is but background for the present.

    President Bush and Vice President Cheney espouse the theory of the unitary executive. That means the President’s orders can’t be reviewed, questioned, or altered by the other two branches of government. He alone can say what the law means, or whether or not it will be enforced or ignored. In effect, George W. Bush says his powers must be unilateral and unchecked.

    Critics claim the President has used the war on terror to put himself above the law and that he has created a secret presidency of classified decisions and orders, that approve extraordinary renditions, torture, illegal detentions, and wiretapping without warrants with the collaboration of big telecom companies. This boundless secrecy and surveillance evokes images counter to American values.

    In October 2007, Jim Hightower wrote,  Is a Presidential Coup Under Way?”  Perhaps it is.  Might we consider, when Richard M. Nixon was in office Dick Cheney was a fledging.  Cheney learned from the master and embraced his lessons.

    One of the people who argued most vociferously that a president could exceed the laws was a former White House Chief of Staff who had been elected to Congress. His name. Dick Cheney.

    Today, with the power of the Vice Presidency in hand, Cheney reiterates as he executes his convictions. 

    Once more we discover, the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA], National Security Agency [NSA], Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] and other Federal Agencies were and are involved in numerous illegal affairs. 

    In the mid 1970s, plots to assassinate foreign leaders were real and realized.  Detention, confinement, or kidnapping of those the Administration thought to be a threat were condoned.  Warrantless entry into offices and homes was sanctioned by the White House.  Federal Intelligence Officers searched for files against their “enemies” and claimed it was their right to do so. 

    Chemicals intended for biological warfare were illicitly warehoused.  Mail, to and from Americas was opened. Wiretapping was common.  Intelligence was gathered without legal authority.  A minimum of nine thousand, nine hundred [9,900-plus] files were amassed.  Any American involved in the antiwar movement was likely under surveillance.  Internal Revenue files were reviewed without cause. The Executive Branch of the American government trusted no one. 

    Does all this sound familiar?

    Dear reader, I invite you to view the program, read the full transcript, or comment.  The parallels may pull you in; they may turn your stomach.  I think you may find the Power and the Presidency very interesting.

  • Cheney; Comedy. A Rogue Nation, or Rebel Without a Cause

    ( – promoted by Betsy L. Angert)

    Countdown: Cheney Casts Himself Out

    copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

    Updated, June 25, 2007
    Each day the Bush/Cheney Administration entertains us.  They offer new twists and turns in what is seen as a ?comedy of errors.?  Possibly this latest report is classified as ?comedy of the absurd.?  This week it was revealed that Vice President Dick Cheney is not part of the Executive Branch.  Indeed, he is above the law, at least that is what the Vice President’s office claims.

    Apparently, there are nuances within the definition of the Executive Branch that exclude the Vice President.  Literally, the term ?Vice President? is not contained in the description of this arm of the government.

    Executive Branch

    The power of the executive branch is vested in the President, who also serves as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.  The President appoints the Cabinet and oversees the various agencies and departments of the federal government.
    . . .
    To learn more about the Executive Branch please visit the President?s Cabinet page on the White House web site

    If we seek further understanding and travel to the designated page, we cannot help notice there, under the heading Cabinet Rank Members we see the esteemed Executive Richard B. Cheney.  If we journey further into the depths of cyberspace deliverance, we learn that the Vice President has been proudly proclaimed a policy decision-maker for decades.  He has held numerous positions within the White House, and served under Presidents since 1969.

    Nonetheless, this exclusive and exceptional public servant claims he is not part of the Cabinet and therefore need not abide by rules governing this group.  A man well-known for frequently invoking Executive Privilege when he does not wish to testify about the doings of his office claims he is not affiliated with the Branch of government that affords him rights under or above the law.

    Cheney claims a non-executive privilege
    He asserts he’s exempt from showing an agency how his office keeps secrets because he’s not fully part of the administration.
    By Josh Meyer
    Los Angeles Times
    June 22, 2007

    WASHINGTON ? For the last four years, Vice President Dick Cheney has made the controversial claim that his office is not fully part of the Bush administration in order to exempt it from a presidential order regulating federal agencies’ handling of classified national security information, officials said Thursday.

    Cheney has held that his office is not fully part of the executive branch of government despite the continued objections of the National Archives, which says his office’s failure to demonstrate that it has proper security safeguards in place could jeopardize the government’s top secrets.

    According to documents released Thursday by a House committee, Cheney’s staff has blocked efforts by the National Archives’ Information Security Oversight Office to enforce a key component of the presidential order: a mandatory on-site inspection of the vice president’s office.  At least one of those inspections would have come at a particularly delicate time ? when Cheney’s former chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, and other aides were under criminal investigation for their suspected roles in leaking the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

    In an eight-page letter to Cheney on Thursday, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles) also charged that Cheney or his top staffers tried to abolish the Information Security Oversight Office this year after its director tried repeatedly to force Cheney’s office to comply with the presidential order.

    Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride confirmed the vice president’s position Thursday but said she could not discuss the matter in detail, including whether Cheney or his aides tried to abolish the information security office.  “We are confident that we are conducting this office properly under the law,” McBride said.

    Nevertheless, there is information demonstrating that indeed, Mister Cheney and his cohorts wish to eliminate the Information Security Oversight Office.  The two administrative centers have been in conflict for years. The Oversight agency, a division of the National Archives, in accordance with the President?s policy, has attempted to gather information from the Vice President pertaining to what documents his office has deemed classified.  Mister Bush, in his infinite wisdom claimed the American people have the right to know what the ?executives? representing them have are doing; albeit if not in the present at least in the future.  Information must be preserved for posterity.

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to further amend Executive Order 12958, as amended, it is hereby ordered that Executive Order 12958 is amended to read as follows:
    “Classified National Security Information

    This order prescribes a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national security information, including information relating to defense against transnational terrorism.  Our democratic principles require that the American people be informed of the activities of their Government.  Also, our Nations progress depends on the free flow of information.  Nevertheless, throughout our history, the national defense has required that certain information be maintained in confidence in order to protect our citizens, our democratic institutions, our homeland security, and our interactions with foreign nations.  Protecting information critical to our Nations security remains a priority.

    The President?s office has abided by the rules and done as required by his law.  However, the Vice President never has.  Dick Cheney has resisted all attempts to retrieve the required information.

    Ultimately, the Information Oversight Office appealed the issue to the Justice Department.  That division has yet to rule on the case. 

    Nevertheless, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Henry A. Waxman took action.  In the midst of this ?comedy,? Representative Waxman, Democrat of California, disclosed that documentation from the Richard Cheney?s office validates that this Vice has long endeavored to close the Oversight Office. 

    Admittedly, Congressman Waxman, is prominent among those Democrats wanting to investigate the Bush administration.  However, Representative Waxman states this issue is only one of many that cause him to  question the practices of this Administration.  His efforts towards resolving this quandary are separate from his other concerns.

    On Thursday, June 21, 2007 Chairman Waxman sent an eight page letter sent to the Vice President stating his alarm and his desire to resolve what surely must be a misunderstanding.

    Officials at the National Archives and the Justice Department confirmed the basic chronology of events cited in Mr. Waxman?s letter.

    The letter said that after repeatedly refusing to comply with a routine annual request from the archives for data on his staff?s classification of internal documents, the vice president?s office in 2004 blocked an on-site inspection of records that other agencies of the executive branch regularly go through.

    But the National Archives is an executive branch department headed by a presidential appointee, and it is assigned to collect the data on classified documents under a presidential executive order.  Its Information Security Oversight Office is the archives division that oversees classification and declassification.

    ?I know the vice president wants to operate with unprecedented secrecy,? Mr. Waxman said in an interview.  ?But this is absurd.  This order is designed to keep classified information safe.  His argument is really that he?s not part of the executive branch, so he doesn?t have to comply.? 

    Absurd, did Chairman Waxman say ?absurd??  This is beyond ridiculous.  This comedy is replete with the bizarre.  On June 23, 2007 the President himself stated that he too is exempt from his own law.

    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.

    Oh my.  I understand there is much inferred and implied in this writ.  I never truly thought disclosure was the intent, only the claim.  In this post-September 11 era, privacy for Federal officials is preserved.  Records are rescinded.  Nonetheless, I did see this small clause posited below repeated referrals to the Office of the President and his Vice.

    Sec. 1.7.  Classification Prohibitions and Limitations. (a) In no case shall information be classified in order to:

    (1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;
    (2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;
    (3) restrain competition; or
    (4) prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security.

    My mistake.  After re-reading that last line, I grasp the truer meaning.  In the Bush Administration, every action is taken as an effort to secure the nation.  Mister Bush often reminds us he and his Cabinet are protecting us, the people, from [a perceived] ?evil.?  Sadly or strangely, these Executives hear hatred in every utterance.  They see malice in all endeavors, excluding those executed by them, the executives in the White House . . .  or is it the Senate.  I am so confused. 

    Mister Cheney is President of the Senate is he not, or is he a member of the Cabinet?  Is the Presidential appointees part of the Executive Branch.  Might Vice President of the United States, Richard Cheney be  a rogue, a rebel . . . What of Mister Bush?  Where doe he stand, and does the law he wrote apply to him or his office?

    Perhaps Assistant Press Secretary Dana Perino can help me understand.  During a press conference on June 25, 2007 Miss Perino expounded.

    Q Dana, as long as we’re talking about branches of government, can you go back to Vice President Cheney again, the argument that he’s not part of the executive branch.  Does the President believe he’s part of the executive branch?

    MS. PERINO: I think that that is an interesting constitutional question, and I think that lots of people can debate it.  I think when we were talking about the EO from last week, we’ve gone over that several times.  You probably don’t want me to go over it again.  But the Vice President — any Vice President has legislative and executive functions.

    Every Vice President has legislative and executive functions.  The executive functions are given to him by the President.  For example, the Vice President’s paycheck comes from the Senate.  So these are — that’s an interesting constitutional question.  When we are talking about this EO, it is separate and apart from — the President and the Vice President oversee the executive agencies.  Supreme Court precedent shows that the Vice President and the President are not seen as an agency when it comes to executive orders.

    Q I know that’s your argument about an agency, but it’s very separate from the argument the Vice President is making.  And what is the President — what is the White House’s view of the argument the Vice President is making on whether or not he’s part of the executive branch?

    Q For one, I think — I mean, the information is clearly ?

    MS. PERINO: I’m not opining on it, because the President did not intend for the Vice President to be subject as an agency in that section of the EO.

    I understand; I think.  Dick Cheney works for those that pay him.  I thought the American public paid his salary.  Perhaps I am wrong.  Please help me dear reader.  Did the people not place Mister Cheney in the Executive Branch; was he not elected to serve as an Executive?  Tell me this all but a dream.  It must be.  For now I experience up is down, and down is out or above the law.  Were this all not so tragic this truly would be a comedy. 

    I as a citizen of this country, or correction, a person in the American audience can only hope I will awaken from this nightmare and discover the theatre is closed.

    Bush and Cheney; Comedy of the Absurd, of Errors, of the Executives . . .

  • Cheney claims a non-executive privilege By Josh Meyer.  Los Angeles Times. June 22, 2007
  • pdf Cheney claims a non-executive privilege By Josh Meyer.  Los Angeles Times. June 22, 2007
  • Executive Order Office of the Press Secretary. March 25, 2003
  • Representative Henry A. Waxman letter to Vice President, Dick Cheney. The Oversight Committee June 21, 2007
  • 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.  Los Angeles Times. June 23, 2007
  • 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.  Los Angeles Times. June 23, 2007
  • Press Briefing by Dana Perino. Office of the Press Secretary. June 25, 2007