Cheney tried to nix agency targeting him
RAW STORY
Published: Friday June 22, 2007
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The Vice President attempted to "nix" the agency that was targeting him, Friday's New York Times reports.

"For four years, Vice President Dick Cheney has resisted routine oversight of his office’s handling of classified information, and when the National Archives unit that monitors classification in the executive branch objected, the vice president’s office suggested abolishing the oversight unit, according to documents released yesterday by a Democratic congressman," the New York Times reports.

Scott Shane reports, "The Information Security Oversight Office, a unit of the National Archives, appealed the issue to the Justice Department, which has not yet ruled on the matter."

On Thursday, Michael Roston reported for RAW STORY that 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.'

"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."

Excerpts from Times article:

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In the tradition of Washington’s semantic dust-ups, this one might be described as a fight over what an “entity” is. The executive order, last updated in 2003 and currently under revision, states that it applies to any “entity within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information.”

J. William Leonard, director of the oversight office, has argued in a series of letters to Mr. Addington that the vice president’s office is indeed such an entity. He noted that previous vice presidents had complied with the request for data on documents classified and declassified, and that Mr. Cheney did so in 2001 and 2002.

But starting in 2003, the vice president’s office began refusing to supply the information. In 2004, it blocked an on-site inspection by Mr. Leonard’s office that was routinely carried out across the government to check whether documents were being properly labeled and safely stored.

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FULL TIMES ARTICLE CAN BE READ AT THIS LINK