So, "Top Secret" does not apply to Dick Cheney and he can willy-nilly out CIA operatives if their husbands get crosswise with the Sith Lords evil ideology. If the pesky congresscritters try to get an attitude about it, he uses the Dark Side of the force and Jedi mind tricks.
Washington, D.C. — The Oversight Committee has learned that over the objections of the National Archives, Vice President Cheney exempted his office from the presidential order that establishes government-wide procedures for safeguarding classified national security information. The Vice President asserts that his office is not an “entity within the executive branch.”
As described in a letter from Chairman Waxman to the Vice President, the National Archives protested the Vice President’s position in letters written in June 2006 and August 2006. When these letters were ignored, the National Archives wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in January 2007 to seek a resolution of the impasse. The Vice President’s staff responded by seeking to abolish the agency within the Archives that is responsible for implementing the President’s executive order.
In his letter to the Vice President, Chairman Waxman writes: “I question both the legality and wisdom of your actions. … [I]t would appear particularly irresponsible to give an office with your history of security breaches an exemption from the safeguards that apply to all other executive branch officials.”
The Sith Lord is a brutal infighter. He has proposed modifications that would eliminate oversight and review by the Attorney General--not that he's all that concerned with Bertie Walnuts--who has problems of his own.
Dick Cheney's nonchalant history of abusing national security secrets for partisan political gain is stunning. During the run-up to the Iraq invasion, he cherry-picked certain items from the National Intelligence Estimate that helped the neocon vision of Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL) and leaked it to his favorite media bitch, Judith Miller via Scooter Libby.
The NIE is a classified document. It is important to remember the war in Iraq began on March 19, 2003.
Congressman Waxman notes:
In 2001 and 2002, your office had provided the National Archives with data on its classification and declassification activities, as required by the executive order. Your office ceased to provide this information in 2003, and has refused to provide it in each year since. No rationale for this change in policy was provided to the Archives at that time.
I wonder why?
Waxman, being no shrinking violet, even in the face of evil ideology, continues:
Your office may have the worst record in the executive branch for safeguarding classified information. As Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald established, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, your former Chief of Staff, leaked the identity of a covert CIA operative to several reporters in June 2003. Mr. Libby was convicted in March of perjury, obstruction of justice, and false statements for lying to a grand jury and to FBI agents in order to conceal his role in the leaking of this information.
The prosecution of Mr. Libby also revealed that you apparently misused the declassification process for political reasons. In July 2003, you reportedly instructed Mr. Libby to leak to the media portions of an October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Saddam Hussein’s purported efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Your selective declassification of this information was apparently made outside the formal declassification process and done as part of a damage-control effort you undertook to defend the Administration’s rationale for going to war in Iraq.
In a separate incident, Leandro Aragoncillo, a former aide in your office, pleaded guilty in May 2006 to passing classified information to plotters allegedly trying to overthrow Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Mr. Aragoncillo reportedly disclosed numerous secret and top secret documents to Philippine officials over several years while working in your office.Private Government absolutely resistant to any oversight that has seized the power to wiretap, jail and torture its citizens without judicial or congressional review.
Welcome to the land of Republicans. It's a long way from America.
H/T to Think Progress.