Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cheney's office responds to critics

Dismissively.

“Constitutional issues in government are generally best left for discussion when unavoidable disputes arise in a specific context instead of in theoretical discussions,” Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington, said in a letter to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).

Meanwhile -- it sounds like Henry Waxman is just getting started, outlining a whole series of reported security violations in the White House. Most of them appear aimed more at embarassing the president than correcting substantive problems, inasmuch as the rules that are said to be violated are rules that the president could change at will. And the reference to Karl Rove is just silly. That said, while the president can do stupid things with classified documents, that does not mean he should. If the White House information security operation is as sloppy as Waxman alleges, Bush deserves embarassment.

Update: The Washington Post has a more detailed piece on the response, noting that the argument being advanced by Addington doesn't appear to be supported by the language of the EO, and has thus been specifically rejected by the National Archives office charged with enforcing the EO. That said, the letter may be a signal that the VP's office won't try to push the "not part of the executive branch" defense.

Too bad. Apparently somebody with a lump of sense got ahold of Cheney's lawyers.

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