JURIST Supported by the University of Pittsburgh
Serious law. Primary sources. Global perspective.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Cheney ignoring executive order on classified info oversight: House panel
Michael Sung at 10:21 AM ET

[JURIST] US Vice President Dick Cheney has exempted his office [press release] from Executive Order 12958 [PDF text] as amended by Executive Order 13292 [text], which requires executive branch officials to submit annual reports to the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) [official website] to ensure that classified information is properly secured, according to documents released Thursday by the House Oversight Committee. The committee said that the ISOO issued letters of protest in June and August 2006 [PDF texts], and upon being ignored by Cheney's office, submitted a letter [PDF text] to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in January 2007. According to the ISOO, Cheney's office responded to the ISOO's request for access by asking President Bush to amend the executive orders to close the ISOO. Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman chastised [letter, PDF] Cheney's office for blocking efforts by the ISOO to conduct oversight by asserting that the office was not an "entity within the executive branch." Waxman further criticized the "legality and wisdom" of Cheney's actions, citing repeated security breaches in Cheney's office. In October 2005, the DOJ indicted [PDF text] Leandro Aragoncillo, an official in Cheney's office, for passing classified information to individuals in the Philippines. Aragoncillo pleaded guilty in May 2006. Waxman also cited the leak of former CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity [JURIST news archive] as an instance where Cheney's office failed to adhere to security protocols.

Cheney is accused of consistently shielding the internal workings [Oversight Committee fact sheet, PDF] of his office from external oversight. In 2005, Cheney successfully blocked [JURIST report] efforts by watchdog groups to obtain internal communications of the National Energy Policy Development Group [policy report, PDF], a task force headed by Cheney that consulted with private industry officials. Cheney has also sought to block efforts [JURIST report] by the Washington Post and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington to obtain Secret Service visitor logs [JURIST report] to identify lobbyists and religious leaders who have visited Cheney's residence. In May, the DOJ revealed that Cheney's lawyers instructed the Secret Service to destroy the visitor logs [JURIST report], despite claims that the information was protected by the Presidential Records Act [text]. The DOJ is currently reviewing the decision of the vice president's office to not comply with the executive orders. The Washington Post has more.

Link |  | print | subscribe | RSS feeds | latest newscast | Facebook page

For more legal news check the Paper Chase Archive...


 Illinois governor signs bill expanding medical marijuana for seizures
2:31 PM ET, July 21

 Dutch prosecutors open war crimes probe into Malaysia Airlines crash
12:42 PM ET, July 21

 Bahrain files suit to suspend main opposition group
11:30 AM ET, July 21

 click for more...

Get JURIST legal news delivered daily to your e-mail!


Unprecedented Notice of Warrantless Wiretapping in a Closed Case
Ramzi Kassem
CUNY School of Law


Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.


Paper Chase welcomes comments, tips and URLs from readers. E-mail us at JURIST@jurist.org