Friday, February 24

THE UNITARY VICE PRESIDENT


I'm surprised, in a way, that the prideful Dubya would go so far as to DOCUMENT the fact that Dick Cheney is now essentially his equal.

On March 25, 2003, President Bush signed Executive Order 13292, a hitherto little known document that grants the greatest expansion of the power of the vice president in American history. The order gives the vice president the same ability to classify intelligence as the president. By controlling classification, the vice president can in effect control intelligence and, through that, foreign policy.

Bush operates on the radical notion of the "unitary executive," that the president has inherent and limitless powers in his role as commander in chief, above the system of checks and balances. By his extraordinary order, he elevated Cheney to his level, an acknowledgment that the vice president was already the de facto executive in national security. Never before has any president diminished and divided his power in this manner. Now the unitary executive inherently includes the unitary vice president.
...
When Dick Cheney was secretary of defense under the first President Bush, he reprimanded Vice President Dan Quayle for asserting power he did not possess by calling a meeting of the National Security Council when the elder Bush was abroad. Cheney well knew the vice president had no authority in the chain of command.

Since the coup d'├ętat of Executive Order 13292, however, the vice presidency has been transformed. Perhaps, for a blinding moment, Cheney imagined he might classify his shooting party top secret.


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1 Comments:

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