The Vice President and the President have casually declared their offices to be independent of the executive branch and completely autonomous, with Dick Cheney also attempting to abolish agencies his office is supposed to be accountable to.
Last week the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform reported:
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 documents released by the committee reveal that Cheney's office has not cooperated with an office at the National Archives and Records Administration which is responsible for overseeing the protection of classified material by the executive branch.
As the Washington Post further reported, Cheney's staff have consistently declared themselves above the law by not filing reports on their possession of classified data and even blocking an inspection of their office in 2004. The documents also reveal that after the Archives office demanded cooperation earlier this year, Cheney's staff proposed eliminating it altogether.
While Cheney has declared his office outside of the executive branch he has continued to receive funding from the bill that funds the
executive branch. Instead of challenging Cheney's absurd declaration of autonomy, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel is now seeking an amendment to the Financial Services and General
Government Appropriations bill in order to cut the funding to Cheney's office and thus legally separate it from the executive branch.
"The Vice President has a choice to make. If he believes his legal
case, his office has no business being funded as part of the executive
branch. However, if he demands executive branch funding he cannot
ignore executive branch rules. At the very least, the Vice President
should be consistent." Emanuel has said.
In addition to Cheney's office declaring itself exempt from oversight, President Bush's office has also claimed it has the same status.
The LA Times reported:
An executive order that Bush issued in March 2003 — amending an existing order — requires all government agencies that are part of the executive branch to submit to oversight. Although it doesn't specifically say so, Bush's order was not meant to apply to the vice president's office or the president's office, a White House spokesman said.
It has now become chillingly clear that the President and the Vice President believe that they have absolute power over the Government of the United States and cannot be held accountable to anybody.
Previously Dick Cheney has declared both himself and Bush unaccountable to Congress, stating last year that "vice president and president and constitutional officers don't appear before the Congress."
It is also now clear that Bush and Cheney have broken literally hundreds of laws because they see themselves as outside of them. Last April the Boston Globe reported:
President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.
Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ''whistle-blower" protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.
The Constitution assigns power to Congress to write the laws and asserts that the president has an obligation ''to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ''execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.
Take the "torture ban", which was approved last year, for example. After approving the bill, Bush giving his own interpretation of what the law meant and giving him the right to bypass it if he so wished.
Bush and Cheney are vastly expanding Presidential power and creating provisions that set their offices up as dictatorial bodies.
Just last month new legislation was signed which declares that in the event of a "catastrophic event", the President can take total control over the government and the country, bypassing all other levels of government at the state, federal, local, territorial and tribal levels, and thus ensuring total unprecedented dictatorial power.
The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, which also places the Secretary of Homeland Security in charge of domestic "security", was signed on May 9th without the approval or oversight of Congress and seemingly supercedes the National Emergency Act which allows the president to declare a national emergency but also requires that Congress have the authority to "modify, rescind, or render dormant" such emergency authority if it believes the president has acted inappropriately.
Journalist Jerome Corsi, who has studied the directive also states that it makes no reference to Congress and "its language appears to negate any requirement that the president submit to Congress a determination that a national emergency exists."
In other words the new directive excludes Congress altogether from governance in a state of emergency.
While alluding to the "enduring constitutional government", the directive actually ensures the end of constitutional government as each branch, the executive, legislative and judicial, are stripped of equal authority and must answer directly and solely to the President.
The mainstream media has not reported on the directive and the White House has refused to comment.
Last month it was also reported that a high-level group of government and military officials has been quietly preparing an emergency survival program named "The Day After," which would effectively end civil liberties and implement a system of martial law in the event of a catastrophic attack on a U.S. city.
Though anathema to any notion of liberty or freedom, this new legislation has not come out of the blue, it is merely an open declaration of the infrastructure of martial law that the federal government has been building since the turn of the last century, which was first publicly codified in the 1933 war powers act under Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Senate Report 93-549, which was presented at the first session of the 93rd Congress, outlines just a handful of the declared national emergencies or martial law declarations that preceded the latest one.
"Since March 9, 1933, the United States has been in a state of declared national emergency. In fact, there are now in effect four presidentially-proclaimed states of national emergency: In addition to the national emergency declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, there are also the national emergency proclaimed by President Harry S. Truman on December 16, 1950, during the Korean conflict, and the states of national emergency declared by President Richard M. Nixon on March 23, 1970, and August 15, 1971."
In alliance with these open declarations of martial law and the 1947 National Security Act, bills such as the Patriot Act, the John Warner Defense Authorization Act and the Military Commissions Act have all put the final jigsaw pieces in place to complete an infrastructure of dictatorship since 9/11.
We're already living under an infrastructure of martial law and have been since 1933, all that remains for it to be fully implemented is a big enough natural disaster, mass terror attack or other catastrophe that will cause the necessary carnage and panic that affords the federal government enough leeway to implement open dictatorship with the least possible resistance.
New revelations that Cheney and Bush have openly declared themselves to be have total power and the ability to bypass law and oversight should be a code red emergency. They are moving to implement everything necessary for a total takeover should a catalyst event provide the opportunity. Given that this administration has a history of cooking up its own catalysts we should be very wary indeed.