Sunday, December 30, 2007

Legal Fiction (or Justice in the Former Cheerleader's America)

Slate's Dahlia Lithwick lists the Bush administration's dumbest legal arguments of the year. Its stunning when you put them all together. The breadth of the stupidity and crass arrogance befits any banana republic. Shame. Its difficult to pick a favorite, but this might be the most absurd:

8. The vice president's office is not a part of the executive branch.

We also learned in July that over the repeated objections of the National Archives, Vice President Dick Cheney exempted his office from Executive Order 12958, designed to safeguard classified national security information. In declining such oversight in 2004, Cheney advanced the astounding legal proposition that the Office of the Vice President is not an "entity within the executive branch" and hence is not subject to presidential executive orders. When, in January 2007, the Information Security Oversight Office asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resolve the dispute, Cheney recommended the executive order be amended to abolish the Information Security Oversight Office altogether. In a new interview with Mike Isikoff at Newsweek, the director of the ISOO stated that his fight with Cheney's office was a "contributing" factor in his decision to quit after 34 years.

Some things you just can't make up.

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