Secrecy News

Vice President Refuses to Report Classification Activity

For the third year in a row the Office of Vice President Dick Cheney has refused to disclose data on its classification and declassification activity, in an apparent violation of an executive order issued by President Bush.

“The Office of the Vice President (OVP), the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), and the Homeland Security Council (HSC) failed to report their data to ISOO this year,” the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) noted in its new 2005 Annual Report to the President (pdf) (at page 9, footnote 1).

The Office of the Vice President has declined to report such data since 2002. Yet it is clear that disclosure is not optional.

“Each agency that creates or handles classified information shall report annually to the Director of ISOO statistics related to its security classification program,” according to ISOO Directive 1 (at section 2001.80).

This and other ISOO directives “shall be binding upon the agencies,” President Bush wrote in Executive Order 13292 (section 5.1). And an “agency” is not only a statutorily defined executive branch agency, but also includes “any other entity within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information.”

Despite this straightforward language, a spokeswoman for Vice President Cheney told the Chicago Tribune in April that his Office is “not under any duty” to provide the required information.

On prior refusals by the Vice President to disclose classification and declassification data, see “Cheney exempts his own office from reporting on classified material” by Mark Silva, Chicago Tribune, April 29, 2006.

Historically, the OVP has “not reported quantitatively significant data,” according to ISOO. So the Vice President’s current defiance of the executive order does not greatly distort the overall presentation of classification activity.

But it signals an unhealthy contempt for presidential authority and undermines the integrity of classification oversight.

0 thoughts on “Vice President Refuses to Report Classification Activity

  1. Why should he disclose anything? Why should Cheney follow any rules? Why should any of them. They are omnipotent and above the rule of law or reason. Watch carefully as they destroy the American empire.

  2. Compliance with their own executive orders is a hard thing to do, especially when you have so many ridiculous proclamations coming out in the first place eh?

    My favorite still has to be the four reasons given by Ken “Cakewalk” Adelman about why we went to war:

    1. We’re stronger now
    2. They’re weaker now
    3. It was a cakewalk last time
    4. This time, WE’RE PLAYING FOR KEEPS


  3. may we still be around to write of the history of the worst administration in american history

    may the brain-dead sales-monkey’s kids, jenna and notjenna, be able to show their faces in public and not be scorned or shunned

    may the president of vice, cheney, dick, be appointed an overworked public defender for his treason and crimes against humanity trials

    may rumsfeld one day think about the sheer number of people he killed and not get an erection (who knew i was going to torture, use DU, and whitey pete) and not look at displayed pieces of the pentagon wreckage and not think it’s a ‘wonderful’ reminder of that day

    may rove rot in a hell where helen thomas is the only writer for the only paper that get’s deliverd to his cell

    may feingold not be the only democrat senator worth supporting

  4. What will it take to unveil the secrecy blanket thrown over the executive branch? Plain and simple: Vote out every incumbent, with the exception of Russ Feingold and John Murtha. These two are the only ones “serving” us, while the others pander to the rule of the “Don’t screw with the Administration or we will screw with you”.

    The “powers” that the VP and his band of nit-wits think they have are miniscule compared to the power of the voter. We must appear en masse come November, and rid DC of the shameful, corrupted individuals that supposedly “Govern” us. Then we can come to terms of impeachment, as a vast majority of willing congressmen and women will uphold the rule of the Nation and hold those accountable that have brought shame onto our Nation.

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