Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Vice-President Records may go missing

Apparently Vice-President Cheney is moving boxes of records into his house, and hurt his back. Look for him today in a wheel chair at the inauguration. The Boston Globe reports

A federal judge ruled yesterday that Vice President Dick Cheney has broad discretion in determining what records created during his eight-year tenure must be preserved.

Absent any evidence that Cheney's office is failing to safeguard records, it is up to the vice president to determine how he deals with material, US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled.

"Congress drastically limited the scope of outside inquiries related to the vice president's handling of his own records during his term in office," the judge said in a 63-page opinion.

At issue is whether Cheney had impermissibly limited the scope of the Presidential Records Act, a post-Watergate law aimed at protecting White House records.

Cheney has taken the legal position that his office is not part of the executive branch of government, triggering a lawsuit by several groups including three organizations of historians and archivists concerned that the record of Cheney's time in office might not be adequately safeguarded.

The lawsuit alleges that the Bush administration's actions over the last eight years call into question whether the White House will turn over to the National Archives a complete record of the activities of Cheney and his staff.

Yesterday, Cheney pulled a muscle in his back while moving boxes into his new home outside Washington and will be in a wheelchair for today's inauguration ceremony.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said the vice president's doctor recommended that he needed a wheelchair for the next couple of days.

I found a helpful link at CommonDreams.org which includes links to various documents in the law suit filed in September, 2008. You can visit here. The group that sued is called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and their website http://citizensforethics.org/ includes the judge's decision. Click on their Actions link, and choose lawsuits, and then you will see Cheney. But their site does not include such goodies as the statements by historians and letters to senators that are included at the CommonDreams website from September. Archivists and historians protested the statements that the Vice-president made that his office is not part of the Executive branch and not bound by rules holding the Executive branch responsible for preserving its documents for the future. Apparently Judge Kottely agreed with Mr. Cheney. Sigh.

1 comment:

Marie S. Newman said...

Did anyone else think that Dick Cheney in his wheelchair was reminiscent of Dr. Strangelove?