Posts Tagged National Archives

Dick Cheney: Let the shredding begin

dick_cheneyA few months ago a U.S. District Court judge ruled that

. . . vice president Dick Cheney must turn over all documents prepared by him, or his office, in relation to his duties as vice president, to the National Archives after his term as VP has ended.

A lawsuit, launched by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, was precipitated by a statement Cheney made in 2003 stating that neither he, nor the office of vice president of the United States, should be considered entities within the executive branch of government.

Under a U.S. law, the Presidential Records Act, all records relating to the performance of official duties within the executive branch of government must be turned over to the National Archive at the end of a sitting term. Cheney and his lawyers have fought for a more specific definition of the meaning of “official documents.”

That was not the end of the lawsuit, however. The case continues on as Cheney was ordered simply to preserve records until the court issues a final decision. His lawyers are asserting that

. . . the vice president alone has the authority to determine which records, if any, from his tenure will be handed over to the National Archives when he leaves office in January.

That claim is in federal court documents asking that a lawsuit over the records be dismissed. Cheney leaves office Jan. 20, potentially taking with him millions of records that might otherwise become public record.

Cheney has throughout his term in office been the opposite of transparency. It is no surprise he wishes to keep those records hidden from public view forever. And that’s all the more reason why the public should see them.

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