Speaking on Friday at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum in Grand Rapids, Mich., Dick "Deadeye"Cheney - the man who shoots lawyers - said that because he served as President Ford’s chief of staff, “researchers like to come and dig through my files, to see if anything interesting turns up.”
“I want to wish them luck,” he quipped, eliciting laughter from the crowd, “but the files are pretty thin. I learned early on that if you don’t want your memos to get you in trouble some day, just don’t write any.”
This blisteringly funy apercu, was no doubt something for the republican scum who had turned up to hear the war criminal speak , to chuckle over and remember to tell their grandchildren.
Dick wasn't joking. Oh No.
The Committee on Oversight and Government reform chaired by Henry Waxman has been delving into the way White House officials violated the Presidential Records Act by using e-mail accounts maintained by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Bush Cheney ‘04 campaign for official White House communications.
(The Presidential Records Act requires the President to “take all such steps as may be necessary to assure that the activities, deliberations, decisions, and policies that reflect the performance of his constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties are adequately documented … and maintained as Presidential records.” )
So far, we now know ...
1. At least 88 White House officials had RNC e-mail accounts, including Karl Rove (Rtd.) the President’s senior advisor; Andrew Card (Rtd.), the former White House Chief of Staff; Ken Mehlman, the former White House Director of Political Affairs; and many other officials in the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Communications, and the Office of the Vice President.
2. The RNC has preserved 140,216 e-mails sent or received by Karl Rove. Over half of these e-mails (75,374) were sent to or received from individuals using official “.gov” e-mail accounts. Other heavy users of RNC e-mail accounts include former White House Director of Political Affairs Sara Taylor (66,018 e-mails) and Deputy Director of Political Affairs Scott Jennings (35,198 e-mails). These e-mail accounts were used by White House officials for official purposes, such as communicating with federal agencies about federal appointments and policies.
3. Of the 88 White House officials who received RNC e-mail accounts, the RNC has preserved no e-mails for 51 officials. In a deposition, Susan Ralston, Mr. Rove’s former executive assistant, testified that many of the White House officials for whom the RNC has no e-mail records were regular users of their RNC e-mail accounts.
4. There are major gaps in the e-mail records of the 37 White House officials for whom the RNC did preserve e-mails. The RNC has preserved only 130 e-mails sent to Mr. Rove during President Bush’s first term and no e-mails sent by Mr. Rove prior to November 2003. For many other White House officials, the RNC has no e-mails from before the fall of 2006.
5. In her deposition to the Committee, Ms. Ralston testified that she searched Mr. Rove’s RNC e-mail account in response to an Enron-related investigation in 2001 and the investigation of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald later in the Administration. (Mrs Ralston resigned in Oct. 2006 over Jack Abramoff's White House contacts) According to Mrs. Ralston, the White House Counsel’s office knew about these e-mails because “all of the documents we collected were then turned over to the White House Counsel’s office.” There is no evidence, however, that White House Counsel Gonzales initiated any action to ensure the preservation of the e-mail records that were destroyed by the RNC.
"It is troubling that so many senior White House officials, including Karl Rove and his former deputy Sara Taylor, were engaging in an effort to avoid oversight and accountability by ignoring the laws meant to ensure a public record of official government business," said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee. "This extensive end run around the laws leads one to wonder what these officials wanted to hide from the public and Congress."
On June 21st 2007 it was reported that according to Waxman, Cheney’s office blocked the National Archives’ Information Security Oversight Office from an inspection, who argued that it “does not consider itself an ‘entity within the executive branch.’” A curious view to take of the Office of Vice President.
When the Information Security Oversight Office appealed to the Department of Justice, Cheney’s office reacted by trying to abolish it altogether, Waxman said in a letter sent to Cheney ...."“I question both the legality and wisdom of your actions,” Waxman wrote.
“[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,” he added in reference to the Plame outing and a guilty plea of a staff member who gave classified information to people in the Philippines .
The full and fascinating 16 page (and so far interim report )"Interim Report INVESTIGATION OF POSSIBLE PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS ACT VIOLATIONS UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM MAJORITY STAFF JUNE 2007 " is available here.
So that is as far as it goes but the Committee "should investigate what former White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales knew about the use of political e-mail accounts by White House officials. If Susan Ralston’s testimony to the Committee is accurate, there is evidence that Mr. Gonzales or counsels working in his office knew in 2001 that Karl Rove was using his RNC e-mail account to communicate about official business, but took no action to preserve Mr. Rove’s official communications."
As the sweating runty liar is now history, no doubt nothing will happen about that. As to Dick's e-mail traffic in 2001 when he was busy organising the bombing of New York and Washington - on 11th September - simply lost in the office cleanout by the RNC.
"I learned early on that if you don’t want your memos to get you in trouble some day, just don’t write any" .. and if you do, he should have added, make sure they get destroyed.
Pic U of Texas - President Ford meets with Deputy Chief of Staff Dick Cheney and Chief of Staff Don Rumsfeld in the Oval Office. April 28th 1975 Top 21st April bottom.
But that's not all folks ....... Think Progress have more -
Cheney lawyer told Secret Service not to keep visitor logs: A lawyer for Vice President Dick Cheney told the Secret Service in September 2006 “to eliminate data on who visited Cheney at his official residence.”
Exempted himself from executive order protecting classified information: Since 2003, Cheney’s office has failed to provide data on its classification and declassification activities as required by Executive Order 12958, which President Bush has endorsed. “Cheney’s office provided the information in 2001 and 2002, then stopped.”
Attempted to dodge Information Security Oversight Office: In 2004, Cheney’s office specifically intervened to block an on-site inspection by the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), which is a requirement of an executive order from the President.
Sidestepped travel disclosure rules. Cheney and “his staff have been unilaterally exempting themselves from long-standing travel disclosure rules followed by the rest of the executive branch, including the Office of the President,” reported the Center for Public Integrity in 2005.