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Living in Cheney's Own Private Oil Company

By Mario Giardiello


Vice-President Dick Cheney appeared twice on Sunday talk shows to divert the Enron scandal away from the administration. He states he is standing behind the constitution to not share important information with Congress. The problem is he is not standing behind our Constitution and helping to protect the thousands of people who lost their life savings and their jobs just so he can protect a corrupt company and government.

He claims that the presidency is “weaker today because of the unwise compromises that have been made over the last 30 to 35 years,” but has failed to point out exactly what those compromises were.

The Executive Branch has always had one-third of the power in our government, and some argue it is even more than that due to veto power. In a time when he should be more worried about our nation’s security, he is grandstanding in order to preserve presidential power.

Surely he has more to do than to drag this dispute between Congress and the White House into court. It only shows how obvious it is that he must be hiding something. This is not the time to be making a point to Congress that the president needs more power to do his job. In any case, does anyone really believe that he is doing this for the integrity of the Executive Branch?

Even though Cheney’s name is now appearing in the same sentence as “Watergate” in the mainstream media, he is still sticking to his guns. What many don’t realize is that he has no choice.

No one in the administration is coming out and saying he is wrong for his vehemence because they understand that he is taking the necessary steps to hide the facts. He cannot let the General Accounting Office (the investigative arm of Congress) know who met with the energy task force and what was discussed. This information would be too telling and hurtful to his boys.

Instead he would like to start the biggest battle between Congress and the White House since Watergate, as a necessary diversion. He will make himself out to be an American hero, voicing concern that the President must be able to make moves independently for the security of the nation. He will shift the focus of this scandal towards a constitutional fight to preserve the rights and power of the President, while all the time keeping the truth from the American people -- that campaign contributions disproportionately influenced the White House energy proposals.

What happened to the administration that promised to be the Great Unifier? Bush’s war cabinet is dividing the world with its isolationist foreign policy and the nation with its cover-ups and lies. Dick Cheney and the Bush Administration need to stop treating the greatest democracy in the world as an oil company. Hindsight shows the wisdom of Barbara Lee, having the vision to understand what Bush would become when he was given too much power.

And now the rest of America is starting to understand, too. A CBS-New York Times poll shows that almost three-quarters of Americans think the administration is lying or hiding something about its relationship with Enron. With the trials against Enron employees who obstructed justice starting soon, more and more truths will be discovered from these white-collar, silver spooners who can’t face the idea of prison. Then the truth about Cheney’s motivation to withhold records will surface -- and the fun will begin.

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