Cheney's Furtive Ways

NPR's Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr sounds off on Vice President Dick Cheney's tendency towards secrecy.

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DANIEL SCHORR: Dick Cheney, he of the undisclosed location is at it again. He's keeping secrets.

LIANE HANSEN, host:

NPR's senior news analyst Daniel Schorr.

SCHORR: You may recall that early in the Bush administration, the vice president refused to disclose what energy company he's had consulted on energy policy. He fought that issue up to the court and he won.

A few days ago, we learned that Cheney sought to override the Justice Department's objections to a secret surveillance program. The vice president's office even blocked the promotion of a senior Justice Department official who had opposed the surveillance operation.

It turns out that Cheney and other White House officials attended a secret meeting in March 2004. They wanted Attorney General John Ashcroft from his hospital bed to approve the continuation of the possibly, illegal surveillance program. And we learned about another of Dick Cheney's (Unintelligible) ways this past week. The Secret Service was recently called to stop keeping logs of visitors to the president and the vice president. You can probably figure out who wanted to hide the names of his guests - Cheney, of course.

You have to wonder who are these mysterious persons that he sees, whose identities must never be revealed. And wait there's more. In 2001, the White House tore up its long-standing policy of releasing presidential papers after 12 years. The move came just in time to block the release of the Reagan papers. That was reportedly the work of Vice President Cheney, too.

Now that we have a secretary of Homeland Security, perhaps we also need a secretary of secrecy, who would operate from an undisclosed location. Maybe the vice president should add that to his undisclosed duties, now that his former chief of staff, Scooter Libby, is no longer available.

This is Daniel Schorr.

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HANSEN: You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.

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