Usurpation as a Life-Long Commitment

· dKo journal

And they don’t always win…
I have freely excerpted and rearranged from this LA Times piece.
“Watergate Weighs on Today’s White House,” By Peter Wallsten., LA Times Staff Writer, June 7, 2005
[L]ingering weaknesses remain in the executive branch’s authority, officials around Bush have said.
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Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, a Nixon aide who also served as chief of staff to Ford, tried to stop Congress’ post-Watergate broadening of the Freedom of Information Act. The act requires the government to disclose certain records to citizens.
Working with Cheney, Rumsfeld persuaded Ford to veto the legislation, according to declassified documents obtained last year by the National Security Archive at Georgetown University. Congress overrode Ford’s veto.
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Vice President Dick Cheney, who worked in the Nixon White House and served as chief of staff to President Ford, has spoken of using his current position to restore powers of the presidency that he believes were diminished as a result of Watergate and the Vietnam War….Cheney has tried to rekindle a broad view of executive authority.
Cheney was defending his refusal to disclose information about private meetings with energy industry representatives to help formulate the administration’s national energy policy. Cheney’s actions were upheld by the Supreme Court, a ruling that legal experts said enhanced the powers of the executive branch.
[DKo: Still, it was only about private, non-members of the Energy Task Force that info didn’t have to be disclosed. The court merely refused to affirm that they had become, de facto, members.]
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Critics point to other examples of the Bush White House acting to enhance or preserve executive power. For example, the White House initially refused to let then-national security advisor Condoleezza Rice testify before the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks. She ultimately testified.
[DKo–My italics.]
[DKo: Note too that, originally, Bush was not even going to allow the post-Vietnam “War Powers Act” to mandate a congressional vote on Iraq.]