Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The World According to Cheney

PBS has re-run the Frontline report entitled Cheney's Law. That "law" from our Vice President is that anything a President wants to do is OK and overrides everything else including the Constitution. Unless you are following certain issues very carefully, you might be missing the extent to which Cheney's beliefs have shaped the current administration. And a lot of progressives need to pay attention to the fact that the one agency that has managed to act as the protector of the Constitution and laws on the books has been the FBI. Yes, the FBI that progressives have grown accustomed to protesting.

NPR is reporting on yet another case of the FBI raiding a governmental office because of the fact that the role of that office had been corrupted. The office? The Office of the Special Council that is tasked with protecting Federal whistle-blowers.
FBI agents on Tuesday raided the offices of Special Counsel Scott J. Bloch, who oversees protection for federal whistle-blowers. The agents seized computers and shut down e-mail service as part of an obstruction of justice probe, as first reported by NPR News.

A grand jury in Washington issued subpoenas for several OSC employees, including Bloch, according to NPR sources who spoke on condition their names not be used. Bloch's home was also searched.

Those developments came about on a Tuesday morning that had seemed no different from any other weekday in the Washington headquarters of the Office of Special Counsel. But at 10 a.m., the OSC's national e-mail system went down, and the FBI arrived.

There are some who would refer to the office has being that of Scott J. Bloch-head.

This is only one more example, coming as it does on the heels of Lurita Doan's wonderful testimony to Alzheimer's like forgetfulness in a Congressional Committee hearing on the politicization of the General Services Administration. It makes you wonder if the whistle-blowers who complained had worked for Doan.

I also note the specific sequence of events here... the email system went down and then the FBI arrived. Coincidence?

The second example I would want to cite is one that is more closely related to California and even to my home town, Morgan Hill. Once the site of a small manufacturing facility that made emergency flares for road side use, the ground water of Morgan Hill and surrounding areas is now contaminated with perchlorate, often referred to as "rocket fuel". According to the AP's Erica Werner (a very good reporter) the EPA is once again refusing to make a ruling regarding allowable levels of perchlorate in ground water. This is very much like their refusing to make a ruling regarding automobile emissions. It seems that every time something comes up that would actually help people, the EPA refuses to do anything.

I would not go so far as to say that these examples are directed from the Veep's office. I do say that they reflect a pervasive attitude, a cynicism about the role of government and the sense of some sort of Imperial Presidency entitlement that has been the hallmark of Cheney for a long time. In my case, cleaning up perchlorate creates a surcharge on my water bill every month.

What the hell, it's only money.

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