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Cheney: OVP neither executive nor legislative branch

The Office of the Vice President (OVP) is refusing to cooperate with a government directory known as the "Plum Book," which lists government employees. Federal agencies have to comply by listing staffers in the directory, but Dick Cheney’s office claimed an exemption for itself, arguing that the Vice Presidency is a unique office that is neither a part of the executive branch nor a part of the legislative branch. But it’s not just the phone book with which the OVP refuses to cooperate. Evidently, the OVP is not part of the executive branch and so need not comply with ANY disclosures. An important legal ruling is pending over Vice President Cheney’s refusal to disclose statistics on document classification and declassification activity. The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), which is responsible for the policy and oversight of the government’s security classification system and declassification, has asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to direct Cheney’s office to disclose these statistics. According to Steven Aftergood of Secrecy News, "for the last three years, OVP has refused to divulge its classification statistics to ISOO, despite a seemingly explicit requirement that it do so. Prior to 2002, such information had routinely been transmitted and reported in ISOO’s annual reports to the President." Hmmm, the OVP doesn’t want the public to know who’s working there or how many documents they’re classifying. What’s going on there?

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