Vice President Dick Cheney has asserted his office is not a part of the executive branch of the U.S. government, and therefore not bound by a presidential order governing the protection of classified information by government agencies, according to a new letter from Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., to Cheney. ~ABC News

The White House said Friday that, like Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, President Bush’s office is not allowing an independent federal watchdog to oversee its handling of classified national security information.

An executive order that Bush issued in March 2003 — amending an existing order — requires all government agencies that are part of the executive branch to submit to oversight. Although it doesn’t specifically say so, Bush’s order was not meant to apply to the vice president’s office or the president’s office, a White House spokesman said. ~The Los Angeles Times 

Via Bradford Plummer

The original executive order reportedly said, “Our democratic principles require that the American people be informed of the activities of their government.”  Apparently, Messrs. Bush and Cheney are also claiming that they are not part of the United States government, or they may be admitting that they are actively rejecting democratic principles.  Either way, it doesn’t seem as if this is the sort of thing that a smart administration would do.  Corrupt and power-hungry?  Sure.  But smart?  Not so much.