That struggle came to the public’s attention in a June 21, 2007 letter from Congressman Henry Waxman (D-California). The letter describes a 2004 incident when Cheney turned away onsite inspectors from the Information Security Oversight Office who notified him that they were coming by to conduct the executive order-mandated inspection.
Waxman brought to light a 2006 letter sent to the national archives in which Cheney insists that his office does not fall under the Executive Branch of government:
“According to a letter that the National Archives sent to your staff in June 2006, you asserted that the Office of the Vice President is not an ‘entity within the executive ranch’and hence is not subject to presidential executive orders.”
It all depends on what the meaning of “or” is.
Here is the entire 2003 Executive Order, I excepted a bit of it below.
“Sec. 5.1. Program Direction. (a) The Director of the Information Security Oversight Office, under the direction of the Archivist and in consultation with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, shall issue such directives as are necessary to implement this order.”
“(cc) ‘Original classification authority’ means an individual authorized in writing, either by the President, the Vice President in the performance of executive duties, or by agency heads or other officials designated by the President, to classify information in the first instance.”
“Or” is meant here as a term of inclusion.
Actually I like this definition from Dictionary.com:
OR /ɔr/ Pronunciation Key
a Boolean operator that returns a positive result when either or both operands are positive.
So Cheney must choose whether he has classification authority or not because you can’t have it both ways. You can’t have classification authority without oversight. No can do.
Actually from what I am hearing today, in response to Cheney's denial that his office does not fall under the Executive Branch, there is a movement afoot to delete Vice President Cheney’s office from the General Government Appropriations Bill to be introduced this coming week. From The Raw Story:
“Following Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that his office is not a part of the executive branch of the US government, Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) plans to introduce an amendment to the the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill to cut funding for Cheney's office.”
In response to this, Cheney was heard to say “Neererng-neerng, #!&*@% you!”