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Evidence Dick Didn’t Declassify the NIE

As part of Dick Cheney’s attempt to regain the love of his adoring Fox viewer supporters the other day, he threw in a tidbit completely unrelated to the accidental shooting of his friend.

Q    Let me ask you another question.  Is it your view that a VicePresident has the authority to declassify information?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  There is an executive order to that effect.

Q    There is.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:   Yes.

Q    Have you done it?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, I’ve certainly advocateddeclassification and participated in declassification decisions.  Theexecutive order —

Q    You ever done it unilaterally?

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I don’t want to get into that.  There is anexecutive order that specifies who has classification authority, andobviously focuses first and foremost on the President, but also includesthe Vice President.

As a result, a number of very smart people have revisited the question of whether Dick Cheney does, in fact, have the power to unilaterally declassify something. But I think we’re getting distracted from the matter at hand.

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