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Old 01-31-2002, 12:09 PM   #1
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General Accounting Office: Why Sue Now?

NROnline has a quite informative article detailing the fact that the GAO, who is now suing the Bush Administration, never even threatened a suit against the Clinton Administration - even though it had PLENTY of reasons to do so.

There's a critical and so far unanswered question about the General Accounting Office's decision to sue Vice President Dick Cheney for information about outsiders who were consulted by Cheney's energy task force: Why has it come to this?

Cheney's position seems clear enough. The vice president, who has long been determined to preserve executive-branch privileges, appears to believe strongly that the GAO simply does not have the authority to compel him to hand over the information. But what about the other side? Why has the GAO which has never before filed suit to force a top federal official to hand over information decided to go nuclear?

GAO officials, including Comptroller General David Walker, say they simply want to uphold the office's ability to demand access to executive-branch records in the future. But the GAO's position seems baffling in light of its behavior during its last major investigation of the White House.

...
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Old 01-31-2002, 02:59 PM   #2
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The GAO didn't need to sue the Clinton administration because there was already a prosecutor with subpoena power at the time who did use that power to get information on a regular basis. The GAO's job was being done for them, in that situation.

There is no pre-existing investigative entity here other than the GAO. So the GAO is forced to do its job.

[This message has been edited by DoctorGonzo (edited 01-31-2002).]
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Old 01-31-2002, 06:19 PM   #3
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Why not sue now? The Bush Administration, whether you want to admit it or not, is trying to reconcentrate power back into the executive branch. It has stated that past presidents have given away too much power over the last 35 years and now they want it back.

But, in case they didn't know, they aren't dictators. If the GAO or anyone else in the legislature or judiciary wants these records, they should have access, if anything because the President is meant to serve the public. Hence, they should be public record.

I don't care what party or whomever is president, but the executive branch should not be allowed to have all these "secrets." What do they have to hide?

Ironically, by invoking the right of secrecy "to protect future administrations," the Bush Administration, they indirectly quoted Richard Nixon, who was trying to fend off the Watergate investigators. Well, Nixon lost that battle, the investigators went in and found a lot of illegal activity. I have a feeling that the Bush Administration, to a lesser degree than Nixon, has plenty of illegal activity as well. But, if the administration has nothing to hide, then the GAO can be easily placated by handing over the documents, and we can all move forward.

Are we scared of something now?

Melon

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Old 02-01-2002, 12:10 PM   #4
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Melon:

Since when has an attempt to merely reclaim lost powers of the executive branch consituted an attempt to establish a dictatorship?

And if reclaiming established powers makes Bush bad, what does that say about those who took those powers to begin with? I guess they're okay, since they're not George Bush, right?

(Seriously, you're overreacting, suggesting Bush is a dictator and already lumping him in with Nixon. I'm shocked you didn't follow through with a reference to Hitler or Stalin, but I suppose this thread is young.)

I believe the debate comes down to this: the Administration is asserting that they have the right to keep secret the meetings that determine their proposals.

These meetings DO NOT determine the actual policy, nor is such policy worked out in secret or by the Executive branch alone; the White House still works with the Congress on passing bills.

The reason the Administration wants to protect this amount of privacy is that individuals and groups may feel less inclined to participate if their presence, schedule, and suggestions become part of the public record.

Whether "the public should know" is irrelevant. What IS relevant is 1) does the GAO have the right to sue for these documents? 2) If they have the right, why have they only know begun to exercise their powers?

This leads me to DoctorGonzo.

Even if the GAO didn't HAVE to sue Clinton, they didn't even try, or even threaten to sue. Further, the article I linked mentions evasion on the part of the Clinton Administration up to the LAST DAY in office, long past the lifespan of the independent prosecutor.

Any other excuses for the GAO?
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Old 02-01-2002, 12:55 PM   #5
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I think Dr. Gonzo makes a good point, and it answers the question well. Let's just let the judge decide.

(I should mention I didn't read the whole article, just what's above.)

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Old 02-01-2002, 05:11 PM   #6
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This is the point I was referring to:

Quote:
Originally posted by DoctorGonzo:
The GAO didn't need to sue the Clinton administration because there was already a prosecutor with subpoena power at the time who did use that power to get information on a regular basis. The GAO's job was being done for them, in that situation.

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Old 02-01-2002, 06:38 PM   #7
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You know, the partisan hypocrisy is really starting to irk me. Now I can only imagine what our fellow Republicans here would say if Clinton tried to consolidate power and try to hide things from Congress. They'd call for an independent counsel...oh wait they did.

A powerful executive branch does little to help anyone but the president, and undermines the powers given to the Legislature. All we hear from conservatives is about how the powers of government should be limited, but now that one of their own is in power, government can't get big enough.

You say that these meetings "DO NOT" determine the actual policy, but do you know for sure that that, in fact, did not take place? Because Dick and Bush said so? Can you say, "I am not a crook" or "I did not have sexual relations with that woman"? That is why I believe these should be public record, if only to confirm or deny these allegations. As it stands, Cheney and Bush are sounding like they are just giving a bunch of bullshit to put of the investigators, much like Nixon with Watergate.

And, FYI, I'm not saying that Bush should be lumped in with Nixon (yet); it's only funny that, either intentionally or accidentally, Cheney and Bush have been using almost the exact wording and phrasing of a Nixon speech (the need for secrecy "to protect future administrations"), where he tried to stop the Watergate investigators. Nixon's plea didn't work, and the investigators found plenty of illegal activity on his part. So it only makes me wonder what the Bush Administration might be hiding.

Are you so insanely partisan that you cannot see the need for investigation? "Investigation," need I remind you, does not point to automatic guilt.

Melon

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Old 02-01-2002, 08:39 PM   #8
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You know.. I'm not so sure that there is even anything bad or wrong in the files and documents Cheney doesn't want to give up.. In fact, I'd place a wager on it... Let's say a 750 of Drambuie..

It's not an issue of what Cheney is Hiding as many people are saying.. It's exactly what he is saying, that some information needs to be kept private for them to make the decisions they do...

I'm not sure if that is getting lost in this post.. Melon hit it right in saying that investigation does not mean immediate guilt.. but to the general public who watch the nightly news, I guarantee you it will be presented that way... But that's a whole nother issue..

There was a thread a while back on information that the public needs to know about gov't doings, and while I do feel it is necessary to have some secrets.. (As I duck a flying schwastika SP?.. from Melon).. It is 'irksome'.. to quote our illustrious melon again.. to me because this lawsuit only seems to be just an attempt to 'Nail' 'W'.. nothing more.. And I think that is where a lot of people in the public get turned off of this..

And also.. never use a 'roll eye' smiley face again when you're trying to completely dismiss something, I would expect more from an intellectual Giant such as yourself.. Try a dabble into wit perhaps.. You might find it 'groovily Intoxicating'...

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[This message has been edited by Lemonite (edited 02-01-2002).]
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Old 02-01-2002, 09:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lemonite:
It is 'irksome'.. to quote our illustrious melon again.. to me because this lawsuit only seems to be just an attempt to 'Nail' 'W'.. nothing more.. And I think that is where a lot of people in the public get turned off of this..
Hrm...I don't see the public being irked by this. Just the Republicans.

And the whole Monica Lewinsky investigation wasn't an attempt by the Republicans to "nail" Bill Clinton? Please. When you see "Impeach Clinton" stickers starting in 1993, you know there's something up.

But, putting our infamous former Presidents Clinton and Nixon aside, this could be either, at minimum, a misunderstanding or, at maximum, a very serious legal matter. This isn't a case of catching a President lying about an intern sucking him, but the very serious issue about how our utilities have been run in the last decade; one that could have cost us--business, government, and individual alike--billions of dollars. Then, as Enron collapses, it takes everyone down with it. At the very least, even if the Bush Administration is found to have done nothing illegal, it should make us question the nature of deregulation.

Quote:
And also.. never use a 'roll eye' smiley face again when you're trying to completely dismiss something, I would expect more from an intellectual Giant such as yourself.. Try a dabble into wit perhaps.. You might find it 'groovily Intoxicating'...
This coming from someone who closes his diatribe with the word "penis" and once likened himself to an eye of "Mullah Omar." Honestly, I don't give a shit.

Melon

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Old 02-02-2002, 03:19 AM   #10
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What point would that be? That the GAO only will only "do its job" when a Republican is in the White House?

Well, if that IS the point, I'm inclined to agree.
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Old 02-02-2002, 04:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
This coming from someone who closes his diatribe with the word "penis" and once likened himself to an eye of "Mullah Omar." Honestly, I don't give a shit.

Melon

Hahaha.. the ultimate statement.. curse words.. In your argument, you just negated everything you said.. Kudos My friend.. I'm just trying to give you a bit of incredulous credibility...

Lighten up.

A Brother in faith... maybe one day you will learn.

Cheers,

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[This message has been edited by Lemonite (edited 02-02-2002).]
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Old 02-02-2002, 06:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
(Seriously, you're overreacting, suggesting Bush is a dictator and already lumping him in with Nixon. I'm shocked you didn't follow through with a reference to Hitler or Stalin, but I suppose this thread is young.)
Melon probably didnt say that because he is actually really good at this debating stuff


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Old 02-02-2002, 07:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase:
This is the point I was referring to:

Originally posted by DoctorGonzo:
The GAO didn't need to sue the Clinton administration because there was already a prosecutor with subpoena power at the time who did use that power to get information on a regular basis. The GAO's job was being done for them, in that situation.

Well the job wasn't being done very well, and it stopped altogether long before the Administration left, when files were STILL not being turned over and the GAO was STILL doing nothing.

[This message has been edited by Achtung Bubba (edited 02-02-2002).]
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Old 02-02-2002, 07:51 PM   #14
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Ah.. Here's the Godly Unbiased Lemonite here to give another take on this GAO issue, one that doesn't really lie in a political issue.. Hear me out..

I looked a little more into this issue and I did mention this above I think.. but the main problem here is the prospect of the GAO becoming Congress's political Bounty Hunter against the Executive office...
What we're dealing with here is a request by a member of Congress for information.. Where .. JUST BECAUSE IT WAS REQUESTED.. Cheney should give it up..

It doesn't matter that at this point, there is no evidence that Cheney has done anything wrong.. This is what I've always railed against so many people in this forum before, It's almost like our society is a 'We NEed to Know' Group of Gossips, (Exaggerated for effect.. no responses necessary on that line)..

Now, if ther were concerns that Cheney and his crew have actually done something wrong, then That is a Different story.. BUT THAT IS NOT THE CASE AT THIS POINT....

Then, ya'll liberals wouldn't have us republicans yelling and screaming that this is all a political shit job, and Hell.. We'd probably even be asking for something to be done...

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Old 02-02-2002, 07:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
This coming from someone who once likened himself to an eye of "Mullah Omar." Honestly, I don't give a shit.

Melon


Honestly, you're just in the dumps because you didn't think of it first.

(Insert a Jesting SMiley face.. I hesitate to write 'Shit Eating Grin', due to the ignorant statement I recieved from PopAngel a while back of the sorts..'You Eat Shit?'.. Geezus.. What the hell's this world coming to..)

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