Holding the Government Accountable

Vice President Dodges Classification Oversight

In its latest annual report (pdf), the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) has noted that, for the third year in a row, the Office of the Vice President has refused to release data on its classification and declassification activities. This is "an apparent violation of an executive order issued by President Bush," notes Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists.

Two other bodies also did not disclose their activity, according to ISOO—the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and the Homeland Security Council. Presumably the White House Office and the rest of the Executive Office of the President submitted to classification oversight.

This flagrant disregard for oversight and penchant for secrecy in the current Administration, particularly in the Vice President's office, has been noted by commentators across the political spectrum too numerous to count.

In what is perhaps a coincidence, in March 2003 the Vice President's classification (though the jury is still out regarding declassification) authority was raised by an executive order to the level of the President's from that comparable to an agency head.