CHENEY’S ACCOUNTABILITY

Where is the vice-president? When was the last time he held a press conference? I ask these obvious questions because reasonable and fair people, having read the indictments against his chief of staff, have reasonable and fair questions. Did Cheney direct Libby to out Valerie Wilson’s identity? Why did he order an inquiry into her role? Does he condemn the leaking of her identity? Why has he held back important documents from the Senate that would help explain his role in formulating what turned out to be flawed intelligence before the Iraq war? That’s just for starters. The issues here are profound ones: they suggest that the vice-president has abused his own power and put the nation’s security at risk to pursue a political opponent. Maybe that’s not true. Maybe there’s an innocent explanation for all of this. So why cannot the vice-president explain? It seems at times as if he does not really regard himself as answerable to the people he represents – that once every four years is enough for him. But having the second most powerful man in the country refuse to be accountable for his actions is dangerous for democracy. He is not above this process. You and I pay his salary. It’s time for the press to get angry about his silence and avoidance. And it’s time for him to tell us the full extent of what he knows.

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