In an earlier thread we talked about revelations that Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the CIA to lie to Congress despite being obligated by the laws that established the CIA in the first place to subject itself to Congressional oversight. In that thread Dr S suggested that this wouldn't amount to much because it didn't seem to involve either wiretapping or torture. Well, the Wall Street Journal has a story that suggests it was about something even worse than both...assassination. Even planning such a program has been illegal since 1975. Cheney knew that if he told even the most secretive and sympathetic members of Congress about his plans, they would shut it down. So he ordered the CIA people he was working with to lie about it to Congress. It was a classic coverup. That it never got off the ground will likely prove to be the result of suitably patriotic foot-dragging by right thinking CIA people.
So to sum up:
1) The Vice President (an office with no executive authority at all) inserted himself into the chain of command for the conduct of intelligence and covert operations.
2) The VP used that self appointed authority to order the planning of operations that were illegal - namely assassinations.
3) The VP then ordered CIA officials to lie about his illegal plans in order to prevent them being shut down by the responsible oversight authorities in Congress (this despite the fact that he has no real authority to order anything).
This stinks. I know LTG says that there is some sort of statute of limitations that says that if you don't catch him before he leaves office, a VP is not liable for this kind of stuff but I don't believe him.
I expect that this will hang over his head until after the health care vote then Democrats in Congress will act.