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Cheney ordered Secret Service logs destroyed, paper reports
John Byrne
Published: Saturday June 23, 2007
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VP created new secret document classification, keeps 'man-size' safes

A massive piece in Sunday's Washington Post reveals the true extent of secrecy Vice President Dick Cheney requires.

So clandestine is the Vice President's work that he has created a new secret document designation: "Treated As: Top Secret/SCI."

That's not all: the piece also reveals that Cheney keeps 'man-size' Mosler safes on hand for "workaday business" and has destroyed all Secret Service visitor logs, in addition to already refusing to comply with a national security directive issued by President Bush, which RAW STORY first reported earlier this week.

Not only does he refuse to give the names of his staff, Cheney won't even disclose how many people he employs.

"Across the board, the vice president's office goes to unusual lengths to avoid transparency," the Post article says. "Cheney declines to disclose the names or even the size of his staff, generally releases no public calendar and ordered the Secret Service to destroy his visitor logs."

"Stealth is among Cheney's most effective tools," the piece adds. "Man-size Mosler safes, used elsewhere in government for classified secrets, store the workaday business of the office of the vice president. Even talking points for reporters are sometimes stamped "Treated As: Top Secret/SCI."

"Experts in and out of government said Cheney's office appears to have invented that designation, which alludes to "sensitive compartmented information," the most closely guarded category of government secrets," the Post adds. "By adding the words "treated as," they said, Cheney seeks to protect unclassified work as though its disclosure would cause "exceptionally grave damage to national security."

The Post intimates that Cheney's office is like a black hole -- everything goes in, but nothing comes out.

"In the usual business of interagency consultation, proposals and information flow into the vice president's office from around the government, but high-ranking White House officials said in interviews that almost nothing flows out," the Post reporters note. "Close aides to Cheney describe a similar one-way valve inside the office, with information flowing up to the vice president but little or no reaction flowing down."

Read the full Post article here.