Re "Justices Appear to Support Cheney Task Force Secrecy," April 28: The issue of whether Vice President Dick Cheney must disclose whether corporate insiders had a hand in shaping our national energy policy is being decided by a judicial body that includes a member with questionable personal ties to the very same vice president. This must have the framers of the Constitution rolling in their graves.
The processes supposedly in place to maintain government integrity and accountability have become meaningless, almost farcical. When our leaders' right to secrecy begins to exceed our right to know, we endanger the foundation of our supposedly enlightened form of governance.
How noble of the administration to take a stand and fight for "separation of powers" before the Supreme Court. Funny, though, it seemed a bit less committed to that lofty goal when it secretly funneled $700 million from the war on terrorism in Afghanistan to fight Saddam Hussein instead. What gives?
Your article says that "the issue of who is a member of the advisory committee is crucial to the lawsuit" and then points out that, in 1993, Republicans criticized Hillary Clinton for holding secret meetings of her healthcare task force, "much as Democrats have criticized the secrecy of the Cheney task force."
There is no "much as" to it. The situations are not analogous. Though the issue of "who is a member" is crucial, it is not a Republican-versus-Democrat issue. Hillary Clinton was simply a private citizen, not a government official, certainly not a member of the executive branch. She did not have, and could not have had, constitutional executive immunity, as does Cheney.
While The Times correctly reports that constitutional executive immunity is the foundation of the government's position, the concluding innuendo that the Supreme Court has some kind of political bias in apparently favoring the government's argument in the matter of Cheney vs. U.S. District Court is just more misleading, liberal posturing.
Georgette Renata Herget
If there is any semblance of democratic openness left in this country, it should allow its citizens to know who really makes critical decisions regarding our lives. Not being able to know who sat in on Cheney's energy policy meetings is a real slap in the face to Americans whose lives (jobs, environment, etc.) are so affected by these decisions.
But, after all, it is the same court that put Cheney a heartbeat away, isn't it?