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PRESS RELEASE


Cheney Did It;
VP Blocked FISA Bill Agreement,
Says Leahy

Aug. 20, 2007 (EIRNS)—The following release was issued today by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committe (LPAC).

It was Dick Cheney who blocked an agreement between Senate Democrats and the Intelligence Community on a new wiretapping bill, and now Cheney is blocking compliance with a Senate subpoena, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee charged today.

In a press conference today, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) described the negotiations that took place before the August Congressional recess, in which Leahy, Rockefeller and Levin (the chairmen of the Senate Judiciary, Intelligence, and Armed Services Committees respectively) had made a recommendation for a "fix" for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which was acceptable to the intelligence community. Then "there was somebody told from the Vice President's office, 'No, they don't want that,'" Leahy revealed, and Cheney got a bill which allowed Attorney General Gonzales to override the FISA Court.

The occasion for Leahy's press conference was that, once again, the Administration has missed the deadline for compliance with subpoena from Senate Judiciary Committee (which was approved on a bipartisan, 13-3 vote) for documents concerning the legal basis for the warrantless wiretapping program.

The only response today, according to Leahy, came from Cheney's office, which identified certain Presidential and Justice Department documents which might be responsive to the subpoena, but which Cheney is withholding, claiming they would be covered by executive privilege. There is no question that the White House and Cheney "are in contempt of the valid order of the Congress," Sen. Leahy charged.

And in that letter, Sen. Leahy pointed out, Cheney again claimed that his office is not part of the Executive Office of the President. "So it's some kind of fourth branch of government," Leahy remarked.

Leahy also pointed out that, when Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) was chairing the Judiciary Committee, and was seeking information on the wiretap program, Cheney had told GOP Senators that they couldn't issue subpoenas! "Not quite sure that's my understanding of the separation of powers," Leahy mused.