Friday, June 22, 2007

Civics 101: The Branches of Government

Today's Civics 101 question:
Q How many branches of government are there under the United States Constitution?

You may think this is an easy question. I'll bet you said 'Three' without even thinking about it, but you're wrong!

There are an indeterminate and secret number of branches that is a minimum of four. They are the Executive, the Judicial, the Legislative, and the Secret Stuff.

The office of Vice President, previously considered to be part of the Executive Branch, is now officially part of the Secret Stuff Branch.

I'm not making this stuff up either. Dick Cheney is.

His office has exempted itself from the National Archives collection of classified material, telling the agency that the Vice President's office is not part of the executive branch. Really.

Rep. Henry Waxman, Chairman of the Oversight Committee, has written Cheney a very serious letter, saying:
"Your decision to exempt your office from the President's order is problematic because it could place national security secrets at risk. It is also hard to understand given the history of security breaches involving officials in your office."
The the National Archives has also filed a complaint with the Attorney General's office. But the Justice Department has not yet followed up on the Archives's request. Let's see, who's the Attorney General these days? Oh, right.

Better get to work re-writing all those fifth grade civics texts; this government is just too big to be contained in just three branches.

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