In one of her books, Nora Ephron wrote about a man so paranoid that, at the end of each day, he would erase the entries in his appointment diary. Such furtiveness did not shock Ephron who, while married to Carl Bernstein, never learned from him the Secret of the Century, the identity of “Deep Throat.”
But the author of “When Harry Met Sally” had never met Dick Cheney, who in this century has been setting new records for secrecy.
Soon after taking office, he refused to reveal the names of those who advised him on energy policy while oil company executives denied any part in the process. It took four years to unearth a White House document that showed they were lying about what Cheney was hiding.
Recently the New York Times reported that “Mr. Cheney's office ordered the Secret Service last September to destroy all records of visitors to the official vice presidential mansion--right after the Washington Post sued for access to the logs. That move was made in secret, naturally.”
In the Christian Science Monitor, Daniel Schorr reports, “The Secret Service recently ended the practice of keeping logs of visitors to the president and the vice president.”
In what remains of Bush’s and Cheney’s terms, no bothersome names like Jack Abrahamoff will turn up in the records. The New York Times recently noted “that Mr. Cheney is in step with the times. He has privatized the job of vice president of the United States.”
Congressional Democrats might go further after their continuing struggles to find “missing” e-mails and compel testimony from reluctant officials to claim that Bush, Cheney and Rove have privatized the entire Executive Branch.
In January 2009, will they move out of office under the cover of darkness?