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Lawsuit Procedes Against Cheney's Cloak of Secrecy

The lawsuit, filed by the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch, alleges that participants from industry effectively became members of the task force formulating the White House's industry-friendly energy recommendations, while environmental groups and others were shut out of the meetings.
During arguments last Thursday, Judge Harry Edwards, who favored disclosure when the same case was before the court two years ago, expressed doubts this time around. The case has already been to the Supreme court and remanded back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
CNN reports:
Edwards noted that the vice president's office already has filed an affidavit stating that no industry officials attended formal meetings or helped draft recommendations. A similar statement was sent to the Government Accountability Office, Congress' auditing arm, which tried to investigate the task force.
Project Censored has considered this to be #8 on its list of "Most Censored Stories of 2005":
With multiple lawsuits currently pending, the Bush Administration asserts that its right to secrecy is a matter of executive privilege in regard to White House records. But because the White House staffed the Task Force with employees from the Department of Energy and elsewhere, it cannot pretend that its documents are White House records. A 2001 case, in which the Justice Department has four times appealed federal court rulings that the Vice President release task force records, has been brought before the Supreme Court. The case Richard B Cheney v. U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia, No. 03-475, to be heard by Cheney’s friend and duck hunting partner, Justice Scalia, is now pending. Cases based on the Federal Advisory Committee Act and Freedom of Information Act which require the Task Force a balanced membership, open meetings, and public records, are attempting to beat the Bush Administration in its battle to keep its internal workings secret. more


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