The Plank

Why So Secretive?

By and

The Washington Post finally manages to figure out who met with Cheney's secret energy task force in 2001:

One of the first visitors, on Feb. 14, was James J. Rouse, then vice president of Exxon Mobil and a major donor to the Bush inauguration; a week later, longtime Bush supporter Kenneth L. Lay, then head of Enron Corp., came by for the first of two meetings. On March 5, some of the country's biggest electric utilities, including Duke Energy and Constellation Energy Group, had an audience with the task force staff.British Petroleum representatives dropped by on March 22, one of about 20 oil and drilling companies to get meetings. The National Mining Association, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America and the American Petroleum Institute were among three dozen trade associations that met with Cheney's staff, the document shows.

None of that is terribly surprising: It's not like anyone thought Cheney was meeting with Green Mountain Energy and Amory Lovins day after day. Everyone knew he was taking marching orders from the American Petroleum Institute. Everyone knew about Ken Lay. So why did Cheney keep these names classified for six years--citing executive privilege and going all the way to the Supreme Court to prevent Congress from knowing what went on. What difference would it have made? Was he just being secretive for the hell of it? (Okay, probably.)

--Bradford Plumer

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