Fingers crossed for that fifth heart attack. Some excerpts of a long piece in the Washington Post which pulls a lot of it’s punches and accepts many assertions at face value and as commenter’s note, Cheney has a long record in govt. going back to Nixon but it ignores all that and the papers own lax reporting. Still, nice of the MSM to start making some ripples now, seven years and many lives too late, but… Nevertheless it shows a man wielding presidential powers (while Bush exercises for hours each day and makes idiotic speeches) but preferring the shadows and with an utter contempt for law or democracy, he now believes himself and Bush above the law. And on the day of 911, he spent no time on the rescue operations, he just began planning for war and the negation of all international law.
Cheney’s proposal had become a military order from the commander in chief. Foreign terrorism suspects held by the United States were stripped of access to any court — civilian or military, domestic or foreign. They could be confined indefinitely without charges and would be tried, if at all, in closed “military commissions.”
“What the hell just happened?” Secretary of State Colin L. Powell demanded, a witness said, when CNN announced the order that evening, Nov. 13, 2001. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice, incensed, sent an aide to find out. Even witnesses to the Oval Office signing said they did not know the vice president had played any part.
Cheney has served as gatekeeper for Supreme Court nominees,…When particulars rise to presidential notice, Cheney often steers the preparation of options and sits with Bush, in side-by-side wing chairs, as he is briefed.
Cheney preferred, and Bush approved, a mandate that gave him access to “every table and every meeting,” making his voice heard in “whatever area the vice president feels he wants to be active in,” Bolten said….Cheney took on “the economic issues, the security issues . . . the energy issues” — and the White House legislative agenda,
Across the board, the vice president’s office goes to unusual lengths to avoid transparency. Cheney declines to disclose the names or even the size of his staff, generally releases no public calendar and ordered the Secret Service to destroy his visitor logs. His general counsel has asserted that “the vice presidency is a unique office that is neither a part of the executive branch nor a part of the legislative branch,” and is therefore exempt from rules governing either. Cheney is refusing to observe an executive order on the handling of national security secrets, and he proposed to abolish a federal office that insisted on auditing his compliance.
911- Cheney made no sound. “I remember turning my head and looking at the vice president, and his expression never changed,” said the witness, reading from a notebook of observations written that day. Cheney closed his eyes against the image for one long, slow blink. While others assessed casualties and the work of “first responders,” Cheney began planning for a conflict that would call upon lawyers as often as soldiers and spies. More than any one man in the months to come, Cheney freed Bush to fight the “war on terror” as he saw fit, animated by their shared belief that al-Qaeda’s destruction would require what the vice president called “robust interrogation”
The attorney general found Cheney, not Bush, at the broad conference table in the Roosevelt Room. According to participants, Ashcroft said that he was the president’s senior law enforcement officer, supervised the FBI and oversaw terrorism prosecutions nationwide. The Justice Department, he said, had to have a voice in the tribunal process…Cheney took the next big step. He told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that terrorists do not “deserve to be treated as prisoners of war.”