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'A Different Understanding With the President'

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By Barton Gellman and Jo Becker
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, June 24, 2007; Page A01

Just past the Oval Office, in the private dining room overlooking the South Lawn, Vice President Cheney joined President Bush at a round parquet table they shared once a week. Cheney brought a four-page text, written in strict secrecy by his lawyer. He carried it back out with him after lunch.

In less than an hour, the document traversed a West Wing circuit that gave its words the power of command. It changed hands four times, according to witnesses, with emphatic instructions to bypass staff review. When it returned to the Oval Office, in a blue portfolio embossed with the presidential seal, Bush pulled a felt-tip pen from his pocket and signed without sitting down. Almost no one else had seen the text.

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.

[Photo]
Vice President Cheney, standing behind the president's desk during a July 2003 meeting, circumvented Secretary of State Colin L. Powell in 2001 on the military commissions order. More Cheney photos...

The episode was a defining moment in Cheney's tenure as the 46th vice president of the United States, a post the Constitution left all but devoid of formal authority. "Angler," as the Secret Service code-named him, has approached the levers of power obliquely, skirting orderly lines of debate he once enforced as chief of staff to President Gerald R. Ford. He has battled a bureaucracy he saw as hostile, using intimate knowledge of its terrain. He has empowered aides to fight above their rank, taking on roles reserved in other times for a White House counsel or national security adviser. And he has found a ready patron in George W. Bush for edge-of-the-envelope views on executive supremacy that previous presidents did not assert.

Over the past six years, Cheney has shaped his times as no vice president has before. This article begins a four-part series that explores his methods and impact, drawing on interviews with more than 200 men and women who worked for, with or in opposition to Cheney's office. Many of those interviewed recounted events that have not been made public until now, sharing notes,e-mails, personal calendars and other records of their interaction with Cheney and his senior staff. The vice president declined to be interviewed.

Two articles, today and tomorrow, recount Cheney's campaign to magnify presidential war-making authority, arguably his most important legacy. Articles to follow will describe a span of influence that extends far beyond his well-known interests in energy and national defense.

In roles that have gone largely undetected, Cheney has served as gatekeeper for Supreme Court nominees, referee of Cabinet turf disputes, arbiter of budget appeals, editor of tax proposals and regulator in chief of water flows in his native West. On some subjects, officials said, he has displayed a strong pragmatic streak. On others he has served as enforcer of ideological principle, come what may.

Cheney is not, by nearly every inside account, the shadow president of popular lore. Bush has set his own course, not always in directions Cheney preferred. The president seized the helm when his No. 2 steered toward trouble, as Bush did, in time, on military commissions. Their one-on-one relationship is opaque, a vital unknown in assessing Cheney's impact on events. The two men speak of it seldom, if ever, with others. But officials who see them together often, not all of them admirers of the vice president, detect a strong sense of mutual confidence that Cheney is serving Bush's aims.

The vice president's reputation and, some say, his influence, have suffered in the past year and a half. Cheney lost his closest aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, to a perjury conviction, and his onetime mentor, Donald H. Rumsfeld, in a Cabinet purge. A shooting accident in Texas, and increasing gaps between his rhetoric and events in Iraq, have exposed him to ridicule and approval ratings in the teens. Cheney expresses indifference, in public and private, to any verdict but history's, and those close to him say he means it.

Waxing or waning, Cheney holds his purchase on an unrivaled portfolio across the executive branch. Bush works most naturally, close observers said, at the level of broad objectives, broadly declared. Cheney, they said, inhabits an operational world in which means are matched with ends and some of the most important choices are made. 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.

Before the president casts the only vote that counts, the final words of counsel nearly always come from Cheney.

'The Go-To Guy on the Hill'

In his Park Avenue corner suite at Cerberus Global Investments, Dan Quayle recalled the moment he learned how much his old job had changed. Cheney had just taken the oath of office, and Quayle paid a visit to offer advice from one vice president to another.

"I said, 'Dick, you know, you're going to be doing a lot of this international traveling, you're going to be doing all this political fundraising . . . you'll be going to the funerals,' " Quayle said in an interview earlier this year. "I mean, this is what vice presidents do. I said, 'We've all done it.' "

Cheney "got that little smile," Quayle said, and replied, "I have a different understanding with the president."

"He had the understanding with President Bush that he would be -- I'm just going to use the word 'surrogate chief of staff,' " said Quayle, whose membership on the Defense Policy Board gave him regular occasion to see Cheney privately over the following four years.

[Photo]
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From Wyoming to the White House
Dick Cheney, the 46th vice president of the United States, entered office with unique qualifications. More »

Cheney, 66, grew up in Lincoln, Neb., and Casper, Wyo., acquiring a Westerner's passion for hunting and fishing but not for the Democratic politics of his parents. He wed his high school sweetheart, Lynne Vincent, beginning what friends describe as a lifelong love affair. Cheney flunked out of Yale but became a highly regarded PhD candidate in political science at the University of Wisconsin -- avoiding the Vietnam War draft with five deferments along the way -- before abandoning the doctoral program and heading to Washington as a junior congressional aide.

He went on to build an unmatched Washington resume as White House chief of staff, House minority whip and secretary of defense. An aversion to political glad-handing and a series of chronic health problems, including four heart attacks, helped derail his presidential ambitions and shifted his focus to a lucrative stint as chairman of Halliburton, an oil services company. His controlled demeanor, ranging mainly from a tight-lipped gaze to the trademark half-smile, conceals what associates call an impish sense of humor and unusual kindness to subordinates.

Cheney's influence in the Bush administration is widely presumed but hard to illustrate. Many of the men and women who know him best said an explanation begins with the way he defined his role.

As the Bush administration prepared to take office, "I remember at the outset, during the transition, thinking, 'What do vice presidents do?' " said White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten, who was then the Bush team's policy director. Bolten joined Libby, his counterpart in Cheney's office, to compile a list of "portfolios we thought might be appropriate." Their models, Bolten said, were Quayle's Council on Competitiveness and Al Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government.

"The vice president didn't particularly warm to that," Bolten recalled dryly.

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 has used that mandate with singular force of will. Other recent vice presidents have enjoyed a standing invitation to join the president at "policy time." But Cheney's interventions have also come in the president's absence, at Cabinet and sub-Cabinet levels where his predecessors were seldom seen. He found pressure points and changed the course of events by "reaching down," a phrase that recurs often in interviews with current and former aides.

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The president and vice president have their weekly lunch meeting in a private dining room just past the Oval Office in October 2001. A few weeks later, Cheney would bring a proposal written by his lawyer in strict secrecy. More Cheney photos...

Mary Matalin, who was counselor to the vice president until 2003 and remains an informal adviser, described Cheney's portfolio as "the iron issues" -- a list that, as she defined it, comprises most of the core concerns of every recent president. Cheney took on "the economic issues, the security issues . . . the energy issues" -- and the White House legislative agenda, Matalin said, because he became "the go-to guy on the Hill." Other close aides noted, as well, a major role for Cheney in nominations and appointments.

As constitutional understudy, with no direct authority in the executive branch, Cheney has often worked through surrogates. Many of them owed their jobs to him.

While lawyers fought over the 2000 Florida ballot recount, with the presidential election in the balance, Cheney was already populating a prospective Bush administration. Brian V. McCormack, then his 26-year-old personal aide, said Cheney worked three cellphones from the round kitchen table of his townhouse in McLean, "making up lists" of nominees beginning with the secretaries of state, defense and the Treasury.

"His focus was that we need to prepare for the event that [the recount] comes out in our favor, because we will have a limited time frame," McCormack recalled.

Close allies found positions as chief and deputy chief of the Office of Management and Budget, deputy national security adviser, undersecretary of state, and assistant or deputy assistant secretary in numerous Cabinet departments. Other loyalists -- including McCormack, who progressed to assignments in Iraq's occupation authority and then on Bush's staff -- turned up in less senior, but still significant, posts.

In the years that followed, crossing Cheney would cost some of the same officials their jobs. David Gribben, a friend from graduate school who became the vice president's chief of legislative affairs, said Cheney believes in the "educational use of power." Firing a disloyal or poorly performing official, he said, sometimes "sends a signal crisply." Cheney believes he is "using his authority to serve the American people, and he's obviously not afraid to be a rough opponent," Gribben said.

A prodigious appetite for work, officials said, prepares Cheney to shape the president's conversations with others. His Secret Service detail sometimes reports that he is awake and reading at 4:30 a.m. He receives a private intelligence briefing between 6:30 and 7 a.m., often identifying issues to be called to Bush's attention, and then sits in on the president's daily briefing an hour later. Aides said that Cheney insists on joining Bush by secure video link, no matter how many time zones divide them.

Stealth is among Cheney's most effective tools. Man-size Mosler safes, used elsewhere in government for classified secrets, store the workaday business of the office of the vice president. Even talking points for reporters are sometimes stamped "Treated As: Top Secret/SCI." Experts in and out of government said Cheney's office appears to have invented that designation, which alludes to "sensitive compartmented information," the most closely guarded category of government secrets. By adding the words "treated as," they said, Cheney seeks to protect unclassified work as though its disclosure would cause "exceptionally grave damage to national security."

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A document from the Office of the Vice President is stamped "Treated as Secret/SCI" More Cheney photos...

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.

In the usual business of interagency consultation, proposals and information flow into the vice president's office from around the government, but high-ranking White House officials said in interviews that almost nothing flows out. Close aides to Cheney describe a similar one-way valve inside the office, with information flowing up to the vice president but little or no reaction flowing down.

All those methods would be on clear display when the "war on terror" began for Cheney after eight months in office.

A 'Triumvirate' and Its Leader

In a bunker beneath the East Wing of the White House, Cheney locked his eyes on CNN, chin resting on interlaced fingers. He was about to watch, in real time, as thousands were killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Previous accounts have described Cheney's adrenaline-charged evacuation to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center that morning, a Secret Service agent on each arm. They have not detailed his reaction, 22 minutes later, when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.

"There was a groan in the room that I won't forget, ever," one witness said. "It seemed like one groan from everyone" -- among them Rice; her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley; economic adviser Lawrence B. Lindsey; counselor Matalin; Cheney's chief of staff, Libby; and the vice president's wife.

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.

Three people who were present, not all of them admirers, said they saw no sign then or later of the profound psychological transformation that has often been imputed to Cheney. What they saw, they said, was extraordinary self-containment and a rapid shift of focus to the machinery of power. 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.

[Photo]
In a bunker under the White House on Sept. 11, 2001, Cheney speaks to administration officials, including from far left, Joshua B. Bolten, Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin (standing), Condoleezza Rice and I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby (behind Rice) More Cheney photos....

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" to extract intelligence from captured suspects. With a small coterie of allies, Cheney supplied the rationale and political muscle to drive far-reaching legal changes through the White House, the Justice Department and the Pentagon.

The way he did it -- adhering steadfastly to principle, freezing out dissent and discounting the risks of blow-back -- turned tactical victory into strategic defeat. By late last year, the Supreme Court had dealt three consecutive rebuffs to his claim of nearly unchecked authority for the commander in chief, setting precedents that will bind Bush's successors.

Yet even as Bush was forced into public retreats, an examination of subsequent events suggests that Cheney has quietly held his ground. Most of his operational agenda, in practice if not in principle, remains in place.

In expanding presidential power, Cheney's foremost agent was David S. Addington, his formidable general counsel and legal adviser of many years. On the morning of Sept. 11, Addington was evacuated from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House and began to make his way toward his Virginia home on foot. As he neared the Arlington Memorial Bridge, someone in the White House reached him with a message: Turn around. The vice president needs you.

Down in the bunker, according to a colleague with firsthand knowledge, Cheney and Addington began contemplating the founding question of the legal revolution to come: What extraordinary powers will the president need for his response?

Before the day ended, Cheney's lawyer joined forces with Timothy E. Flanigan, the deputy White House counsel, linked by secure video from the Situation Room. Flanigan patched in John C. Yoo at the Justice Department's fourth-floor command center. White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales joined later.

Thus formed the core legal team that Cheney oversaw, directly and indirectly, after the terrorist attacks.

Yoo, a Berkeley professor-turned-deputy chief of the Office of Legal Counsel, became the theorist of an insurrection against legal limits on the commander in chief. Addington, backed by Flanigan, found levers of government policy and wrote the words that moved them.

"Addington, Flanigan and Gonzales were really a triumvirate," recalled Bradford A. Berenson, then an associate White House counsel. Yoo, he said, "was a supporting player."

Gonzales, a former Texas judge, had the seniority and the relationship with Bush. But Addington -- a man of imposing demeanor, intellect and experience -- dominated the group. Gonzales "was not a law-of-war expert and didn't have very developed views," Yoo recalled, echoing blunter observations by the Texan's White House colleagues.

Cheney 'Has the Portfolio'

Flanigan, with advice from Yoo, drafted the authorization for use of military force that Congress approved on Sept. 18. [Read the authorization document] Yoo said they used the broadest possible language because "this war was so different, you can't predict what might come up."

In fact, the triumvirate knew very well what would come next: the interception -- without a warrant -- of communications to and from the United States. Forbidden by federal law since 1978, the surveillance would soon be justified, in secret, as "incident to" the authority Congress had just granted. Yoo was already working on that memo, completing it on Sept. 25.

It was an extraordinary step, bypassing Congress and the courts, and its authors kept it secret from officials who were likely to object. Among the excluded was John B. Bellinger III, a man for whom Cheney's attorney had "open contempt," according to a senior government lawyer who saw them often. The eavesdropping program was directly within Bellinger's purview as ranking national security lawyer in the White House, reporting to Rice. Addington had no line responsibility. But he had Cheney's proxy, and more than once he accused Bellinger, to his face, of selling out presidential authority for good "public relations" or bureaucratic consensus.

Addington, who seldom speaks to reporters, declined to be interviewed.

"David is extremely principled and dedicated to doing what he feels is right, and can be a very tough customer when he perceives others as obstacles to achieving those goals," Berenson said. "But it's not personal in the sense that 'I don't like you.' It's all about the underlying principle."

Bryan Cunningham, Bellinger's former deputy, said: "Bellinger didn't know. That was a mistake." Cunningham said Rice's lawyer would have recommended vetting the surveillance program with the secret court that governs intelligence intercepts -- a step the Bush administration was forced to take five years later.

Afghanistan
Post 9/11 Timeline
'A Muscular Response'
Vice President Cheney, more than any one man, freed President Bush to aggressively fight the "war on terror." With a small coterie of allies, Cheney supplied the rationale and political muscle to drive far-reaching legal changes through the White House, Justice Department and Pentagon. More »

On Oct. 25, 2001, the chairmen and ranking minority members of the intelligence committees were summoned to the White House for their first briefing on the eavesdropping and were told that it was one of the government's most closely compartmented secrets. Under Presidents George H.W. Bush or Bill Clinton, officials said, a conversation of that gravity would involve the commander in chief. But when the four lawmakers arrived in the West Wing lobby, an aide led them through the door on the right, away from the Oval Office.

"We met in the vice president's office," recalled former senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.). Bush had told Graham already, when the senator assumed the intelligence panel chairmanship, that "the vice president should be your point of contact in the White House." Cheney, the president said, "has the portfolio for intelligence activities."

'Oh, By the Way'

By late October, the vice president and his allies were losing patience with the Bush administration's review of a critical question facing U.S. forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere: What should be done with captured fighters from al-Qaeda and the Taliban? Federal trials? Courts-martial? Military commissions like the ones used for Nazis under President Franklin D. Roosevelt?

Cheney's staff did not reply to invitations to join the interagency working group led by Pierre Prosper, ambassador at large for war crimes. But Addington, the vice president's lawyer, knew what his client wanted, Berenson said. And Prosper's group was still debating details. "Once you start diving into it, and history has proven us right, these are complicated questions," one regular participant said.

The vice president saw it differently. "The interagency was just constipated," said one Cheney ally, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Flanigan recalled a conversation with Addington at the time in which the two discussed the salutary effect of showing bureaucrats that the president could act "without their blessing -- and without the interminable process that goes along with getting that blessing."

Throughout his long government career, Cheney had counseled against that kind of policy surprise, insisting that unvetted decisions lead presidents to costly mistakes.

James A. Baker
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When James A. Baker III was tapped to be White House chief of staff in 1980, he interviewed most of his living predecessors. Advice from Cheney filled four pages of a yellow legal pad. Only once, to signify Cheney's greatest emphasis, did Baker write in all capital letters:

BE AN HONEST BROKER

DON'T USE THE PROCESS TO IMPOSE YOUR POLICY VIEWS ON PRES.

Cheney told Baker, according to the notes, that an "orderly paper flow is way you protect the Pres.," ensuring that any proposal has been tested against other views. Cheney added:

"It's not in anyone's interest to get an 'oh by the way decision' -- & all have to understand that. Can hurt the Pres. Bring it up at a Cab. mtg. Make sure everyone understands this."

In 1999, not long before he became Bush's running mate, Cheney warned again about "'oh, by the way' decisions" at a conference of White House historians. According to a transcript, he added: "The process of moving paper in and out of the Oval Office, who gets involved in the meetings, who does the president listen to, who gets a chance to talk to him before he makes a decision, is absolutely critical. It has to be managed in such a way that it has integrity."

Two years later, at his Nov. 13 lunch with Bush, Cheney brought the president the ultimate "oh, by the way" choice -- a far-reaching military order that most of Bush's top advisers had not seen.

According to Flanigan, Addington was not the first to think of military commissions but was the "best scholar of the FDR-era order" among their small group of trusted allies. "He gained a preeminent role by virtue of his sheer ability to turn out a draft of something in quick time."

That draft, said one of the few lawyers apprised of it, "was very closely held because it was coming right from the top."

'In Support of the President'

To pave the way for the military commissions, Yoo wrote an opinion on Nov. 6, 2001, declaring that Bush did not need approval from Congress or federal courts. Yoo said in an interview that he saw no need to inform the State Department, which hosts the archives of the Geneva Conventions and the government's leading experts on the law of war. "The issue we dealt with was: Can the president do it constitutionally?" Yoo said. "State -- they wouldn't have views on that."

Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, was astonished to learn that the draft gave the Justice Department no role in choosing which alleged terrorists would be tried in military commissions. Over Veterans Day weekend, on Nov. 10, he took his objections to the White House.

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. He was enraged to discover that Yoo, his subordinate, had recommended otherwise -- as part of a strategy to deny jurisdiction to U.S. courts.

Raising his voice, participants said, Ashcroft talked over Addington and brushed aside interjections from Cheney. "The thing I remember about it is how rude, there's no other word for it, the attorney general was to the vice president," said one of those in the room. Asked recently about the confrontation, Ashcroft replied curtly: "I'm just not prepared to comment on that."

According to Yoo and three other officials, Ashcroft did not persuade Cheney and got no audience with Bush. Bolten, in an October 2006 interview after becoming Bush's chief of staff, did not deny that account. He signaled an intention to operate differently in the second term.

"In my six months' experience it would not fall to the vice president to referee that kind of thing," Bolten added. "If it is a presidential decision, the president will make it. . . . I think the vice president appreciates that -- that his role is in support of the president, and not as a second-tier substitute."

Three days after the Ashcroft meeting, Cheney brought the order for military commissions to Bush. No one told Bellinger, Rice or Powell, who continued to think that Prosper's working group was at the helm.

After leaving Bush's private dining room, the vice president took no chances on a last-minute objection. He sent the order on a swift path to execution that left no sign of his role. After Addington and Flanigan, the text passed to Berenson, the associate White House counsel. Cheney's link to the document broke there: Berenson was not told of its provenance.

Berenson rushed the order to deputy staff secretary Stuart W. Bowen Jr., bearing instructions to prepare it for signature immediately -- without advance distribution to the president's top advisers. Bowen objected, he told colleagues later, saying he had handled thousands of presidential documents without ever bypassing strict procedures of coordination and review. He relented, one White House official said, only after "rapid, urgent persuasion" that Bush was standing by to sign and that the order was too sensitive to delay. [Read the order]

In an interview, Berenson said it was his understanding that "someone had briefed" the president "and gone over it" already. He added: "I don't know who that was."

'It'll Leak in 10 Minutes'

On Nov. 14, 2001, the day after Bush signed the commissions order, 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." [Read Cheney's full remarks]

The president had not yet made that decision. Ten weeks passed, and the Bush administration fought one of its fiercest internal brawls, before Bush ratified the policy that Cheney had declared: The Geneva Conventions would not apply to al-Qaeda or Taliban fighters captured on the battlefield.

Since 1949, Geneva had accorded protections to civilians and combatants in a war zone. Those protections varied with status, but the prevailing U.S. and international view was that anyone under military control -- even an alleged war criminal -- has some rights. Rumsfeld, elaborating on the position Cheney staked out, cast that interpretation aside. All captured fighters in Afghanistan, he said at a news briefing, are "unlawful combatants" who "do not have any rights" under Geneva.

At the White House, Bellinger sent Rice a blunt -- and, he thought, private -- legal warning. The Cheney-Rumsfeld position would place the president indisputably in breach of international law and would undermine cooperation from allied governments. Faxes had been pouring in at the State Department since the order for military commissions was signed, with even British authorities warning that they could not hand over suspects if the U.S. government withdrew from accepted legal norms.

One lawyer in his office said that Bellinger was chagrined to learn, indirectly, that Cheney had read the confidential memo and "was concerned" about his advice. Thus Bellinger discovered an unannounced standing order: Documents prepared for the national security adviser, another White House official said, were "routed outside the formal process" to Cheney, too. The reverse did not apply.

Powell asked for a meeting with Bush. The same day, Jan. 25, 2002, Cheney's office struck a preemptive blow. It appeared to come from Gonzales, a longtime Bush confidant whom the president nicknamed "Fredo." Hours after Powell made his request, Gonzales signed his name to a memo that anticipated and undermined the State Department's talking points. The true author has long been a subject of speculation, for reasons including its unorthodox format and a subtly mocking tone that is not a Gonzales hallmark.

A White House lawyer with direct knowledge said Cheney's lawyer, Addington, wrote the memo. Flanigan passed it to Gonzales, and Gonzales sent it as "my judgment" to Bush [Read the memo]. If Bush consulted Cheney after that, the vice president became a sounding board for advice he originated himself.

Addington, under Gonzales's name, appealed to the president by quoting Bush's own declaration that "the war against terrorism is a new kind of war." Addington described the Geneva Conventions as "quaint," casting Powell as a defender of "obsolete" rules devised for another time. If Bush followed Powell's lead, Addington suggested, U.S. forces would be obliged to provide athletic gear and commissary privileges to captured terrorists.

According to David Bowker, a State Department lawyer, Powell did not in fact argue that al-Qaeda and Taliban forces deserved the privileges of prisoners of war. Powell said Geneva rules entitled each detainee to a status review, but he predicted that few, if any, would qualify as POWs, because they did not wear uniforms on the battlefield or obey a lawful chain of command. "We said, 'If you give legal process and you follow the rules, you're going to reach substantially the same result and the courts will defer to you,'" Bowker said.

Late that afternoon, as the "Gonzales memo" began to circulate around the government, Addington turned to Flanigan.

"It'll leak in 10 minutes," he predicted, according to a witness.

The next morning's Washington Times carried a front-page article in which administration sources accused Powell of "bowing to pressure from the political left" and advocating that terrorists be given "all sorts of amenities, including exercise rooms and canteens."

Though the report portrayed Powell as soft on enemies, two senior government lawyers said, Addington blamed the State Department for leaking it. The breach of secrecy, Addington said, proved that William H. Taft IV, Powell's legal adviser, could not be trusted. Taft joined Bellinger on a growing -- and explicit -- blacklist, excluded from consultation. "I was off the team," Taft said in an interview. The vice president's lawyer had marked him an enemy, but Taft did not know he was at war.

"Which, of course, is why you're ripe for the taking, isn't it?" he added, laughing briefly.

Staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

About This Series | Chapters:
[Photo]

Cast of Characters

Read about the important people in and out of government who have had an impact on Vice President Dick Cheney's career.

Dick and Lynne Cheney.

Cheney's Personality

Dick Cheney's colleagues, friends, and acquaintances shared stories with Post reporter Bart Gellman.

[Photo]

Cheney's Life & Career

Starting as a junior aide on Capitol Hill, Dick Cheney built an unmatched Washington resume as White House chief of staff, House minority whip and secretary of defense.

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The media and elected officials have known for 6 years about Cheney's corruption in the White House. This is right from the Nixon play book and Cheney was trained during the Watergate years. Now the media is acting like this is new. If Nixon wasn't Pardon by Ford this would not have happen. This is an example of what happens with a criminal President doesn't have to pay for his crimes.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | June 23, 2007 05:40 PM

The real tragedy of the Vice President's actions is at least twofold; first, they do great harm to real people and second, those actions often undermine our very own democracy, something that Mr. Cheney is sworn to uphold.

Posted by: rich219 | June 23, 2007 06:08 PM

The reason Cheney is able to get away with his unprecedented power-grab is not because of some deep, dark and mysterious knowledge of the workings of bureaucracy. It's because Bush, the cipher, let's him. It's as simple as that. I have never been so disgusted with and discouraged about our government. Bush and Cheney have been begging for impeachment for years, but I guess we'll just have to slog through the rest of their term and start fixing their damage to our Constitution and Republic after they're gone. That is, unless David Addington decides that the "unitary executive" and "commander-in-chief" of our society must suspend elections because of the national emergency occasioned by the "Global War On Terror." In fact, Bush could decree that his own impeachment is an unconstitutional and unwarranted intrusion on his Article 2 powers. I can't believe I just supported "the terrorists" by criticizing our fearless leaders.

Posted by: ejs2 | June 23, 2007 06:12 PM

Confirming that the VP is the puppeteer and our president is his witless puppet.

Posted by: alyeager1 | June 23, 2007 06:15 PM

Cheney (the Goon Who Couldn't Shoot Straight) clearly belongs in that select group of individuals (which includes Hank Kissinger) who will have to restrict their foreign travel for years after leaving public office. To show up in the wrong country could result in arrest, free transportation to the Dutch city of Den Haag, and imprisonment pending disposition before the International Court of Justice. This twerp is no better than Slobodan Milosevich. He is a constant reminder that the choice between loss of our Constitutional freedoms and death at the hands of terrorists is an easy one to make, dictated by the words of Patrick Henry. One can only hope that after the Bush White House is no more, the Cheneys of this world will be brought to justice and that they will be severely punished for their dire transgressions against Liberty.

Posted by: jmmartin | June 23, 2007 06:15 PM

What do we have to do to get the press to do a better job of critical reporting when it's happening instead of six-and-a-half years later? You folks are supposed to be our source for this kind of information; yet you just don't get the job done.

Nearly 70% of America has soured on Bush and Cheney - and Iraq - and it just bites to think we we were so far ahead of those of you who call yourselves "reporters."

This administration should never have had a chance at a second term and wouldn't have if we had a decent press.

Posted by: sherirogers | June 23, 2007 06:16 PM

A photograph is worth 1000 words. Is Cheney tying a fly to his fish line, in his meditative place of peace, and how many secret service agents are present in the unseen backdrop? Maybe he is a fisherman, it is a harmless pastime to all save the fish. As a hunter he has proved to be an accident waiting to happen; just add alcohol...is the picture taken at dawn or dusk? Either time of half-light is deceptive, this man, according to what I have read, is the prince of darkness...

Posted by: senatorsun | June 23, 2007 06:18 PM

This man is scarier than Hannibal Lecter and dangerous to a lot more people. He needs to be impeached now.

Posted by: karenfern | June 23, 2007 06:19 PM

This man is scarier than Hannibal Lecter and dangerous to a lot more people. He needs to be impeached now.

Posted by: karenfern | June 23, 2007 06:19 PM

Others will determine what laws Cheney has broken and whatever can be done to bring him to justice but I defy anyone to argue that Cheney's way of doing government is in any way "American." His secrecy, his vast contempt for ordinary people, his determination to concentrate power for its own sake .. I don't think it's melodramatic, much less hyperbolic, to say that Dick Cheney is an evil man. He certainly has nothing to do with the nobility I've come to think of as the great American experiment.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 23, 2007 06:22 PM

This maneuvering and skirting the law etc... is all immature and idiotic behavior by the worst vice president who serves the worst president in our nation's history: the deadly duo: Cheney and Bush. And for what? They haven't accomplished one good thing; not one thing that we as a nation can be proud of. At this point we have to seriously think of electing someone in 2008 who is ultra-qualified to clean up the horrific mess these two criminals will leave behind. Nothing written in this series will excuse, justify, or rationalize Cheney's repugnantly damaging actions.

Posted by: castillomark | June 23, 2007 06:24 PM

Get a haircut hippies.

Posted by: Dirtdart1980 | June 23, 2007 06:31 PM

i thought we elected george bush president not not dick chenny does bush not know how to make his own decissen,s

Posted by: lgmf | June 23, 2007 06:31 PM

i thought we elected george bush president not not dick chenny does bush not know how to make his own decissen,s

Posted by: lgmf | June 23, 2007 06:31 PM

i thought we elected george bush president not not dick chenny does bush not know how to make his own decissen,s

Posted by: lgmf | June 23, 2007 06:32 PM

i thought we elected george bush president not not dick chenny does bush not know how to make his own decissen,s

Posted by: lgmf | June 23, 2007 06:32 PM

It took the WaPo this long to do a thorough piece on Cheney? He has had quite a long track record in government prior to 2000. What is happening in Iraq and with the environment on Cheney's watch (presidency) is so vastly under rated and reported - it is staggering. The press needs to project out what the Cheney effect is going to be. i.e. Two to 10 trillion dollars spent in Iraq before we are out. Trillions of tons of Co2 emmissions emitted due to purposeful actions on Cheney's part. Come on you guys, please get with it!

Posted by: imright | June 23, 2007 06:35 PM

It's worth noting that Cheney has been as big a failure as VP as he was in private industry. He talks a big game and he certainly doesn't lack in audacity but he seem impatient with obstacles and details and so he doesn't do a good job and his carefully crafted policies don't pass real review. So let's be sure to add "ineffectual" to his many faults.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 23, 2007 06:38 PM

let's see: we have an insane lying criminal who denies he is bound by executive branch laws and that by executive order 13233 he never has to reveal what he did while doing the work of the people.

We, The People, are not allowed to know what our vice-president did on our behalf. He's telling us to trust him because he knows what's good for us.

How does that make you feel?

I look at some of the things we do know about him and I don't feel so good.

1) We know he lied us into a war.

2) We know he lied about how the war was going the whole time.

3) We know he outed an important CIA agent and endangered her life in an act of revenge.

4) We know he orcestrated no-bid contracts that most likely lined his pockets with war profits.

5) We know he was a major force in adopting a culture of torture.

6) We know he shot his friend in the face and didn't tell the authorities.

7) We know he treats the government like it's his own personal asset.

Here is a great chance for the democrats in congress to redeem themselves. Do whatever it takes to shut down his racket and throw him in a dungeon. He is certifiable, a criminal, and beyond salvation.

Better yet, send him camping with Joe Wilson. No jury in the world would convict Mr. Wilson for beating Cheney with a bat until the evil stuff he is filled with leaks out. After all, Cheney did kind of try to kill Wilson's wife.

Posted by: kackermann | June 23, 2007 06:38 PM

Cheney only dares the attacks on our Constitution and Democracy, as he grabs for total dictatorial power, because Bush has neither a intelligence nor the courage to stand up to this sneaky bully.

Our Democracy is in danger from outside forces, but more frighteningly, from the highest offices in Washington.

Posted by: ngreer | June 23, 2007 06:41 PM

So, Mr Cheney is above the law? He sits back in total secrecy, making the big decisions, and nobody questions him. They only question whether the President has the authority. Mr Cheney tells Mr Bush that, indeed, he does have the authority. In effect, he is above the law as the unitary executive. He is separate from Congress and the people and has no need to answer to anyone. Just use a signing statement, he tells Mr Bush. And Mr Bush has gone pig crazy with those, as we well know.

The Democrats know Mr Cheney and Mr Bush are breaking the law, but they have no idea what to do about it. Torture, Disregarding the rules of the Geneva Convention, handing over POWs to other countries to be tortured secretly - in hopes of getting information, eavesdropping and spying on millions of Americans, and probably the political opposition as well, and more or less, telling everyone to go to hell.

Posted by: kralford | June 23, 2007 06:42 PM

No other recent president would allow this kind of power grab. Clinton? Daddy Bush? Reagan? Carter? and etc. No way.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is a cliche, ok, but this is what we have in this horrible pair. Bush's weakness allows Cheney to do just about whatever he wants to.
I hope a lot of Republicans read this series and really reflect on who and what they voted into office.

Posted by: peck3 | June 23, 2007 06:46 PM

No other recent president would allow this kind of power grab. Clinton? Daddy Bush? Reagan? Carter? and etc. No way.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is a cliche, ok, but this is what we have in this horrible pair. Bush's weakness allows Cheney to do just about whatever he wants to.
I hope a lot of Republicans read this series and really reflect on who and what they voted into office.

Posted by: peck3 | June 23, 2007 06:46 PM

Thank you for shining light, or attempting to shine some light, on the actions of the Vice President. We seem to have co-Presidents in Bush and Cheney. Please keep following where this story leads.

Posted by: H5N1 | June 23, 2007 06:49 PM

It has been fairly obvious from the beginning that Dick Cheney was the power behind George Bush. The impossible thing about the whole situation is the main media have been protecting them all along. One can only hope that the impeachment of Cheney will succeed. The news media and the American People have to speak up and push for it.

Posted by: lumfleet | June 23, 2007 06:50 PM

Get a haircut hippies.

Posted by: Dirtdart1980 | June 23, 2007 06:31 PM

LOL!

Posted by: Helix5 | June 23, 2007 06:51 PM

Little bit late dont you think. damage is done

Posted by: neal121212 | June 23, 2007 06:55 PM

This man is scarier than Hannibal Lecter and dangerous to a lot more people. He needs to be impeached now.

Posted by: transported | June 23, 2007 06:59 PM

The move to impeach Bush has always struck me as futile. That would make Cheney president in name as well as in fact. But impeaching Cheney is another matter. Imagine a Bush presidency (a year and a half to go, folks!) without Cheney. Could it be worse?

Posted by: breslins | June 23, 2007 06:59 PM

Other than the Florida recount, the selection of Dick Cheney to be Vice-President has clearly shown itself to be the most significant issue of that election. Why was Tom Ridge not selected? Had this occurred, Florida would have been irrelevent as Bush would have won PA, and more than likely the events in Iraq certainly would have been different as well as these discussed issues concerning executive authority.

Posted by: moulder | June 23, 2007 07:07 PM

Other than the Florida recount, the selection of Dick Cheney to be Vice-President has clearly shown itself to be the most significant issue of that election. Why was Tom Ridge not selected? Had this occurred, Florida would have been irrelevent as Bush would have won PA, and more than likely the events in Iraq certainly would have been different as well as these discussed issues concerning executive authority.

Posted by: moulder | June 23, 2007 07:07 PM

I only hope that those Republicans who consider themselves "real Americans" will read and digest these articles and see what Dick Cheney realy is, THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN RECENT AMERICAN HISTORY.

The Republican party, in supporting this man and what he believes in, have damned themselves in the eyes of the American people. It's just a shame that the Democrat politicians aren't much better.

posted by "disgusted in Virginia"

Posted by: ctmont | June 23, 2007 07:08 PM

The move to impeach Bush has always struck me as futile. That would make Cheney president in name as well as in fact. But impeaching Cheney is another matter. Imagine a Bush presidency (a year and a half to go, folks!) without Cheney. Could it be worse?

Posted by: breslins | June 23, 2007 06:59 PM

Excellent point!

Posted by: tlfoster2 | June 23, 2007 07:16 PM

Wow another totally non bias story in the washington liberal post about dick cheney. Wow whats next an unbiased look at the worst mistakes of the bush presidency. this is so much crap to normal people but you dailykos surfing posers that post on here. I love the poster on here spouting comment after comment comparing the vice president to hannibal lecter. Wow good one let me hear the darth vader one next morons. ok bush lied and is an evil genius? or is he stupid and spoon fed by cheney? i dont know i get confused with all this idiocy. people hated clinton but they never were deranged like you idiots.

Posted by: E4Puke | June 23, 2007 07:24 PM

Truman's old aphorism applies again, "If you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog." On the question of "uniforms," when we intervened in Afghanistan, the Taliban government (unrecognized by the US) was fighting a war against the Northern Alliance. Once we became involved, we "uniformed" the latter to some extent but basically neither they nor the Taliban were uniformed at the outset. All of a sudden the Taliban would have had to buy uniforms for us not to classify them as "unlawful combatants?" Bet they hadn't thought of that! Of course, Al-Qaeda is another matter entirely.

Posted by: filoporquequilo | June 23, 2007 07:25 PM

Cheney and Bush represent the evil done by righteous men - or women. They are so convinced that their "cause" justifies any means that they cannot recognize that they are become the thing that they hate. What's our excuse? How could the press and the people allow themselves to be blind to this for six plus years? WE are ultimately responsible for what they do in our name. Enough.

Posted by: morrighan | June 23, 2007 07:28 PM

Fantastic reporting and analysis. The facts argue strongly for impeachement.

Posted by: yourgrau | June 23, 2007 07:28 PM

Dick Cheyney is an incredible person.He's
the personfication of evil as POTUS is of incompetence.Yet, despite approval numbers that are stunningly low and ultimate distain for American principles he continues his disgusting act unabated.
This will be the model for all future Veeps to avoid.It will make the selection and background of future VP candidates even more important.Dan Quayle was funny ---this man is not!

Posted by: lawzoo2 | June 23, 2007 07:30 PM

It was a really good read until I realized it wasn't the first chapter in a new Fiction Novel but real horrors of men inflamed with power justifying anything with the war on terror and when that doesn't work,they just claim National Security or it's secret.I still wonder if they plan on leaving office?

Posted by: cardeity48 | June 23, 2007 07:31 PM

I guess i do not fit in here unless i think the two greatest enemies to the united states are bush and cheney not osama bin ladin and akhmedinijad. wow what great priorities you losers hand.

Posted by: E4Puke | June 23, 2007 07:35 PM

I guess i do not fit in here unless i think the two greatest enemies to the united states are bush and cheney not osama bin ladin and akhmedinijad. wow what great priorities you losers have
.

Posted by: E4Puke | June 23, 2007 07:35 PM

If Mr. Cheney truly believed his actions were in accordance with our Constitution - the one he took an oath to protect and defend - then he would have no fear of publicly proclaiming before the fact what he is doing and why.

The fact that he is secretive to a fault is prima facie evidence that what he is doing is neither in the best interest of the nation, our constitution or our form of governance.

For these reasons he has earned the privilege to be impeached first. I have promoted his impeachment since his speech proposing a pre-emptive war against Iraq in August 2002, literally commiting this nation to defy our own laws as well as our international treaties in a misguided distraction from hunting down bin Laden in Afghanistan. I'm surprised that the Post proposes November of 2001 as a defining moment.

As many others have noted, the Post is over 66 months late in bringing this story to the front page. Now that it's on the front page, it deserves daily front page treatment until Cheney is removed from office. Our nation deserves nothing less.

Posted by: boscobobb | June 23, 2007 07:37 PM

The most powerful nation in the world has been held hostage for the last seven years by bunch of power hungry people. Welcome to "Banana Republic."!!!!!

Posted by: teefy1 | June 23, 2007 07:37 PM

Once again, there is no question that our Draft-dodger-in-Chief, Dick Cheney, is certifiably mentally ill. A look at the DSM-IV (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) shows Cheney has a Narcissistic Character Disorder. To be diagnosed as such, a patient must exhibit five of the following nine diagnostic criteria:

1. A grandiose sense of self-importance, patient exaggerates own abilities and accomplishments.

2. Preoccupation with fantasies of beauty, brilliance, ideal love, power or limitless success.

3. Belief that personal uniqueness renders the patient fit only for association with or understanding by people or institutions of rarefied status.

4. A need for excessive admiration.

5. A sense of entitlement, patient unreasonably expects favorable treatment or automatic granting of own wishes.

6. Exploitation of others to achieve personal goals.

7. Lack of empathy--patient does not recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.

8. Frequent envy of others or belief that others envy patient.

9. Arrogance or haughtiness in attitude or behavior.

Our cowardly and very disturbed vice president is a solid nine for nine. Once you understand his affliction it explains his actions.

Posted by: reporter1 | June 23, 2007 07:42 PM

People like President Cheney, that is right I said President Cheney, and Vice President Bush were able to get away with these diabolical acts not because they are so clever but because good people did nothing!

When reporters sell-out to gain White House access, decent people abandon all principles just so it can be said that they are good "Bushies" and everyday good Americans, who were so far removed from actual harm, allowed themselves to become so frighten of the "boogeyman" that they lost sight of what it meant to be an American is how this Country came to this sad state.

President Cheney & Vice president Bush would not have been able to do what they did to America if we Americans hadn't lost our identity and courage.

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | June 23, 2007 07:42 PM

Dick Cheney for president in 08

Posted by: E4Puke | June 23, 2007 07:47 PM

Why is it, when I heard Seymour Hersh say on television the other day "take 'em out", I didn't think he wasn't talking about Iran, but about Cheney and only God and the people that talk to Seymour know who else.
I suspect the day of reckoning is coming soon. Lyndon Johnson got "taken out". Richard Nixon got "taken out". And now comes the epilogue. I suspect this part of the play is going to be the most spine thrilling part of the trilogy.

Crime doesn't pay and it's doesn't pay to start or sustain a losing war in this country either. This is more fun than a summer movie blockbuster. But where's Shakespeare when you need him?

Here lies a wretched corpse of wretched soul bereft:
Seek not my name: a plague consume you wicked caitiffs left!"

Posted by: Perry3 | June 23, 2007 07:50 PM

Cheneys strength it seems is controlling buracracies and inarticulate presidents. The perfect oil stooge for private oil companies.

Posted by: clint777k | June 23, 2007 07:55 PM

Anyone who has read "The Secretary/Martin Borman:The Man Who Manipulated Hitler" by Jochen Von Lang will immediately see the resemblance between Cheney and Borman.
Sorry to say, the results could be just as disasterous!!

Posted by: richharold | June 23, 2007 07:55 PM

Great report! Just shocked to read this impressive piece on V.P. Cheney; he has clearly abused his powers and Pres. Bush is certainly the puppet, as the conventional wisdom is! What a shame, Cheney and his team have been trashing the U.S. Constitution for their own awkward means.

Posted by: dypandya | June 23, 2007 07:58 PM

"Edgar Bergen and Charley McCarthy" is exactly the way Cheney and Bush meant the co-chair presidency to be from the start when they falsely pretended to look for a vp.back there on the ranch.

Posted by: katherine.rhea | June 23, 2007 08:02 PM

... Cheney's largely hidden and little-understood role in crafting policies ...

I can tell you what I think of Dick Cheney with one word, even less than one word really; it's got a 'hole' at the end.

Posted by: gannon_dick | June 23, 2007 08:04 PM

In my years in this town I have never seen this grab for power. The secrecy and lack of transparency points out to a dictatorial regime. In my view they should be impeached.It is amazing they impeached Clinton for a personal matter and Bush and Cheney are getting away with murder.They have committed crimes against this country! They should go down in history as the worst amdministration ever!

Posted by: tquinones38 | June 23, 2007 08:07 PM

E4Puke,
Don't ya think it's time to come up with some fresh insults? Being called an "idiot" and a "liberal" simply doesn't move people like it use to. Haven't you notice, the majority of Americans are no longer afraid of the bully tactics perpetrated by this administration. And we are certainly no longer afraid of their scary terrorist stories designed to keep us in our frighten place and give them unchecked powers. So, if insulting Americans, who have opposing views, is your best contribution you can muster up to defend your political party you need to get use to being in the minority party for a very long time.

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | June 23, 2007 08:21 PM

Quietly exert impeachment over the neocon.

Posted by: mammoth1 | June 23, 2007 08:27 PM

I can't say that I'm surprised by what's in this story. I always figured Cheney and his minions were doing the dirty deeds behind the scenes. And while I appreciate Gellman & Becker finally writing this story, I'm disappointed that it took so long to get to the public. A lot of lives could have been saved if it had been reported prior to the 2004 election.

I wonder if Bush ever figured out he was manipulated by Cheney to authorize un-vetted policies that were clearly in violation of our laws and values? Or as I suspect, was the President a willing participant, fully knowlegable that most of the staff was bypassed? I hope someone will find out the answer to THAT question and numerous other questions that this series will more than likely spark.

I know one thing, I can hardly wait to read tomorrows piece. I'm sure that Cheney, Gonzales, Rumsfeld & Addington will be front and center on that story too.

It will be interesting to see who the Sunday "talking heads" will have on their shows tomorrow and whether they will actually have an honest discussion about this story. If they are true to form they will drag out the usual suspects to muddy the waters enough so that the American people won't know what to believe and then they will go back to covering Paris Hilton.

Posted by: pmorlan1 | June 23, 2007 08:31 PM

I really do think we would be safer with the terorist,at least we'll soon be rid of these two thugs. If only the democrats don't screw this up

Posted by: n.zier | June 23, 2007 08:32 PM

I really do think we would be safer with the terorist,at least we'll soon be rid of these two thugs. If only the democrats don't screw this up

Posted by: n.zier | June 23, 2007 08:33 PM

E4Puke -- I don't understand your problem. Seems to me like this article is based on facts, to the best they can be determined. Nobody in the administration seems to have been willing to take an interview or go on record to clarify things. Seems like the reporters spent a lot of time trying to understand what happened.

Do you have special knowledge that you could reveal to us -- specifically pointing out some errors of fact in the article?

If you don't have any factual knowledge to add, what you are adding is just opinion... the garbage from blogs and talk radio. Please, you've got to be able to do better than *that*

To put the record straight, I *don't* believe that Bush / Cheney are the enemy or that they are somehow worse than Osama or Mahmoud. I doubt that anybody reading this does. However, don't you think there's a reasonable concern that the constitution has been pretty badly twisted in recent years? Seems like the Supreme Court -- all of the members -- have some concerns in this area.

Posted by: davofanmail | June 23, 2007 08:39 PM

Some have stated that this is an administration "out of control." Hardly.
It has blatantly usurped the Constitution and consolidated all power in the Executive branch, ruined the sacrosanct Justice Department, and has kept it's mission of a "new order of the ages" doggedly on course with VP Cheney at the helm and G W as its public face. Dick Cheney's America and that of the world banking elite is a far cry from the nation envisioned by our founders and what we hold true as American citizens, regardless of one's political persuasion. If "we the people" do not have the courage to confront this monstrous world vision soon - as in the elimination of the Federal Reserve, its illegal strong arm (aka the IRS), the recent push to establish a National ID card ("may I zee your paperz pleaze") and of all attempts at unifying us in fear so as to erode our liberties in the guise of "patriotism", we will all be in a fiefdom within the next decade. If you think this cannot happen here, world history is not on your side - just wait (silently) and see. It certainly appears this is the course our "Fourth Estate" has chosen.

Posted by: twharriman | June 23, 2007 08:40 PM

Surely there is a special corner in hell reserved for those that have defended these criminals? Without the support of these folks, partisan above all else, Bush and Cheney could not have done any of their immoral and/or illegal deeds.

Even at this moment, someone is waiting impatiently with his nervous fingers on his keyboard, just waiting to defend Bush and Cheney in the name of conservatism and Republicanism. They have convinced themselves it is only about politics.

They gleefully chuckle at how Bush and Cheney have stuck it to the Democrats and the "liberals". Little do they know that it is they too, that are getting stuck. It is their country also that is suffering under the yoke of these tyrants.

The sky is not falling. Everything will be alright. Bush and Cheney will be gone in less than two years. What more damage could they do in such a short time, they ask? It's only politics, they proclaim.

Yet, there is a fog of helplessness that is slowly enveloping our nation, preceding the hopelessness and depression that is yet to come. The only laughter escaping is that of white rooms and padded walls.

Still, we cling to the dreams of white knights and miracles. We are America. Nothing bad can happen to us. God is watching over us. You gotta believe. Don't you?

Posted by: kralford | June 23, 2007 08:43 PM

Dick Cheney is the absolutely the worst person ever to hold higher office in this country. He is anti constitution, an obstructionist, a fascist, a war profiteer, a oil profiteer who serves no one but himself and his family. Dick Cheney is not a public servant. His record speaks for itself.

Posted by: RMB2 | June 23, 2007 08:58 PM

Great job of reporting; really sums up a lot of hard work and smart questions well. However, the story has one weakness -- it lacks context. It does a great job explaining the role of Cheney, but it ignores the effect of his actions and decisions. These range from the jailing of Americans without trial (Padilla et. al.), the loss of our moral authority worldwide which ultimately empowers and emboldens terrorist enemies, a growing distrust of the government by American citizens, and a waste of tax dollars. Hopefully, future articles will connect the dots.
(BTW: just ignore the juvenile name-calling by loyal Bushies!)
Nick Wreden

Posted by: nick | June 23, 2007 09:04 PM

300 million Americans safe since Fall 2001. That's the bottom line. That is why this administration has done the things it has done during this war. For all the wailing about so-called loss of rights, anti-American groups like CodePink are still free to send money to the terrorists in Iraq and parade their insolence on Capitol Hill, traitors like Adam Kokesh are free men and the Dixie Chicks still sell CDs--though not too many concert and movie tickets. You folks crying the blues over President Bush and Vice President Cheney need to get a grip. One day you'll thank them for keeping your sorry self free from terrorist attacks for the past five years and ten months. Nobody thought it would be this long between attacks after Sept. 11.

Posted by: kristinn | June 23, 2007 09:10 PM

Bush and Chaney are a pair of thugs. The WP may be worse. You have a giant news gathering organization and you are located in DC. Where have you all been for the past 7 years??

Posted by: Parcons | June 23, 2007 09:23 PM

Bush and Chaney are a pair of thugs. The WP may be worse. You have a giant news gathering organization and you are located in DC. Where have you all been for the past 7 years??

Posted by: Parcons | June 23, 2007 09:23 PM

Hey, eatmorepuke, how come every time we start talking about the bush admin, one of you got to go pull bill clinton out your ass? The man must be some sort of god to you all!!! By the way, he never tried to change the constitution or the Geneva Convention, either. cheney did, though. And to call him Vader or Hannibal is an insult to both those gentlemen!

Posted by: cloudynites | June 23, 2007 09:25 PM

The (majority of) the American people chose to elect twice a (obviously) not very bright person to the presidency.
I'm not surprised at all that he is manipulated by the cunning VP & his gang!

Posted by: hieulao | June 23, 2007 09:27 PM

BTW where is OBL? Or is it better for the Cheney, Inc. to have him free? According to the NSE, we're in more danger due to our Queda recruiting efforts in Iraq. They waited 8 years before attacking the WTC the first time, striking during a new presidency that thought Russia was the enemy. Wonder if we're in for another surprise in 2009. All those who say we haven't been attack and haven't been harmed, should check on how much money we've spent and lives lost since Cheney, Inc. brought us into Iraq.
A democrat is going to get elected in 2008 and then the Republicans will spend tens of millions going after a sex scandal or gays in the military to immobalize the president -- all the while ingoring real threats -- just as they did during the Clinton years.

Posted by: imright | June 23, 2007 09:30 PM

My name is Andrew Geddis and I am a respected musician and artist. In 1994 I was a host at The Four Seasons Restaurant, in the coat room, when Dick Cheney walked right up to me. I took his coat...and two of his briefcases, with The Seal Of The Secretary Of Defence Of The United States Of America on them. My only question is 'do we really want someone like this any where near sensitive classified information, or lightbulbs?' The coup de grace in this episode was the gratuity, one american dollar...to save the world. quisquam pro era
Post Script:
Even in Truman's day, a nickle could buy you a loaf of bread.
God save The United States of America!

Posted by: andrewgeddis2007 | June 23, 2007 09:31 PM

There is a word for Cheney and his enablers and admirers: Tyranny. Tyranny takes many forms, and the tyrannical always believe their actions, no matter the cost, are necessary for some exalted reason of which only they are the annointed guardians and only they can see. Mere mortals, the hapless people, are to be protected. In a democracy Dick, the people protect themselves. But you have nothing to fear, this isnt the greatest generation who would send you packing off to a cell. This is the Republican me-first generation which got deferments or sinecure national guard slots while the poor kids died and bled. Al-Quaeda was nothing to be feared, ad nauseum, rather hunted and hounded ad infinitum. To enlarge what it was as you have surely done, urinating on the Constitution and fabricating a fake war, has only exponentially increased its influence. Had you ignored it, enlisted the help of the world, it would have been contained. But your ego and boundless arrogance wouldnt allow it. Cheney and company whipped up the fear to a frenzy, and some people didnt care about how extreme they got until it was too late, including the MSM. Its an old story, the Big Lie, the fear of the alien and overreaction. From Saco and Venzetti to Slobedan Milosevic, to McCarthy and the current Latino hysteria the roaches under the rock came into the light and rule the day. The bitter angels of our nature took sway after 9-11. These were lucky religious fanatics, nothing more. To that luck, the actions of Cheney and crew have only added to the original ephemeral problem. To the extent that Cheney operated in doing so in the darkness, only serves to illuminate his essential being, of being anti-democratic, autocratic, and contemptuous of the very thing the purported to protect. It also portrays Congress and the media as what they are, dysfunctional and sycophantic to power. He and Bush and all the people with law degrees but no understanding of the Constitution (they must have missed that day at school) around him are all equal in one sense. They used and abused the process to have their way, and they have by their actions demeaned America's raison d'etre and wounded its soul. They will never understand what they have done. The self-righteous never do. Impeachment is a first step, and the perp walk should be the next one. I wont hold my breath.

Posted by: aguasticas | June 23, 2007 09:34 PM

There.are.no.words.

Posted by: litigatormom | June 23, 2007 09:34 PM

Why is this article now appearing? Is it signaling the end of his reign, or perhaps the unraveling of it?
What purpose does it serve except to confirm all our worst beliefs and suspicions?
If it is to serve as a blueprint for impeachment it has to be iron-clad. Keep on the story-and don't let the neo-cons take it away from you.
It is about time the WaPo reclaimed its former glory days as an independent newspaper.
Katherine Graham would have steamrollered Cheney if she had been alive.

Posted by: maryhilton | June 23, 2007 09:40 PM

I am VERY glad we continue to have the services of Dick Cheney. His ability to piss off lefties is a talent that I value very much, and he has honed that talent to a remarkable degree. The Vice President's service is one of the most important reasons we have not suffered a major repeat attack since September 11.

Peter Parrott

Posted by: erisamaven | June 23, 2007 09:51 PM

Cheney is an amoral perverse individual who should have never had the chance to influence U.S. policy in any way. Because of unfortunate circumstance (a dilletante president) he became the grey eminence and the world has suffered. What a monster! I truly hope he doesn't receive the support of the majority of Americans for his evil plots. If he does than all is lost.

Posted by: Archie1954 | June 23, 2007 10:02 PM

The reason why Cheney has been able to get away with so much demonstrates the abject failure of George W. Bush as a man, leader and president. Bush is being manipulated and bullied by Cheney and demonstrates Bush's lack of a spine. Cheney knew a mark when he saw Bush and that is why when Cheney was put in charge of the search for a VP that he selected himself! What a revolting development this turned out to be.

Posted by: David2007 | June 23, 2007 10:02 PM

Given what's revealed here, what's our best defense against being hijacked into a war with Iran? Any congresspeople reading this article?

Posted by: pseudonym206 | June 23, 2007 10:03 PM

Is it possible W is hitting the sauce and somebody needs to take over or is W unable to grasp the details of the big picture and he needs all the help he can get? I am NO fan of Cheney's - I think he is an evil speciman.

Posted by: mmargaret | June 23, 2007 10:06 PM

I hope this series will reveal how Cheney has enriched himself by hopping from Govt to govt contractor and back to Govt again.

He's got a nerve claiming to be a successful businessman. Like the Communist Party apparatchiks who became billionaires in 1990s Russia, he's not an entrepreneur but a parasite.

Posted by: Bud0 | June 23, 2007 10:07 PM

I had the distinct impression that when Cheney suggested to Bush that he himself would be the best choice for VP, that figurehead Bush would be dominated by the vastly more experienced Cheney. That has been borne out over the years.
The problem has been that the Republican Congress let themselves be pushed around by the executive for six years. Together the Republican government has done more damage to the US status, its people, and only rewarding the industrial complex that backed them - as they thought was their due.
I suspect that Gellman and Becker will eventually have an interesting sequel to
"All the President's Men", except that their story will have an unhappy ending for the American people. Unlike Nixon, Bush/Cheney will depart in January 2009 with their fortunes, without having to answer for their many misdeeds of undermining American Democracy and stature in the world, which will take a very long time to live down, if ever.
Their total damage to us is incalculable.

Posted by: beagun27 | June 23, 2007 10:11 PM

The Parrots and Pukes of this world do not seem to understand that supporting tyranny to buy safety is the act of a coward. Those who profess to want freedom have to defend it, not just for themselves but for others as well. Cheney has done his best to destroy our constitution and that threatens every American's freedom. All the insults to the left notwithstanding, freedom is a precious thing that is valued by the left and by many on the right. It's time to rid our government of Cheney through impeachment. Allowing him to persist will mean more damage to our freedoms, more foreign policy mistakes, and more lost American lives. Contact your members of Congress!

Posted by: jlk1 | June 23, 2007 10:26 PM

A few reactions. First,

"In his Park Avenue corner suite at Cerberus Global Investments, Dan Quayle..."

Maybe it's time to put all your assets into gold bars.

Second: God help us, we're all going to die.

Posted by: victorynow | June 23, 2007 10:31 PM

Cheney was a Ph.D candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison,not Wyoming. He hung around for a few years until he was no longer eligible for the draft then dropped out. He was always a chickenhawk happy to risk the lives of others but never his own. Still, the article seems kind of suspect since it cannot get this kind of elementary fact right.

Posted by: wheatley1 | June 23, 2007 10:31 PM

The news without the news is not the news.
It's too little and it's too late for this story...give it to Waxman, he will put the story in a file cabinet for safe keeping.

No cigar here.

Posted by: Vunderlutz | June 23, 2007 10:31 PM

"His ability to piss off lefties is a talent."

Peter Parrott

You miss the point. The point is careful deliberation in a complex world, keeping your friends close and your enemies closer; and rule of law.

Mr Parrot, Have you considered the damage that's been done to our national security and freedoms by our indebtedness to the Chinese, Indians and Oil states? Is this the National Security you seek?

Posted by: dh | June 23, 2007 10:36 PM

Prince George and Machievelli Dick. The Congress ought to quit budgetting for everything. Better to have the government starve than to enable these wicked people.

Posted by: jonstephens | June 23, 2007 10:42 PM

Now, if there was a close replica of Cheney but on the other side of where Cheney believes he stands as far as dealing with a major threat to our American way of life, how would that person deal with Dick Cheney's behavior? Not a pleasant thought.

Posted by: GURUJOTSINGH | June 23, 2007 10:49 PM

CRIMINALS...the whole lot of them!

Posted by: tomsull | June 23, 2007 10:51 PM

Tar. Feathers. Rope.

Posted by: xlrp3 | June 23, 2007 10:53 PM

Criminals...Thieves...they should have been tried for treaso by now.

Posted by: tomsull | June 23, 2007 10:53 PM

Criminals...Thieves...they should have been tried for treason by now.

Posted by: tomsull | June 23, 2007 10:53 PM

What an excellent story, I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the next part. I know this sounds harsh... but it almost seems like Cheney 'tricked' a dim witted president.

Re: some previous comments... don't worry to much about some of this vitriol from 'Loyal Bushies'. By the time George and his cohorts are done, the Republican image will be as tarnished as it was after Watergate. Sadly, America's image will have fallen to the same level.

Posted by: stswork | June 23, 2007 11:07 PM

Nice to be worried about the Constitution. I wish that we would all be concerned about it, and not just now.

However, we should look at the facts.

The US Supreme Court decided in 1950, in the case of Johnson v. Eisentrager, that Unlawful Enemy Combatants (those who did not operate as part of an organized military force under the laws of war) could be tried under Military Tribunals. You should read this decision.

Under our system of law, the previous decisions of courts on similar matter are settled points of law, and are used as precidence to decide future cases.

So, the Executive Order was not issued in an offhand manner. It did indeed rely on legal precedence, as settled by the US Supreme Court in 1950.

So...if it is conspiracy of criminals and theives, you'd pretty well have to include the Justices who decided the case, the Presidents who appointed them, and the Congress who confirmed them.

Posted by: offroad | June 23, 2007 11:08 PM

And to think, that when Bush was put into the White House, I was comforted by the fact that Cheney was the VP..... since I figured then that we would go to Iraq, the question was just when? I could not have been more wrong... I believe that Cheney has been running things all along, this article seems to confirm that. Another thought, once again, Cheney is in the news, and didn't we just have news about another terrorist attack being broken up? Will it ever end? Fear mongering and mongering and mongering. That's all they have to offer. Read the book "High Priests of War", available at Amazon. Will give you some real insight as to our Country in this day and age.

Posted by: donna1p5 | June 23, 2007 11:11 PM

Sadly, why are people surprised at what it took the WP to report after 6.5 years of hell for this country and the world? I know why I cried on Saturday, December 9, 2000 and wore black on January 20, 2001. There will always be bad people performing incompetently and dishonestly. It is the responsibility of every citizen in a democracy to thwart such horrendous leadership. It seems as though the majority of the American People--that's us folks--don't pay attention to the biography of those they elect. All of those who voted for this pair on the basis of God and values--please do us all a favor. Begin praying for our world and our nation and beg the Almighty to forgive us for the trespasses of a most heinous regime.

Posted by: frank.anania | June 23, 2007 11:17 PM

Forget the dang bio. His butt should be up on charges. He is a traitor to his nation and everything it stands for. If we had a decent media that actually informed the people as the founders intended, he would be drummed out of office.

Posted by: Dessalines | June 23, 2007 11:17 PM

This Monster is proud ? of the corruption ?
This looks like a two bit add to me .

Posted by: mgilfoy | June 23, 2007 11:18 PM

offroad makes an interesting but flawed point. The fact that one old case can be cited to justify a position is suspect. As an attorney, I would never rest my argument on a single case, however important. Typically, there is a series of cases, some of which are recent. It's true that this is an unusual point of law so perhaps there are not as many cases as in other areas of the law. The critical point is that since this is an unusual and constitutionally sensitive area of the law, it was important to let the Dept. of Justice take a look at it as well as the Cabinet. Instead, it was developed very quietly by Cheney and whisked in for the President's signature. Hardly the sign of a defensible position. Rather, the mark of an illicit and unconsitutional action. Like many other attorneys, I am horrified. The Constitution protects our liberties and cannot be disregarded. The result is what you see -- we have become a nation that tortures, we have become what we profess to despise in other countries. And no, we are not safer. It's time to impeach Dick Cheney.

Posted by: jlk1 | June 23, 2007 11:20 PM

Another important source to consider is the Geneva Convention of 1949.

Article 4, Section A, Paragraph 2 states that to be considered a Prisoner of War, a person had to "fulfil the following conditions: (a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; (c) that of carrying arms openly; (d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war. "

Does anyone want to state that terrorists fulfil all 5 of these conditions?

If not, then signatories are not obligated to consider them as Prisoners of War, and they in fact would be considered Unlawful Enemy Combatants.

Posted by: offroad | June 23, 2007 11:21 PM

Cheney is an American version of Rasputin.

Posted by: mailbangla | June 23, 2007 11:22 PM

Just because the facts are biased against Mr Cheney, just because 80% of Americans are biased against Mr Cheney, doesn't mean the Washington Post should be biased against Mr Cheney.

Posted by: AlanDownunder | June 23, 2007 11:23 PM

I am noticing a recurring theme among the few remaining Bush/Cheney/Right-wing loyalists in these posts.

No matter the topic, their message is always some variation of "Fock You."

They do not care to present any logical arguments. None of these people is pretenting to promote the public interest.

For that matter, "Fock You" is the entire theme of, and force behind the Bush administration.

Who ever would have guessed that so much political capital lay in the "Fock You" mentality.

Those of us who would like to "Promote the General Welfare" (as instructed by the US Constitution) probably never thought that the "Fock You" crowd should be taken seriously. Unfortunately for us all, they were dead serious.

Posted by: Robinio | June 23, 2007 11:29 PM

So tell me something I didn't know. He's been running the country since he elected himself VP in 2000. He runs a shadow government--no evidence, no incriminations. And he wants no trace of his sticky fingers all over every fatal mistake his sham of an administration has made.

Make democracy work: Impeach the crook!

Posted by: libbiw | June 23, 2007 11:29 PM

Don't you people see the trick? Many of those opposed to this government are supposed to get so sick of politics that they do not vote in the coming elections. That is why more and more dirt about this government will be brought to the surface the coming months.

This is psychological warfare. The WaPo is not finally doing its job and exposing the machinations of this government: it is still co-operating with the government.

Open your eyes, Americans, you're run by a dictatorship, with media that are serving as ministry of propaganda.

Posted by: jesaja | June 23, 2007 11:30 PM

If Dick Cheney were to drop dead tomorrow of a heart attack, all across America, there would be wild celebrations.
He has done more damage to our democracy than anyone could have ever imagined.

Posted by: rdric | June 23, 2007 11:31 PM

All I can say is that Cheney rocks! I wish we had more leaders like him. Instead of sitting around generating sound bites for the press, he goes out and gets things done. No wonder our do nothing Congress feels so threatened by him.

Posted by: pfbanker | June 23, 2007 11:33 PM

I would simply say our do nothing congress isn't threatened by Dick Cheney, he should be threatened by them, I will by writing my Senators, to impeach the bastard

Posted by: donna1p5 | June 23, 2007 11:42 PM

First, yes, A thru D is only FOUR points, sorry for the math error.

JLK1 - "one old" case? Johnson v. Eisentrager itself built on several other cases, namely Ex Parte Quirin, which was decided in 1942, and which authorized tribunals for Unlawful Enemy Combantants.
In fact, during WWII, there were a number of German agents who landed in the US, were caught, and were tried by tribunal and executed.

The decision was also based on legislation, including the Alien Enemy Act of 1798, which "was never repealed. Executive power over
enemy aliens, undelayed and unhampered by litigation, has been deemed,
throughout our history, essential to war-time security. This is in keeping
with the practices of the most enlightened of nations and has resulted in
treatment of alien enemies more considerate than that
which has prevailed among any of our enemies and some of our allies. This
statute was enacted or suffered to continue by men who helped found the
Republic and formulate the Bill of Rights, and although it obviously denies
enemy aliens the constitutional immunities of citizens, it seems not then
to have been supposed that a nation's obligations to its foes could ever be
put on a parity with those to its defenders."

I invite you to read the law which applies in this case, both the legislation and the precedents.

In this case, it was obvious that we were at war but not with an enemy as defined in the Geneva Conventions - they did not have a regular armed force which followed the rules of war. Rapid action was needed to ensure that actionable intelligence could be obtained, before any more attacks were carried out.

I am not sure that we were in fact better off during the preceding 8 years, during which time we were attacked in NYC (1st try at the WTC), in Saudi, in Yemen, in Kenya, in Tanzania....and when we had several chances to zap Osama and never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity

Posted by: offroad | June 23, 2007 11:42 PM

"Cheney flunked out of Yale but became a highly regarded PhD candidate in political science at the University of Wisconsin -- avoiding the Vietnam War draft with five deferments along the way -- before abandoning the doctoral program and heading to Washington as a junior congressional aide."
===========================
Wow, does that quote from the article say it all about Cheney and how he feels about our troops? He felt he was too good for fighting and dying for his country then. He still thinks he is above it all, and fighting and dying are for the inconsequential people or the little people.

Posted by: timbeauchamp | June 23, 2007 11:43 PM

Well, WaPo, you added little to what we bloggers have known for years. Remember how you blew us off, called us conspiracy theorists, liberals, etc.

Turns out there WAS a conspiracy. Was it a media/military industrial complex conspiracy? Will you tell if it was?

Posted by: PrissyPatriot | June 23, 2007 11:44 PM

The land of liberty has been raped by these self-serving, Halliburton loving individuals. Our current leaders have led us down a path toward ultimate destruction. More terrorists have been recruited & America is now the most hated & disrespected nation in the world. Sadly, we have earned this title. These past years Americans have been witnessing treason at the highest ranks. History will regard these years as the DARK AGES. Unfortunately, we were there to experience each agonizing moment. Even more painful, many innocent people have died following the orders of the greedy, corrupt & incompetent leaders. Although it is not reported, an MIT study states that close to 600,000 Iraqis have died due to violence across their nation. This is 2.5% of the population of Iraq. May we all be forgiven.

Posted by: cookiejarmoney | June 23, 2007 11:44 PM

Once these crooks got into power they rolled up their sleeves and got to work for themselves and their interests - it had very little to do with the history and laws of this country but more like a power grab, with SCREW THE PUBLIC written all over "their" Constitution. The public are to be manipulated (as Daddy Dick knows best). They treat the USA like the Russians treat their own people - just a personal fiefdom for goon gangsters.

Posted by: Mnnngj | June 23, 2007 11:44 PM

Guess what. The Post has been scooped by Jay Leno. He told us that Cheney ran the Country and the President years ago. I'm glad I saved all of that money not subscribing to the Post

Posted by: 70544.44 | June 24, 2007 12:06 AM

You pitiful excuses for journalist choose now to write this after 6 years of the most abusive administration in US history. All of you at WaPo and all the other inside the beltway journalists should hang your heads in shame! You sold out the integrity of your country and yourselves for ready access to those in power. Shame on you all. You are despicible. Sure Bush/Cheney are rotten but the stink you journalist have been emitting is just as noxious.

Posted by: zentomato | June 24, 2007 12:12 AM

You pitiful excuses for journalist choose now to write this after 6 years of the most abusive administration in US history. All of you at WaPo and all the other inside the beltway journalists should hang your heads in shame! You sold out the integrity of your country and yourselves for ready access to those in power. Shame on you all. You are despicible. Sure Bush/Cheney are rotten but the stink you journalist have been emitting is just as noxious.

Posted by: zentomato | June 24, 2007 12:12 AM

Cheney believes he is "using his authority to serve the American people, and he's obviously not afraid to be a rough opponent," Gribben said.

The VP probably is not getting enough sleep.

Posted by: bobsell | June 24, 2007 12:15 AM

Well President DICK learned how to govern this great land of ours from his best friends, the damn Saudis. Maybe we all need to just move to Saudi Arabia since we both have the same type of government now, at least gas is cheaper there

Posted by: asalem | June 24, 2007 12:18 AM

Cheney is to Bush
As Beria was to Stalin
Borman was to Hitler
Machievelli was to Cesare Borgia

Posted by: yodamae | June 24, 2007 12:34 AM

Wow! Real comprehensive reporting, I didn't think the Washington Post was capable of it any longer. Great work! I just wish this article had been written a lot earlier. This really is a dark time for our country. The manipulations, the dodges, the lies and the utter disregard for the concept of open, honest governance, Cheney has made a mockery of our style of government, our core values and our deepest held beliefs.

Posted by: ignatious | June 24, 2007 12:48 AM

Some of this writing in, 'A Different Understanding With the President' by Barton Gellman and Jo Becke, is OK and some of this is over the top. For example the WaPo states that the Supreme Court has over turned Bush 3 times and this is not accurate. The court ruled the Bush administration had legitimate emergency war powers to set aside some laws but that enough time had passed so that the emergency had dissipated and the administration had to adjust to the laws on the books and that isn't overturning Bush but rather calling him to account and the business of the court's granting prisoners taken in war access to civilian courts is a rabid over extension of the Court's authority.

Second is the question of the Geneva Convention which we wrote and signed in 1949. Taken by itself, the Convention is not international law as depicted. It is simply an agreement between nations and it is the president's responsibility to interpret agreements between nations because he is responsible for foreign policy as every on learns in first year law school. Congress has the authority to establish laws which enforce treaties in a way which may agree or disagree with the President and in this case Congress passed the 1996 War Crimes Act which placed all of the provisions of the Geneva Convention into US law. So the reality is that the administration didn't suspend the Geneva Convention as asserted but instead suspended the War Crimes Act. Now in this case, it isn't clear that the administration was aware of the War Crimes Act initially but may have figured it out at a later date. In any event, the WaPo need to explain this sort of thing in clear 9th grade English and or publish a retraction so that people may understand how the law works because they have better sources than we have.

Posted by: Slager21 | June 24, 2007 12:51 AM

Now we know why Cheney was A.B.D. at Wisconsin. He couldn't cut it.

Posted by: vadzaih | June 24, 2007 12:52 AM

What I thought at the time, and what I still believe, is that the charade of Cheney looking for a Vice President for "W" was a phoney. The neocons and Cheney were supporting Bush in order to establish Cheney as the boss. Then the money and the policies would flow.

Bush may be bright enough, maybe, but he isn't in charge, in fact, for most of the choices he is said to have made. Cheney was not his choice, but George W was Cheney's choice.

And disaster has followed.

C C Evans

Posted by: Berkcarl | June 24, 2007 12:52 AM

Bush, Cheney and Gonzales, these so-called true "patriots", have willingly and knowingly conspired to rape, pillage and squander America's precious resources, with apparently little or no serious fore-thought or accountability. These resources include:

1. America's future, young men & women.
2. America's moral standing, domestic & abroad.
3. America's wealth.
4. America's Constitution, and all levels of governmental legal and ethical laws.
5. America's future security as a result of failed foreign policies, including initiating a war of aggression.
6. America's friends & allies future security.

These treasonous acts, committed by this so-called "administration", have seriously damaged the United States for many years to come. They have been caused not by the U.S.'s perceived enemies, but by their own reckless actions and mismanagement.

Both Bush and Cheney, who are elitist corporate criminals like their one-time executive friends at Enron, have left a permanent stain on the history of civilized nations on our planet, not America's planet, as they seem to erroneously believe it is. In so doing, they have shamed their countrymen forever.

Now I ask you America: If you were taught to believe that General Benedict Arnold was a traitor to your country for plotting to surrender American interests, and plundering America's precious resources during a time of stated war, what is the difference between his selfish actions and those listed above committed by your president?

In less than a decade, Bush, Cheney and Gonzales have surrendered America's cherished two-hundred year-old constitutional ideals, as well as plundering its resources and undermining its confidence and security, for their own selfish and unaccountable secretive goals. The evidence of this is quite plain and stark for all to see, and for this reason they cannot be considered true patriots. True patriots are America's young men and women who are mercilessly dying each day in an illegal and fabricated war. Bush, Cheney and Gonzales are traitors to America and, like Benedict Arnold, history will not look back kindly upon them either.

Posted by: dotmafia | June 24, 2007 01:02 AM

The more I read and hear about Cheney, the more he reminds me of someone from the past ..... Richard M. Nixon! Who would have been impeached if he had not resigned.

Obsessive, secretative, Machiavellian type personality, dangerous and a crook.

Makes me long for the good old days of Nixon when things seemed simpler. Just plain old second-rate burgularies and trivial coverups, compared to today's mess of Bush's Folly in Iraq, suspension of parts of the Constituion under the guise of a War on Terror, turmoil in the Middle East, and billions and trillions of dollars and thousands of lives lost, all in the name of what?

Posted by: David2007 | June 24, 2007 01:17 AM

To his core, Cheney is bad for the nation. His penchant for doing business in secret raises questions of just what he has to hide. When he had his energy policy meeting early in the life of the administration, its agenda and attendees were kept from the public. When he accompanied Bush to "testify" before a Congressional committee, it was with the understand that it would be off the record, with no minutes and not under oath. Does that or does it not sound like someone with something to hide?

Posted by: StevenMars | June 24, 2007 01:18 AM

Cheney is an interesting guy...the view from the other side of the Pacific is that the Bush Administration is incompetent, dishonest and morally bankrupt (Where is God when you really need him??!!) There are dishonest people everywhere but why, given vast and irrefutable evidence covering an array of subjects which seem to be in the public domain...how did they get elected in the first place and how could they possibly get re-elected??

The American people (as a whole) should take their fair share of the blame. A totally incurious media (as a whole) should also share some of the blame too...not to mention right wing Christian groups providing crucial and uncritical support to Bush.

In case you are wondering, it isn't just more USA bashing - I've enjoyed several visits there and hope to visit again.

Posted by: blairsuenick04 | June 24, 2007 01:32 AM

Love it when some, usually 'radd repubs' point to 9/11... (as if that proves ???)when, if it were to have occurred a few years earlier, they would have BLAMED that administration for it happening at all.

Posted by: mzintek | June 24, 2007 01:48 AM

The American people and their representatives in Congress have long needed evidence that provides firm grounds for the impeachment of Dick Cheney. Let us all hope that this article and those that follow will provide what has long been needed.

Posted by: dsrobins | June 24, 2007 01:49 AM

It's obvious now, and hopefully will be more so when the other articles appear, that this lowlife has been running a shadow government on his own and than has presented the President with an accomplished fact. Sort of take it or leave it but this is what's going to happen. Bush, of course, does not have the ba*ls to tell him to f*ck off and show him the door. There is more than one way to shut out a VP from this sort of thing. For one thing, he should never have been on the ticket in o4. Of course we are talking about a strong president who can stand on his own two feet and Bush ain't it!

Posted by: Opa2 | June 24, 2007 02:03 AM

One more response to E4Puke:

George Bush does not seem to agree with you that bin Laden is one of the two greatest enemies of the United States. In response to questions about the failure to find him, Mr. Bush said "bin Laden is not my focus," and "I am not concerned about him." I suspect this disagreement with your views has not lessened your support of our "War President."

Posted by: rmbus54 | June 24, 2007 02:30 AM

To those who defend GW and DC because we have not had another 9/11- remember 9/11 occurred under their watch. Moreover, the debacle in Iraq is worse than 9/11.
AJ

Posted by: alrobj | June 24, 2007 03:30 AM

If Congress continues to do nothing about Cheney, then Congress is guilty of "aiding and abetting" his practically treasoness actions. Our elected representatives have known for a long time what was going on behind those locked doors, and they did nothing. They are as impotent as Bush! If they continue to be silent, then they should all go, too! No wonder Congress has an even lower approval rating than Bush.

2008 is too late. Then they all walk free. Then the precedent is set.

Impeachment, if not imprisonment, is the only thing that will hopefully prevent any future deranged meglomaniacs from usurping our government and our country. The Department of Justice must also flex its Constitutional powers and clean up the gang activity in the White House. I wonder what Gonzales will do about all this?? (!)

This "secret" administration has adversely affected all Americans. After reading this article, I feel like I am living in the old Soviet Union! I, too, wonder how many human lives would have been spared if the Cheney-Bush-Rove coven had not been put into power.

God help America!

Posted by: rjwiechmann | June 24, 2007 03:32 AM

I've heard of Bush Derangement Syndrome but it looks like the far left wing fanatical kooks at the Washington Post have another disease called Cheney Derangement Syndrome.

Posted by: jbbarbeque | June 24, 2007 03:35 AM

I do not understand why people on the Right continue to blindly support this mess. You would think that they would be angrier than anyone. Don't they realize they have been duped? They are victims, too. Once this administration obtained power, it couldn't care less about their "fans"! There are many ethical and honest conservative leaders; why support evil, selfish tyrants just because of their political affiliation?

Posted by: rjwiechmann | June 24, 2007 03:55 AM

What scares me is that Rudy G. is leading in the Republican primaries and has taken up the "I will lead on OFFENSE, the Democrats want to play defense" This must be what he is talking about: Torture, rendition, no writ of habeas corpus. If Rudy or Mitt(I want to double the size of Gitmo)Romney become the R's nominee, I hope that the Democratic presidential nominee reminds the American public that DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS. That the "War on Terror" requires scrupulous adherence to the rule of law, investment in real homeland security measures, and a godamn PLAN to protect the American people from acts of terror - defense in all of its beautiful manifestations.

Posted by: ellenhamm | June 24, 2007 04:00 AM

Lincoln struggled to find a moral and just way to fight a war that threatened to destroy this country. He visited battlefields to view the dead, reminding himself that every life lost in that war rested
upon the decisions he alone had to make. He was willing to sustain a long and bloody conflict on our own soil in order to ensure that this country would remain united and all it's citizens would be free. The instigators of the Civil War "brought the war here," it was fought on our homeland. He courageously
met with ordinary citizens, slaves, freemen, and the soldiers on
the battlefields where they fought under his command, at risk
to his own life.

What Lincoln would have thought about an underling running a "shadow" government in some bunker who believes he is not
accountable to the people of this country, even as we pay a great cost in deaths of our troops in a war based on lies told by
the bunker's occupant - this we cannot know.
But Lincoln granted to us "a new birth of freedom," and it will take more than the criminality of Dick Cheney and George Bush
to destroy that freedom. If during their tenure you read books
about Lincoln bought in a bookstore or checked out of a local
library, this White House may have included you in it's snooping
to learn about our private reading habits. If you have been
reading about Lincoln, or any of the other great defenders of this country's freedom, let's hope that knowledge scared the pants off of Dick Cheney, because it means you had his number
long before now.

Posted by: buckymulligan3 | June 24, 2007 04:07 AM

Remember, HE CHOSE HIMSELF to be the VP. That should have been a red flag right from the very beginning.

Posted by: taid | June 24, 2007 04:08 AM

The article claims that both Cheney and his former chief counsel David Addington shut out all discussion and undercut possible dissenters as a way of adhering to "principle". It makes their ridiculous stubbornness sound like a good thing.

The problem is that people can be wrong about their "principles", or the application thereof, and the only way they'll ever know that is to allow discussion, to find out what other people think.

Study after study after study shows that group decisions are better than individual ones, and what better example of that is the Bush administration and Cheney's role in it. Cheney's ideology-driven, no-discussion-allowed policies have been disastrous for the country.

Every single one of them.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

Posted by: caro | June 24, 2007 04:15 AM

Bush and Cheney have done far more to harm this country than Osama bin Ladin and Akhmedinijad. They've neutered a great country.

Posted by: washpost.10.netskip | June 24, 2007 04:31 AM

The Washington Post is doing the American people a signal service by doing this timely series on Vice President Dick Cheney.
Probably no other Vice President in the over-200 years of the history of these United States has a vice president ever exercised powers which encompass the whole canvas of the bureaucracy and have been so broad as to rival the powers of the Presidency itself.
The American people surely are interested in how Dick Cheney was able to arrogate unto himself such authority and power--and why President George W. Bush apparently allowed him easily to assume and exercise powers which under the Constitution only the President should exercise.
Could the reason be mainly that Dick Cheney took advantage of George W. Bush's obvious unfamiliarity with the workings of the Federal bureaucracy as well as the intricacies and pitfalls of geopolitics?
The American people need good and truthful answers to these vital questions.

Posted by: MPatalinjug | June 24, 2007 04:47 AM

Wow. After 6 years it's being "revealed" that Dick is the real power behind the throne.

Duh.

As usual, the MSM/press is shocked! shocked! to find out that he's the real prez.

You guys at WaPo, et. al., have been so busy being Bush/Cheney cheerleaders/apologists that no one listens to your lamea## investigations anymore -- too little, too late.

No wonder the public has little faith in either the government or the media.

Posted by: nads1 | June 24, 2007 04:56 AM

I am from Wyoming, a political scientist, and a Republican. I have spent my entire adult life listening to Dick Cheney. I do not recall ever hearing him tell the truth to the public. He is among the most vile politicians in American history. But let's be realistic about who's to blame for all THIS. Our critical institutions - e.g., the media and the universities - have completely failed us. And though the electorate is also to blame I personally hold seniors and veterans responsible for this debacle. They should have known better.

Posted by: ellisonb | June 24, 2007 04:56 AM

Thank You, WP, after six years of support for this "world gone wrong" administration, your right wing bias is finally giving way to some centrist reports. Hey, make it permanent and help America be free again. Yes, you know which way the wind is blowing - you keep tabs on reader comments and spreadsheet the results. Hell, even I can see the clouds preceeding the comming storm.

Posted by: NMremote | June 24, 2007 04:56 AM

Could it be that you've decided to start outing the 'Chimp In Charge' and his handler now because the primaries are looming and White House access isn't the currency it was?

I think you've decided that Cheney can't win, especially if the Post puts him under the microscope and, I agree. I think you've decided that the Democrats are the horse to back and all the dynamics would seem to be with you on that; I agree.

What I don't agree with is that your article is motivated by one ounce of integrity

What really annoys me is that although your article is accurate and, scarey when I look at the whole pattern, I very much doubt that if these two had four years to
run you would have published it.

Please take a look at yourself.

You bear some of the responsiblity for this.

"Who will guard the Guardians"?

Actually, I think that would be you.

Posted by: epic6910 | June 24, 2007 04:57 AM

Cheney palyed a great role in the production of "9/11" the
film over peoples minds, but Anthony Hopkins might have
been able to add a dimension of credulity to it. Cheney, of course, came off as a total Dick and seemed more like a Hitlierian Nazi, and the cover as a hardened CEO never
worked, but over all it was a convincing rendition of power crazy individuals gone mad and trying to impliment social engineering on all levels and in many countries to further Imperial goals and global pretentions. The problem I have
with the entire picture is the destruction of the setand the
great loss of life, since Im a softie in that regard. I still
believe with all my heart that people are more important
than business and no epic production like the destruction
of the World Trade Towers is going to change that. That is,
in fact the one sticking point - that Bush/ Cheney
Productions smirk away and lie about the death and
destruction everywhere as the problem of the poor people
and the right of the rich. This is some starwars slime that
Dr. Evil should have spit rather than swallow, and the
negativity to America hasn't finished yet from that particular malfunction.

Posted by: bebeyond49 | June 24, 2007 05:03 AM

I have never seen so many people eaten up with "BDS" (Bush Derangement Syndrome) as on this string. You people are practically foaming at the mouth! You need to get over it and look toward the next election.

Posted by: wardw | June 24, 2007 05:10 AM

Cheney ressembles more and more the mad priest in, "Name of the Rose," frantically trying to bury the truth in the labyrinth
of his inner sanctum, sure that only he is capable of chosing the tidbits to throw to the lower classes.
Beware...a mistreated snarling dog will one day bite the hand that feeds it

Posted by: gwennms | June 24, 2007 05:12 AM

i guess Hadley convinced W that Dick was, indeed, tricky.
time to throw him under the bus.
sounds like Rover was in the amen corner too.
no surprise, that.
guess scooter and his patrons may throw up their hands and punt.
could be a looong thirty months for that lad.
then again, it could all blow over.

Meanwhile, the soldiers are dying in Iraq,
but the battle is in America.

Posted by: fahrender | June 24, 2007 05:16 AM

The assignment went out to humanize Dick Cheney, to
soften the target of impeachment, to normalize things in
a general way, taking into account that most of the depraved
and illegal things were too well documented to leave out.
Then the people read the subsequint article and began schredding itand that doesnt get read by inexperienced eyes and incomplete minds. Just the image of the Angler, the
strong old man, possibly the downfall of Hitler, not to humanized by the press or seen in any other pose than Satan killing the millions. Well below the makeup and insincere WP whitewashing, Bush and Cheney come across as the angels of death filling their coffers with the reward for their activity.
The billions spent could have achieved the results we have without a million plus deaths, not to mention the destruction
of the middle east, by peaceful means, but the plan calls for destabilization, fear inspiring threats and posture, lying and stealing at high levels, with death to all those who would whimper and cry. No doubt Pelosi was threatened at her mid winter meeting w/ Bush, or perhaps those of the inner circle
in DC have the New World Order agenda rammed up their hard drive and cannot change.The entire seven years has been a
dark fiction, as well as most events since Jack Kennedy was adjusted for the 'good of the nation' ! Eisenhower said it - "Beware the MIlitary/Industrial Complex" enuf said.....

Posted by: bebeyond49 | June 24, 2007 05:24 AM

wardw --

If the Bush/Cheney vitriol in these posts surprise you, you must be new to this.

Check out any comments on any article about them.

The opinions reflect many of the polls -- the public has little taste for this WH's brand of politics and no respect for the individuals involved, with good reason, too -- they're greedy little traitors.

Posted by: nads1 | June 24, 2007 05:26 AM

I am reading with amusement all the bleatings from the liberal bleeding hearts. Thank God the US still has a few men with Cheney's acumen, balls and dedication. One Cheney is worth a hundred Reids and a thousand Pelosis.

Posted by: pescaderotarzan | June 24, 2007 05:44 AM

THE FOURTH ESTATE has been asleep for decades. The citizens of this country have also been asleep, and/or have been hypnotized into believing that faux patriotism and war mongering mean peace and prosperity. Cheney is an architect of this miserable malfeasence.

Many of us see that we have no recourse; the courts now have young men who will live long and further their ultra conservative agendas while our civil rights are taken away. And we will probably continue to invade a country a year to eradicate the neocon axis of evil.

Good luck to us and our nation in recapturing our CONSTITUTION and its three separate branches of government. Time will tell if we are able to live free.

Posted by: suzeq | June 24, 2007 05:53 AM

pescaderotarzan --

Yes, people who are attracted to authoritarian types do tend to like creatures with attributes similar to Dick . . . and Hitler, and Reinhart Heydrich, and Kim Il Jong, and Stalin, and, need I go on?

Posted by: nads1 | June 24, 2007 06:08 AM


We all knew that Cheney has shaped this administration in a myriad of ways. It hasn't exactly worked out well for him, has it? This is one of the most dysfunctional, incompetent administrations in the history of this country-and the VP deserves a lot of the credit. These guys make the Harding administration look good by comparison. My only comfort is that these people are going to be judged by historians-and judged harshly. They richly deserve it.

Posted by: mollycoddle1 | June 24, 2007 06:21 AM

I am shocked that a newspaper would report on Cheney's behavior. Remember when Cheney wouldn't admit that Ken Lay came to see him, or how Lay helped Cheney shape energy policy? Remember how Cheney profited from the war with Halliburton's no bid contracts? Remember how Cheney went duck hunting with Scalia? Remember how Scalia's and Renquist's children were offered jobs after the the Supreme Court stopped the recount? Remember how Cheney found GW, then found himself? Remember when Cheney told Patrick Leahy to go F himself? (is that too profane) When did Cheney's behavior become newsworthy or unacceptable? I would call him Cheney a successful guy.

Posted by: elissadotcom2003 | June 24, 2007 06:34 AM

The Vice-president is the person responsible for uniting Muslims world wide against the United States! He is responsible for the disaster in Iraq and working to inclue Iran in a major conflict in the region. He is responsible, together with George W. Bush, of war crimen against humanity. He is the architect of the great lie to launch a war against Sadam Husseim a creature of the CIA and who was supported and assisted by Cheny during his reign as Secretary of Defense during the George Bush Sr presidency. He and Mr Bush should be impeached by the U.S. Congress for lying and war crimes! But the Democratic Congressional leqadrship simply doesn't get it. That's why their approval rating is a low as George W. Bush. Why don't the U.S. media writes an investigative report on the case for impeaching Bush and Chenney? The answer my friend "is blowing in the wind."

Franklin D. López
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Posted by: franklinlopez46 | June 24, 2007 06:39 AM

The Vice-president is the person responsible for uniting Muslims world wide against the United States! He is responsible for the disaster in Iraq and working to inclue Iran in a major conflict in the region. He is responsible, together with George W. Bush, of war crimen against humanity. He is the architect of the great lie to launch a war against Sadam Husseim a creature of the CIA and who was supported and assisted by Cheny during his reign as Secretary of Defense during the George Bush Sr presidency. He and Mr Bush should be impeached by the U.S. Congress for lying and war crimes! But the Democratic Congressional leqadrship simply doesn't get it. That's why their approval rating is a low as George W. Bush. Why don't the U.S. media writes an investigative report on the case for impeaching Bush and Chenney? The answer my friend "is blowing in the wind."

Franklin D. López
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Posted by: franklinlopez46 | June 24, 2007 06:39 AM

If Cheney says he is not part of the executive branch of government, then do these things:

1. Throw him our of his office in the White House.

2. Throw him out of the VPs home.

3. Take away the salary, pension and perks he receives as VP

4. Take away all access to meetings, papers, committees as VP

5. Deny him access to the president except as a member of the legislature.

But before doing all these things, impeach him.

Posted by: Utahreb | June 24, 2007 06:40 AM

Cheney is to Bush
As Beria was to Stalin
Borman was to Hitler
Machievelli was to Cesare Borgia

While I agree with this historic comparison,there is one big difference. Stalin, Hitler and Cesare Borgia, as despicable as they were, had intelligence, a quality missing in our President.

Posted by: Isernia | June 24, 2007 06:42 AM

Non-existent are analyses of the political side of Sodom and Gomorrah before God burned them. Suffice it to say, they were full of themselves and no kind of villainy was foreign among their leaders; Richard Cheney's type is the reason Mankind's life-span was shortened: evil personified.

Posted by: Bobertbobert | June 24, 2007 06:59 AM

Remember "If your not with us, your against us", they treated anyone who disagreed as an unpatriotic traitor. They used the deaths of 9/11 as their reason to bury anyone who disagreed. They guilted opposition into going along. It is amazing how wrong they have been about so many things.

Posted by: mobrien2001 | June 24, 2007 06:59 AM

The true question at the heart of this matter is whether the correct response to terrorism is to treat it as a matter of having broken laws and bring the perpetrators up on criminal charges in the US Courts, or whether these should be treated as a military matter and the perpetrators held as Unlawful Enemy Combatants, as defined by US Statutes (including the Alien Enemy Act), US Supreme Court decisions (including Johnson vs. Eisentrager), the Geneva Convention of 1949, and the War Crimes Act of 1996.
That's right...the War Crimes Act makes it a crime for a member of the US Armed Forces to commit "serious breach" of the Geneva Convention restrictions.
However, if the question is whether Unlawful Enemy Combatants are entitled to Due Process rights under the 5th and 6th amendments, the answer is NO.
NONE of the settled case law, US statutes, or treaties creates such an obligation.
To start doing this now would be a complete change in how we treat prisoners taken in a war, who are not members of an organized armed force (as noted previously, there are 4 criteria and these people must meet ALL FOUR criteria to be considered POWs and therefore eligible for POW status and the rights under the Geneva Convention).
Let's see what 8 years of treating terrorism as a Law Enforcement problem did to make us safer: our best prosecutors went after the Blind Sheikh and his minions, and we got what...6 of them behind bars? How many of the folks who bombed the USS Cole did we get? How many of the folks who bombed the barracks in Saudi? How many of the folks who bombed the Embassy in Kenya? How many of the folks who bombed the Embassy in Tanzania?
The fact is that the perpetrators of these crimes went largely uncaught and unpunished until after we went on full-court press and treated them as they are: Unlawful Enemy Combatants, operating outside of the rules of war (established by treaties such as the Hague Convention of 1908 on the Rules of War on Land).
A final question: what rights do the terrorists give their victims?

Posted by: offroad | June 24, 2007 07:00 AM

Does Cheney have any other qualifications to be VP besides being under the wing of many Pres.? Did he ever serve in active military service? He obviously as shown by his history is great at being able to line his and his friends pockets with money.(Robin Hood he is not). Will the day come when he will face justice for his treason? I live for the day we see him being led away in handcuffs and he faces the same justice he has demanded from his loyal co-horts. The Washington Post is not printing anything the country has not known for years. WE ARE THE GUILTY ONES for allowing him to remain in office. I truly believe there is something wrong with his brain that makes him a danger to our country.

Posted by: rn1956meagain | June 24, 2007 07:03 AM

Whoever took the photo of Powell leaving the Oval Office with Cheney in the background, should get a Pulitzer. The photo says so much about who wields the power in the Administration. Powell with his glum expression leaving the Oval Office while Cheney stands with his arm drooped on the President's empty chair with his characteristic smirk.

Posted by: EdJohnson | June 24, 2007 07:19 AM

Bush once indicated, supposedly jokingly, that it would be much easier to govern if America was a dictatorship. Given the administrations actions since taking over, I don't think it was much of a joke. Using a national tragedy to lead us into a disasterous war, subverting the rule of law and lining the pockets of the wealthy in this country while castrating the middle-class are just some of his accomplishments.

It's interesting WaPo doesn't think Cheney is running a shadow government. What more would he have to do to for you to think that? His engineering energy policies in secret, the war he most certainly fought hard for and his disdain for the laws of this country, show me a person who want to control and manipulate America without interference. WaPo is good newspaper but this article is years too late.

However, it's not all the media's fault. They were joined by an inattentive and often frightened populace and a compliant Congress and Senate.

People too concerned with American Idol and Anna Nicole or Paris to notice that their freedoms were being systematically stripped away. People too reliant on campaign commercials instead of digging into the issues. Repeated warm fuzzies about GWB's ability to keep us safe re-elected him. Unfortunately those illusions of safety were short-lived when the reality that the Emperor has no clothes became all too apparent. Unless you are rich, politically powerful or a corporate entity you don't count in Bush's world. This illusion of Texas cowboy is just that. He speaks of religion and faith, but his actions tell another story. Oh, he'll veto stem cell research claiming to value life, but he'll let people die in our streets because his good buddy political appointees don't have the credentials to run a lemonade stand.

Equally culpable is the legislative branch whose motto for six years was 'I see nothing' while lining their pockets with K street money deserves as much credit as anybody. Republicans riding the heady wave of Bush power while most Democrats were too fearful of a political loss to fight back against the manipulation of false information being given to the world. Beyond elections and earmarks, it doesn't seem Congress really cares about much else.

The media too lazy or afraid to wage a fight in the face of popular opionion to dig into the leadup of the war. People were sounding the warning signs but few were listening.

If it weren't so dangerous, you'd almost have to laugh watching the administration try to lie their way out of every illogical or illegal situation that is uncovered. So WaPo, now that is safe to speak up, keep telling the stories of how our government has failed us, how the media has failed and how we have failed ourselves by not being vigilant and engaged.

Bad government and corporate greed can destroy this country. The illusion that we are invincible is dangerous.

Posted by: reboot923 | June 24, 2007 07:20 AM

I know all I need to know about our vice-president cheney, and I do not like or respect him. I will not read this article, but I will enjoy reading the comments, which should top any that we have seen here yet! His daughter Liz has the record so far, 123 pages of NEGATIVE comments. Thank you WaPo for giving us this opportunity to let cheney know that we are counting the days until he and his sidekick bush are gone from the White House!

Posted by: cashmere1 | June 24, 2007 07:32 AM

Now it is clear why the NARA cannot get in Darth Vader's office to see how they handle, store, and destroy classified documents. Just another small cog in that large wheel of deceit and lies that Darth Vader and others in this corrupt administration have used over the last nearly 7 years to take advantage of a President who is not the brightest light in the room and hates details, prefering to be called the "decider" which is fine with Darth Vader.
Hurry up January 2009 or they may not be anything left to save. This country is in real trouble ! !

Posted by: swanie | June 24, 2007 07:39 AM

To the best of my knowledge, the Americans fighters in the war of independence did not wear a uniform and were under a very loose command chain. Wouldn't they have been classified as "unlawful ennemy combattants" under Cheney's definition ?

Posted by: diplodocus | June 24, 2007 07:44 AM

And they say that Lawrencia Beria is dead...Ha!

Posted by: staggerlee | June 24, 2007 07:53 AM

I agree with those who have commented on how our basic institutions have utterly failed us. I would add Congress to that list for not even performing basic duties of oversight and along with our corporate media have shamefully stood by doing absolutely nothing while these abuses have been allowed to pile up. Now, all of sudden, they're all shocked that this nation is in such constitutional peril. Sort of how it all went down in Germany and the complacency that enabled Hitler and the Nazis to assume power.

Posted by: TDewey | June 24, 2007 07:55 AM

Seymor Hersh has just recently presented the concept that the vice president's office was pre-determined to be the best place out of which to run an illegal war.

This, and the re-appearance of many of the Iran-Contra characters into the Cheney administration, show a malice of forethought. WaPo, by running this story NOW, might be furthering the understanding Hersh has documented, or simply adding layers of obfuscation. I hope the TRUTH can be sharp and clear in the conclusions of this series.

Posted by: rowens1 | June 24, 2007 07:56 AM

On the general topic of Executive Orders:
What would we say about an Administration which issued an Order which prevented the CIA from passing information about known and suspected terrorists to the FBI, or even to the Immigration folks, so that those people could be tracked and hopefully prevented from entering the country?
Leave aside any other investigations that could have been blocked by such a "wall", such as whether there were any links between questionable export licenses being granted for sensitive military technology and political donations made by people who appeared to be connected to foreign intelligence services (of the same country to which the technology was to be exported).
By preventing live intelligence from being exchanged, for whatever reason, this order made our country blind to almost any and every terrorist threat.
Where is the hue and cry about such activity?
Yes, it is old news - but so too is the war against terrorism.

Posted by: offroad | June 24, 2007 07:57 AM

I saw Cheney at work on a regular basis in the House in the '80s, albeit from the Democratic side of the aisle. Soon after his election to the Vice Presidency, I found myself defending him on a political forum on the Web. An outside-the-beltway liberal loudly asserted that Cheney was evil incarnate. I objected, saying that Cheney was an experienced Washington hand who would protect Bush from making the serious mistakes that his lack of intelligence and experience indicated were quite possible. I could not have been more wrong. I don't know what happened to him, but Cheney has, in fact, become evil incarnate. I don't know what happened to the man who seemed like an intelligent, measured partisan who served as minority whip in the House. This man who has done so much damage to America does not seem like the same man.

Posted by: spike3905 | June 24, 2007 07:58 AM

The set up: In this soap opera, Cheney and Bush are cast as the *Evil Doers* (correctly so) the American citizens are cast as the *Helpless Victims* (incorrectly so) and the Wash Post is cast as a neutral party, the *Presenter Of Facts* (also incorrectly so). A simple observation: The level of power achieved by the Evil Doers is directly proportional to the level of indifference exhibited by the so-called Helpless Victims. If you want to know who is ultimately responsible for the tragedy in Iraq, just look in the mirror. The truth is that Bush and Cheney are draft dodging chickenhawks who staged a war only because the people they govern are lazy chickendoves who refuse to take matters into their own hands. Memo to all readers: Quit whining and do something constructive. Cheney is laughing at you, ha ha ha.

Posted by: howjensen | June 24, 2007 08:01 AM

Why is some unknown ideologue with a mean streak, David Addison, so involved in the governing of our nation? Gonzalez(FREDO!?) and Bush are weak men who aren't smart enough for their jobs. Cheney and Addison have been the ones running things.

Posted by: SamBrown2 | June 24, 2007 08:09 AM

Kudos for what appears to be an in depth analysis of Cheney's vice-presidency. I had trouble, however, in the reporters determining through their interviews that "by nearly every inside account, Cheney is not a shadow president." Was their response because of what the consequences would be if they acknowledged Cheney was in fact the shadow president? Based on this first segment, From reading just this first segment and how he operates how could anyone not agree that Cheney is in fact our shadow president?

Posted by: iopsc | June 24, 2007 08:10 AM

By the way, what was wrong with the previous comments format?

Posted by: SamBrown2 | June 24, 2007 08:10 AM

Are the people at the top in the White House insane? Much of what they do is irrational and unjustified. They use off the wall interpretations to do unlawful acts. They detain and torture offshore in an attempt to keep themselves "clean." Is insanity the reason they do these illegal things or is it their failure to answer the country's call when they were needed now trying to show their "manliness and macho?"? Or is it me not being able to believe their bullsh*t?

Posted by: nelsonh66 | June 24, 2007 08:10 AM

Diplodocus -
You are right, the American Patriots who faught the War of Independence against the British in many cases had no uniforms, at least not initially. The lack of funding from Congress prevented uniforms from being issued to most enlisted men and even some officers had improvised uniforms.
However, note that the War of Independence ended in 1781.
Just like most things, the Rules of War have been updated several times since then, and it was at least in 1908 (almost exactly a century ago now) that the Convention was agreed at the Hague.
So, while you are right that our soldiers wore their regular clothes in most cases, that may very well have been within the Rules of War such as they existed at that time. Note that they did fulfil the other 3 conditions:
1) They had a command structure (in most cases local militia were commanded by local commanders who reported to senior commanders on a state-by-state basis)
2) They did carry arms openly when on active duty, but frequently soldiers joined units for particular battles and then went home to do their farming
3) They did conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war - I am sure that General Washington would have seen to that
An important point is that uniforms are not of them selves required, just that the combatants must have a "fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance". So, even things like a patch or badge or a common hat design could suffice.

Posted by: offroad | June 24, 2007 08:11 AM

Dick Cheney reminds me a lot of Joe Stalin but Stalin was much better looking.

Posted by: nonneocon | June 24, 2007 08:15 AM

The idea of Cheney as Bush's puppeteer is old news.

The relevant question is "Who is Cheney's puppeteer?"

Consider who benefits most from a secretive, authoritarian leader steering the energy policy of the world's greediest oil consuming nation.

If Viceroy Cheney is the stooge for big oil, what does that make Americans?

Posted by: mal2code | June 24, 2007 08:21 AM

God help us if anything were ever to happen to George W. and this guy were put in charge!

Posted by: tmurt | June 24, 2007 08:24 AM

You turkeys know so little, flap your gums so much and spell so poorly, it is frightening.

Our government knew things after 9-11 that we could not. I am thankful for that. They also knew and know things about Iraq, and Saddam that we didn't and can't know. They could be explicated but the Washington Post and the like will never be interested in publicizing them.

I like the Cheney style and his influence on events.

USAF Retired
Korean War Games 1953-54
SEA 1968-69
BA,JD

Posted by: haroldvick | June 24, 2007 08:26 AM

You turkeys know so little, flap your gums so much and spell so poorly, it is frightening.

Our government knew things after 9-11 that we could not. I am thankful for that. They also knew and know things about Iraq, and Saddam that we didn't and can't know. They could be explicated but the Washington Post and the like will never be interested in publicizing them.

I like the Cheney style and his influence on events.

USAF Retired
Korean War Games 1953-54
SEA 1968-69
BA,JD

Posted by: haroldvick | June 24, 2007 08:26 AM

You turkeys know so little, flap your gums so much and spell so poorly, it is frightening.

Our government knew things after 9-11 that we could not. I am thankful for that. They also knew and know things about Iraq, and Saddam that we didn't and can't know. They could be explicated but the Washington Post and the like will never be interested in publicizing them.

I like the Cheney style and his influence on events.

USAF Retired
Korean War Games 1953-54
SEA 1968-69
BA,JD

Posted by: haroldvick | June 24, 2007 08:26 AM

You turkeys know so little, flap your gums so much and spell so poorly, it is frightening.

Our government knew things after 9-11 that we could not. I am thankful for that. They also knew and know things about Iraq, and Saddam that we didn't and can't know. They could be explicated but the Washington Post and the like will never be interested in publicizing them.

I like the Cheney style and his influence on events.

USAF Retired
Korean War Games 1953-54
SEA 1968-69
BA,JD

Posted by: haroldvick | June 24, 2007 08:26 AM

It would have been VERY helpful if the WaPo had managed to put this together BEFORE the '04 reselection of the Chimp in Chief - certainly about half the country already knew or suspected much of what's being reported here now. Nevertheless, this was still a fascinating read. I was particularly struck by the end of this piece - what was done to Powell - Cheney has the order leaked in such a way that it makes Powell look soft of terror.

As for the 'wingers posting support for Cheney? lol.......

Posted by: luvadog | June 24, 2007 08:26 AM

When Cheney picked himself as Bush's Vice Presidential running mate we should have all realized what kind of a man he is. Bush is incurious and is easy to manipulate by those he trusts. Cheney realized this and used it to become the real power in the White House. It's our own fault, by only using the sound bites and wedge issues to determine our votes, that we ended up with this group.

Posted by: jasouthar | June 24, 2007 08:29 AM

The extra-constitutional nature of the Bush administration began with the Bush-Cheney ticket: two residents of the same state running for president and vice-president in direct contravention of the Constitution.

This should have given fair warning of the contempt for our Constitution that Bush and Cheney have. We'll be paying the price for a long time to come.

Posted by: Yogibard | June 24, 2007 08:30 AM

I've always felt that if there were truly a 'manchurian candidate,' it could be Cheney.

We're going to move past this as a country and heal. Whatever the outcome of the next presidential election...it HAS to be better than what we have as leadership now.

*sigh*

Posted by: CreoleInDC | June 24, 2007 08:40 AM

Indict. Try. Convict. Sentence. Imprison.

Posted by: besseta | June 24, 2007 08:47 AM

This is what the First Amendment and newspapers are for. Some serious, clear-eyed information about the inner workings of government in an open democracy.

Mr. Cheney is a brilliant tactician, schooled from years in the reaches of it all. His ability to get things done is remarkable in a time of gridlock, and arguably necessary in a time of unusual terrorism.He was the man for the job at the time: no time for niceties.

But now his single-minded pursuits, unchecked by more subtle counter-balance, is too much and must be reigned in for future administrations if it is to remain a free country in more than name only. His disdain for the democratic process in all areas besides war is the reason. It's not truly national security-based to nominate certain judges, etc. Saying so is similar to his concept that all documents are top secret, since to reveal them will derail the underlying strategy. His determined refusal, perhaps inability, to consider opposing viewpoints is polarizing to the point of enormous blowback, and will undo much of what he's done. He learned secrecy from his formative years in the Nixon White House, and to veil very questionable policies in psuedo-legality, not overt criminality. That makes him all the more dangerous.

In any other type of government, he'd be great: "get it done no matter what". In the one we all want, and that he's sworn to protect, it's merely dangerous. He believes this is all about America winning in any guise and democracy be damned, presumably in the short run. He sees it as a form of Lincolnesque usurpation of habeous corpus- save the country and worry about democracy later. But he doesn't seem to bear Lincoln's extreme reluctance in voiding fundamentals, and that's why people do, and history will, deride him.

I'm confident history, which is all he seems to consider, will judge him an effective mover of very questionable policy, and that he was a clear negative influence on democracy. For a group that is deadly serious about permanent change in governing (Republican majority) and winning no matter what, it's the ultimate failure.

Posted by: andrew.genetta | June 24, 2007 08:56 AM

I am just laughing my tail off at the morons posting here. What a bunch of losers.

Posted by: rchaa27aa | June 24, 2007 09:00 AM

This is proof that the "Decider" isn't really the decider...is he?

Posted by: congapaul | June 24, 2007 09:02 AM

The only business of the supposed Democratically controlled Congress should be this man's impeachment.

He is a traitor to the Constitution. But, so is every one else in power today. He is just more extreme, so I will not hold my breath.

Posted by: busdrivermike | June 24, 2007 09:02 AM

What I tell you four times is the truth.

Posted by: haroldvick | June 24, 2007 09:03 AM

A great expose of a modern day Rasputin. History will remember this administration for Cheney's vice-presidency rather than Bush's presidency. Bush will be a small footnote of history...

Posted by: ggupta007 | June 24, 2007 09:04 AM

"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy! All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, then denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."-Hermann Goering quote from the Nuremberg Diary (sounds familiar?)

Posted by: pfmarron | June 24, 2007 09:08 AM

"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy! All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, then denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."-Hermann Goering quote from the Nuremberg Diary (sounds familiar?)

Posted by: pfmarron | June 24, 2007 09:13 AM

Both of the Cheney's are war profiteers. (didn't that used to be illegal?) He from Halliburton and she from Lockheed-Martin. He has subverted the Constitution from day one with the blessings of the moronic Bush. They continue to count of the ignorance of the remaining people who still believe them and their hefty donors who count on them to keep them uber rich. The blatant defiance to congress and the lies that were told to launch an illegal war of choice to a country that was no threat to us should not go unpunished. When will the congress discard their party loyalty and put their country first? This gruesome twosome need to be impeached. No one is above the law and to claim imperial, or rather dictatorial powers as Cheney has done and continues to do gives the other terrorists (they are the two greater terrorists)more reason to hate America. If we say we want to spread democracy, we have to first practice it here at home and punish those who violate the laws of the land. Cheney should be the first to go because truly all of the secrecy of this failed administration begins with him. He has done possibly irreparable harm to the Divided States of America. He has turned us into a fascist state. He is a most dangerous and corrupt individual and needs to be punished for his crimes. He should be in line right behind Chemical Ali.

Posted by: groovey411 | June 24, 2007 09:16 AM

Dennis Kucinich's call for Cheney's impeachment doesn't look so silly now does it? I hope more democrats (and sensible republicans, there must be a few out there) support this stance.

Posted by: jimoneill50 | June 24, 2007 09:18 AM

Scooter Libby was found guilty of perjury AND obstruction of justice. You might want to correct that in the copy.

Posted by: lisajon | June 24, 2007 09:18 AM

How many people here believe the government was involved in 9-11?..................Look at , almost all of them.....................Congrats Washington Post, all your readers are far left wing lunatics who have a vicious and rabid hatred of both the United States and the military. I would however never question the patriotism of these fanatics like the dupe above says for none of them have ever had any to question.

Posted by: jbbarbeque | June 24, 2007 09:20 AM

It still amuses me how the supporters of this administration can find no better retort than to call up the name of Clinton. They seem to disregard people like Powell, Odom and Clark, despite the fact that they also wore the uniform. "For us or against us" apparently extends to within their own ranks as well.
Please, continue to disregard available intelligence from the field and from experienced men and women. Please, continue to hide and shield yourself from the facts. Whatever you do, maintain the present course. I will bide my time and await the inevitable.
Dick Cheney will be held accountable one day, he cannot hide forever.

Posted by: cactusflinthead | June 24, 2007 09:23 AM

There is little in this fairly decent piece that hasn't already appeared in print somewhere else. I notice that the series will not attempt to portray the "private" Cheney who's wife has written a strangely Sapphic piece of pulp fiction, and whose daughter's new baby is "completely off limits" to press questions. Of course, it's not off limits for the administration to introduce, with no hope of success, a gay-baiting constitutional amendment. But then, Cheny has always wanted it both ways, claiming executive privilege for his pathological secretiveness, yet claiming is office is not part of the executive because he chairs the Congress.

Posted by: geoffreyjames | June 24, 2007 09:33 AM

Cheney's long, slow blink, eyes closed...possibly contemplating his life spent in federal custody, at hard labor, were details of his part in the conspiracy to see the light of day. The Towers weren't supposed to crumble...just enough damage and loss of life to facilitate the "soft" overthrow of this quaintly inconvenient Constitutional Republic.

As far as a "legacy", the only image that comes to mind is Benito Mussolini and Clara Petacci hanging by their feet, only substituted with Cheney's and Dubya's lifeless bodies...still, too kind a fate for these treasonous dogs.

Posted by: snakedoctor | June 24, 2007 09:38 AM

Dick represents almost everything I loath about the current administration.

Posted by: Absolute_0-K | June 24, 2007 09:40 AM

Thank you Mr. Gellman and all the others involved in the Cheney expose. Unfortunately several years too late, but better late than never I suppose. Random thoughts below on part one of this series.

Fascinating to learn how Addington's document and words like "quaint" became Gonzales.

Fascinating once again to learn how Cheney used the press (Addington it'll leak in 10 minutes and low and behold the Washington Times has a scathing anti Powell article appears). Why does the press want to be used like this and is there cash involved.

Fascinating to learn about the extra channels to circumvent the normal process...keeping key players out of the loop. And how information only is channeled one way.

Fascinating and certainly very concerning to see the non-reactive unemotional "blink" response to the Twin Towers falling...makes you wonder about many things, the first being his mental fitness.

Facinating to learn of the "enemies" list...the blackballed list.

Fascinating, but certainly not surprising in the least to the most astute observers usually found in the left blogworld.Most of these things were exposed and confirmed in the Libby trial.

Yet, the man still sits there in control of everything....why? Why aren't more demanding change? Why aren't more speaking out? Sounds like Cheney has quite a list of "enemies". It's certainly well past the time for those with a shred of decency and ounce of conscience to speak out! Quit enabling him people. Please for the good of the country speak up. We have your back.

I'm sure he's reading this and composing his next strategy. STand up to the ruthless, unethical, anti-american thug. He's only that powerful if people don't stand up to him. The American people will support you, they already do in large percentages (hello his approval ratings are in the teens). They are yearning and clammering for a change from this failed and secretively dangerous administration.


Posted by: dailykos1 | June 24, 2007 09:45 AM

Good article, but many years too late. The broad outlines of the story have been known for a long time. The reporters dance around the important Constitutional questions. They also avoid questions of "character", an issue that has dominated personality-focused reporting of political figures and GOP talking points: simply put Cheney has a long history of being a "chickenhawk", going back to his Vietnam era days. I don't see the daughters or their significant others putting on uniforms or even handing out donuts at the USO. Cheney is a bully and its been evident that the pundit class and much of the reporting class have let that get in the way of looking at the obvious.

Better late than never, but it's time to connect some dots in this guy's life and go beyond what any political junkie has known for years.

Posted by: thebuckguy | June 24, 2007 09:52 AM

Some of these Bloggers don't seem to realize how terribly evil Cheney is, and they are just as scary as he is.

Juan from Costa Rica

Posted by: jfsjr77 | June 24, 2007 09:57 AM

Of all nationally elected figures in American history, Dick Cheney is most certainly in the top five of those having contempt for the Constitution he is sworn to uphold.

jbarb

Posted by: jimtca | June 24, 2007 09:59 AM

There is historical precedent for Bush / Cheney: Louix XIII / Cardinal Richelieu.

Posted by: mkfilly | June 24, 2007 10:00 AM

Just because we haven't been attacked in 5 years doesn't mean these two criminals have had anything to do with it. If Osama et al wanted to attack they wouldn't have any more trouble now than in 2001. The borders are still porous. All the ID cards in the world won't keep them out. Who was it that said the USA will never be taken down by outsiders only from within. Seems to me that the only people that still support these two have serious hate issues. Their little lives are so poor they have to get even with the rest of us and their agent is the administration. Well I have news for you unless you are in the same financial strata as these two they don't care about you either. Noone cares what you think we've heard all the talking points you people parrot. What about your kids are you even interested in what kind of country they will inherit someday. Must not or you wouldn't be supporting these two. I don't know how you sleep at night. On second thought I do understand. Big Pharma has the drugs and the booze industry keeps you sedated. Or you never had enough sense to think for yourselves in the first place. Maybe when they start loading up the cattle cars in this country you'll finally understand. All the distractions in the world won't help then.

Posted by: griz11 | June 24, 2007 10:04 AM

A few weeks ago, Dick Cheney gave the commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy. He said that each cadet would "solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." He left out something very important. The actual quote is, "do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

Posted by: daveb99 | June 24, 2007 10:05 AM

Reading this article and comments, and following the exploits of our executive branch and congress in recent months, several themes arise that leave me deeply saddened:

1. Our neo-con leaders appparently have high disregard for several values I hold dear including transparency, accountability, self-awareness and a world-centric care of life.

2. U.S. citizen's reaction to this is often a desire to punish our neo-con leaders, and do so in a way that demonstrates the same lack of compassion and willingness to act immorally that they loathe in the neo-cons.

3. Democratic congressional leaders seem to have little will to hold the executive branch accountable beyond whining about them. Looking forward, I can only see a direct confrontation using forced entry into V.P. Cheney's office as a means of ending his illegal secrecy. There is no political or legal entity in Washington willing to undertake this necessary task.

Democrats and Republicans are hopelessly lost as the leading parties in this country, IMHO. I believe America needs the formation of new political parties, based on the ability to recognize basic concrete truth free of ideology, the ability to reason while recogizing one's own biases without being run by them, the value of compassion recognized as true strength, the willingness to defend it's shores WITHOUT malice and disregard for non-american lives, and equality for all as written in our Constitution.

Good night and good luck.

Posted by: mark | June 24, 2007 10:11 AM

Bush and Cheney will never be impeached; Harry and Nancy are on their side!

Posted by: rp1123 | June 24, 2007 10:11 AM

He & Rumsfeld will be a bookend to Nixon's secretive and unconstitutional administration. Both were schooled in its excesses.

What's troubling about Bush and Cheney is that if it affects them personally, they're open minded and sophisticated. Otherwise, they're not. Bush is pro immigrant because he saw them up-close in Texas; this is against his core beliefs. Cheney is silent about gays since his daughter is one.

That is the height of hypocrisy, and totally ineffective policy making. It harkens to Mrs. Reagan's disinterest in "liberal" ideas, until her husband could have benefited from stem cell research, at which time she did an about face.

Posted by: andrew.genetta | June 24, 2007 10:12 AM

Unquestionably the most unprincipled, devious and immoral man that has ever served as vice president. It will be years before the extent of damage to the Constitution and the nation is revealed. History will not judge the man kindly.

Posted by: Diogenes | June 24, 2007 10:12 AM

The authors can hardly get through the first few paragraphs of the first article without using laudatory adjectives, to wit: He has "battled a bureaucracy he saw as hostile," "He has empowered," "edge-of-the-envelope," "Cheney has shaped his times," Cheney wants to "magnify," and he even has an "important legacy."

They lard up the article with neutral (trends positive) language: gatekeeper, referee, arbiter, editor, regulator in chief; he has "a strong pragmatic streak." He's an "enforcer."

Gosh, the way Gellman and the HoPo are falling all over themselves with laudatory and dilutory phrasing, I don't wonder there will be Quails all around. This isn't an expose. It's a phony expose.

At the end of Part IV, the authors will wonder, "Has he gone too far? Could that be possible? And if he goes too far, What Will The American Public Doooo?"

This isn't anything earth-shaking, people. The HoPo is just feinting. There's nothing in here Cheney wouldn't chuckle and readjust his crotch to, with creamy satisfaction.

He's the Enforcer, all right. The HoPo is just sending him a love letter.

Posted by: bugmeplease | June 24, 2007 10:14 AM

The repeating attitude that " history will be the judge" or "history will (insert rationalization)" is just another way of saying bugger off. He,VP Cheney, has no more concern for history than he does for following the Constitution.
footsore

Posted by: footsore | June 24, 2007 10:14 AM

Cheney has been acting as President, I believe, since the beginning, and the most infuriating aspect of this is that he has zero accountability to the American people. He feels no obligation to answer to anyone and certainly not the press. He hides in the shadows. He mocks us all as Americans.

I hope that this series of articles indicates that WaPo finally feels compelled to intervene on this country's behalf. What kind of country are we with our secret prisons and torture?

Posted by: claire2 | June 24, 2007 10:15 AM

I find the Bush administration, and Cheney inparticular, more frightening than the terrorists. They undermine our basic American values and have contempt for the Constitution and rule of law. They foment fear, hatred, and division, which ultimately makes us weaker. Unfortunately, in the last six years, our institutions failed (including the media) and our Constitution failed to protect us. I never imaged I would see that happen in this country. A one party state in the form of a Rebuplican controlled Congress refused to demand competence and accountability from the executive branch, and for that we're paying a very heavy price. I'm not sure where we go from here, but there's a lot of damage to repair. The current Democratically controlled Congress knows these people have broken laws and violated the Constitution, but can't get the votes in the Senate to convict and remove from office. Consequently, their only viable option is to continue with investigations in order to compile a case. It's my sincere hope that even once these law-breakers are out of office, Congress will continue to pursue and press charges. It should be their duty and we as a people should demand it. It's essential for our healing, and to show the world we will remain true to our values and not tolerate law-breaking by those at the highest level of govt. As for Cheney, he's a twisted individual. He learned his craft during Watergate and seems to have a chip on his shoulder because of it. Instead of learning the right lessons from Watergate, he learned to be more deceitful, better at covering his tracks, more determined to force his agenda no matter what, as well as new and improved ways of getting around the law. His track record at Halliburton was not much better from what I've read. He refused to listen to people who actually knew something and made bad decisions that cost the company lots of money. Maybe giving Halliburton so many no-bid contracts is his way of making restitution.

Posted by: ggwalt123 | June 24, 2007 10:15 AM

What a courageous Press we have.... six years later!
But now the question for us is not "Why didn't we 'do' something about Cheney THEN", but, rather, "WHY DON'T WE DO IT NOW?" We CAN impeach him if we will, and if we won't, shame on us! - Robert

Posted by: rfcrown | June 24, 2007 10:15 AM

So this is really great reporting?
Does anyone realize that the story is all about late 2001, and this is mid-2007?
Five and one-half years, literally trillions of crony-spent dollars, and one arduously trumped-up, disastrous war TOO LATE.

Posted by: ahenderson | June 24, 2007 10:19 AM

So this is really great reporting?
Does anyone realize that the story is all about late 2001, and this is mid-2007?
Five and one-half years, literally trillions of crony-spent dollars, and one arduously trumped-up, disastrous war TOO LATE.

Posted by: ahenderson | June 24, 2007 10:19 AM

What we have in Dick Cheney is a secret government akin to the Gestapo of Gemany.

What we have in George W. Bush is a president who is not president.

What we have in Congress is a pitiful, decitful representation of the best interest(s) of the American people.

We have in the mainstream media is a willingness to lie to support all of the above. (Nor should the article above be construed as an attempt to prove otherwise). The mainstream media has earned the contempt that is currently held for it by the American people.

We have an American public that still has hope and belief that the system of democracy as set up by the Constitution will work. And who, for that reason, have not rioted.

Future history will show that the Bush administration was not the beginning of the U.S. downhill slide.

But it will show that acceleration was greatly enhanced by the corruptness of the Bush administration and in particular the efforts of the Dick Cheney political machine to circumvent the will of the people and their Constitution; along with a mainstream media that refused to report that.

You don't have to be a blind conservative not to see it, just an ignorant one to deny it.

Posted by: dahreese | June 24, 2007 10:25 AM

hahaha, that picture looks like a shot from Brokeback Mountain... maybe there was more to the shooting incident than meets the eye.

Someone should have pushed him in the lake.

Posted by: truebeliever | June 24, 2007 10:26 AM

Equally criminal here are the Christian extremist sheep that not only supported but re-elected these malcreants and Democrats in Congress who still can do something about this dictatorship before it is too late. The sheep we can understand because they were fed Karl Rove's politics of hate and fear from the pulpit.
We can not, however, forgive the Pelosi's and Reids who were elected to do something about this and, for fear of their re-election, sit on their hands and watch the take over of America by despots.

Posted by: coloradodog | June 24, 2007 10:29 AM

Posted by: bugmeplease | June 24, 2007 10:14 AM

Excellent post BUGMEPLEASE.

Posted by: luvadog | June 24, 2007 10:29 AM

Let me be a bit clearer WP and maybe I can escape your censorship which is patently funny to observe when it touches those taboo areas of yours. To Harold from the AF, you've learned nothing my friend from a lifetime of history that should have had an impact on you. It certainly did on me and more so on three of my friends who lie buried and forgotten in national military cemeteries. Cheney would be darkly comedic were his effects not so serious. Two wars in 50 years that after all is said and done will have meant absolutely nothing and were started by men with no historical perspective and lesser wisdom. All who died, died for nothing except some politician's idea of how he thought things should go. WP, you and Time and Newsweek have your columns or covers on "Faith" because you pander to the majority who profess that "Faith" to sell papers or magazines. Didnt use to be that way. I say there is no god because fact, logic, and reason leads me to that conclusion, and if there were such a one as the Christian variety, he is not one I would admire, leaving out as he does from salvation, billions of his children. You have an obligation to the truth. The truth is not belief, either because a politician says so or a preacher says so or an unverifiable moldy account by superstitious folk of some supernatural occurence says so. The problem with America is too much religion, too many ignorant uninformed people, too much thirst for power and money, and a childlike attitude of disinterest in the rest of the planet. To have 130 countries with an American military presence is absurd. To borrow and spend with no thought for tomorrow is insanity. This is why if Bloomberg ran, he would win even though he supported the Iraqi war most likely because hes a Jew, as were the progenitors of that fiasco. He will win for the same reason the hunter in the Serengeti gave, the one who treed a leopard after a long hunt, and eager to finish him off climbed up after him. After a time he finally yelled down to his worried companion, "Shoot! Shoot!" The companion alarmedly yelled back at him, "But I might hit you." To which came the rapid response, "I dont care. One of us has to get relief."

Posted by: aguasticas | June 24, 2007 10:33 AM

Half of the american people have always known that the real president of this country has been cheney. not our esteem , intelligent president Mr. Bush. it wasnt enough the first four years people needed to add 4 more. mr. chney its so worry about terrorists that he has forgotten the people that elected him and his puppet into office . the american people yes, he american people, since we latinos are also americans. and look at the mess that him and his puppet got us into .

Posted by: lillianayuso | June 24, 2007 10:33 AM

Impeachment? Like this article is going to lead to anything like impeachment? Sweet shrieking Jesus.

The Post has no interest in impeachment, nor in truly exposing what Cheney is doing--because they're profiting from CheneyWerks. Big time.

This is a highly respectful, even diffident article that is essentially an APOLOGIA for the Veep. It EXPLAINS why he does what he does (because he's an Enforcer with An Important Legacy), and makes sure never to connect anything Cheney does with like, you know, CRIME.

And look at the other article teaser lines: "A master of bureaucracy and detail, Cheney exerts most of his influence out of public view."

Get that? Cheney's a MASTER. Be sure you know it. The Post sure wants you to know it, and believe them when they say he's a master.

"Carve out exceptions" instead of BETRAY or SUBVERT the Geneva conventions. That's an editorial choice: "If we don't call it a crime, it isn't."

And they call it "most important environmental decisions,"--important to WHO, HoPo? The military-industrial corporations that own the Post? They want to pollute, and you're making their case for them, in your own sweet way.

Cheney "eases," he "opens," all trend-positive words.

The HoPo pros at work again! Can't wait to see in subsequent days how Gellman and Becker slick themselves into the belly of the veep like so many blind snuffling newborns. Don't hurt us, Dick! We recognize your power!

Posted by: bugmeplease | June 24, 2007 10:34 AM

911 was a set-up. Neocon ideology at work.

Ask yourself this:

If a bunch of terrorists had the ability to fly a plane precisely into the WTC and the Pentagon, why wouldn't they have targeted the White House?

How could the air space over the Pentagon not be defended? In a suspicious coincidence all the planes had been sent out on training exercise...

Where are all the Pentagon surveillance of the plane hitting the building? Why does the Pentagon refuse to release them? All tapes from nearby businesses were confiscated.

Why did Bush Co. have to be forced to open an investigation into the biggest attack on US soil?

Why would the CIA call off the hunt for Bin Laden? The CIA trained many of the Al Quaeda, and were meeting with OBL.

As for Bush/Cheney leaving in 2008, I have a feeling another "event" may take place that will cause them to declare martial law and suspend elections. Hope not.

Posted by: vickiv | June 24, 2007 10:37 AM

andrew.ganetta....good point about Bush/Cheney being "open-minded and sophisticated" on matters that affect them personally (immigration and gays). Although it's the height of hypocrisy and cynicism for Cheney to profess his love for his gay daughter, yet not openly defend her civil liberties. As for immigration, it's about the only issue where Bush has taken a fair and reasonable stand, yet his right wing base is jumping up and down frothing at the mouth. I find it ironic and amusing how he's exploited the fear card ad nauseum and now it's biting him in the butt in the form of intense xenophobia. I also believe that people in this country are so angry and frustrated in general that they are far more willing to scapegoat anyone as a means of displacing that anger. In this case, immigrants make an easy target. I watched The Last King of Scotland (and no I'm not comparing Amen to Bush or Cheney),and near the end the doctor comments about how he's so tired of all the hatred in his country and that it needed to stop. That's why he helped the American doctor escape at the expense of his own life. Anyway, it made me think about the level of fear and hatred in in this country. It just seems so un-American, but it's what 6 years of Bush has brought us.

Posted by: ggwalt123 | June 24, 2007 10:41 AM

Hi,

It is unfortunate it took six years for this information to be made public.

How might our foreign and domestic policies today be different if this info was made public in 2002?

It will be interesting to see how the Congress reacts to this info as well as the candidates for President in 2008!


Posted by: alfrede | June 24, 2007 10:41 AM

Free Republic is touting this series as a hit job on Cheney
"as a sop to it's moonbat base". The ossification of their
mental processes make Freepers so . . . predictable.

Posted by: smokinmike | June 24, 2007 10:45 AM

Dick Cheney is the Martin Borman of the Bush Administration. Check out his bio on wkipedia and you'll see how much Borman actually ran the Third Reich. Just like Mr. Cheney.

Posted by: annibert | June 24, 2007 10:47 AM

So glad the Post decided to do a indept article on Cheney's power SIX YEARS into the administration. Way to be on top of things......

Posted by: redile | June 24, 2007 10:47 AM

Just wondering: will this article ever cover Cheney's serial lying about the false connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11?

Or will it be chalked up, not to LYING (because the HoPo knows they can't say that in CheneyWorld), but to "dogged beliefs" or "rock-solid opinions" or some such nonsense that covers for outright lying?

They'll say "he still firmly believes that Saddam was behind 9/11," and that will suffice. It will be made a matter of mere opinion--and after all, Cheney IS a "master" of bureaucracies, so, hell, why not believe him on this little matter that doesn't matter anymore? Saddam, 9/11, not really important any more.

That's how it'll go.

I won't hold my breath over the HoPo getting a sudden rededication to truth and the Constitution.

Posted by: bugmeplease | June 24, 2007 10:49 AM

Thank you, "bug me please" for your post, @10:34.

You don't have to be a blind conservative not to see it, just an ignorant one to deny it.

Posted by: dahreese | June 24, 2007 10:50 AM

The Free Republic should be ignored along with all the other right wing loonies still supporting the Bush/Cheney cabal. Afterall, they are grossly in the minority.

Posted by: ggwalt123 | June 24, 2007 10:50 AM

Seem to be very few supporters of the Bush Administration left on the Internet; not just on WaPo forums but everywhere. I remember the a few years ago the place was crawling with gloating, condescending, nasty-grimies all repeating the same goads .. "your side lost, hippy" and all that.

There are still a few left .. but as far as I can see there remains not a single Bush supporter

(1) able to write a coherent sentence

(2) able to spell

(3) who can martial anything like a serious point.

Sorry but most of us don't have a spasm at yet another mention of Osama.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 24, 2007 11:01 AM

Good article--I look forward to reading the others.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Diagrams would be helpful, showing graphically the relationships between Addington, Yoo, and others.

2. Some sidebars quoting the constitution on the responsibilities of the vice president.

3. A list of who was inside and who was outside this clique. You've given it but lay it out so no one can misunderstand.

4. More on how Cheney reacted in the bunker when Bush was reading the goat story.

5. Finally, speculation on why and how Cheney changed following 9/11--could anyone have predicted this change in attitude and policy.

6. Some background on the neocon clique in sidebars. How about the Kagans and Kristol? What connection to they have to Cheney?

Make the series so clear that no one can claim it glorifies this vice president.

If you do glorify him, be prepared for the onslaught by your readers.

Posted by: Hannahjones | June 24, 2007 11:01 AM

It is interesting, from a clinically objective standpoint, one that does not acknowledge the simple venal evil of these people, how well they applied the lessons of history to their schemes.

It is as if they read all the literature designed to strengthen the spine of normal citizens against tyranny (e.g., 1984 and The True Believer) and used them as textbooks for destroying the foundations of democracy.

Their special, and few, sycophantic enablers helped them do it. The rest of us they kept in the dark.

This Bush Derangement Syndrome I keep hearing the righty True Believers bring up sounds appropriate, but not in the context they intend. The whole freaking country has been de-ranged. "Government by the people, for the people" has been replaced with the animal that Bush and Cheney engineered. Travel across this country and you will see the fruits of their labor--more poverty, more violence, less hope, less progress, fewer opportunities. Travel across the world and observe further their accomplishments--hunger, sickness, greed, and the dogs of war turned loose. A new nuclear race with Russia, China and any other entity you care to name who has armed themselves in the tradition of despots and power worshippers. Like attracts like.

And yet, those of us who would scale back their insanity, their blood lust, are told to get a haircut.

These men have irrevocably changed the US republic. They have changed plowshares into swords, here and around the world. Those of us who are not married to a political ideology, worshipping at the feet of these new Stalins, have the ability to perceive reality and fear the consequences. Those who buy the commodities that these war mongers sell, and profit with silver shekels, do not have the wit to be afraid. They strike out at the messengers, and refuse to see what they do not wish to see.

A modern parable? The doctors, scientists and officials at the FDA who recommended increased immunizations for young children that contained Thimerosol, a known poison, while the autism rate skyrocketed. To this day they swear they were protecting children, helping communities. Along the way they only destroyed the future of 1 in 166 children, and crippled their families. Yet, they will never acknowledge their failings, their mistakes, their complicity.

Just like Cheney and Bush. They are wrecking havoc on the world in order to protect it. And, they and their enablers will never see the harm they have caused. The cognitive dissonance would be too great.

Sigh. I pray that leaders emerge from this era resolute in their quest for genuine justice, but I prepare for a future that gives us more of the same. It takes great courage to fight embedded institutional evil, and I see too few people taking to the streets and demanding justice. Too few people will even vote. It breaks my heart.

Posted by: LiberalTarian | June 24, 2007 11:05 AM

for all you knee jerk Bush/Cheney haters

think for a minute before you send this

country down the tubes.........and realize

that the Islamofasicts are sharpening their

knives with you in mind

Posted by: sja1933 | June 24, 2007 11:06 AM

ggwalk123: I disagree. We should watch the freepers very closely, everyone needs a good laugh once in a while.

Don't forget that on the night Congress had an emergency session to save Terry Shiavo for brainless eternity .. the freepers were having a wall-punching ceremony, torquing themselves up higher and higher over "culture of death" and all that nonsense. They're so indiscrimately extreme that we should all watch them just for the laughs.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 24, 2007 11:09 AM

sja1933: you worry about people holding knives on the other side of the world. A knife is not a long-distance weapon. Pardon me for not taking you at all seriously.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 24, 2007 11:12 AM

As a few commenters suggest, there may also be an "inner" (psychological) as well as outer (political) dimension to this important story.

For intro to current notions of "psychopathic personality" see:

Wikipedia entry:

http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:47HiK4zqmZEJ:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy+robert+hare+pychopathy&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=ca

Canadian expert Robert Hare's website/writings:

http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:8PCsnKYP9PMJ:www.hare.org/+robert+hare&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=ca

Summary of Hare's psychopathy checklist:

http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:HROcenBD1DIJ:www.geocities.com/lycium7/hare-checklist.html+robert+hare&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=8&gl=ca


Hmmm...

Posted by: mss48 | June 24, 2007 11:13 AM

Our first clue should have been in 1999 when Cheney was asked by george w. bush's campaign to head the selection committee for bush's running mate. He then chose HIMSELF! At that point, I felt Cheney was exactly what little bush needed, and then when bush announced that Colin Powell would be his Secretary of State if bush won, I felt it would be a good team. Little did I know ANYTHING about PNAC and their agenda.... REGIME CHANGE IN IRAQ which Cheney and the neocons strongly advocated. 9/11 gave them their opportunity, which they jumped on, and the American people were too traumatized and frightened to see the writing on the wall. We WANTED to trust our government! Cheney is the one who took over our country, crushing anyone who stood in his way... like Powell! At this point, I think Cheney has gone completely mad and cannot be reasoned with. I only hope I live long enough to see him punished for his crimes against us and that he can spend the rest of his days reading the history books which will certainly portray him as the worst villian this country has EVER had in the White House. Coming in second will be george w. bush.

Posted by: cashmere1 | June 24, 2007 11:15 AM

Cheney & I agree on one thing. History will judge him. It won't be kind.

Posted by: Annie-Jazzy | June 24, 2007 11:18 AM

Hey , this is America..lets not rush to judgement ! Lets arrest Cheney, try him...THEN hang him like the treasonous, sociopathic bastard that he is. Then maybe we can begin to regain a bit of the respect we have lost in the rest of the world.

Posted by: rabbitman | June 24, 2007 11:20 AM

FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH WAPO, I LIKE YOUR OLD POSTING FORMAT MUCH BETTER THAN THIS! THE PAGE BY PAGE WAS MUCH EASIER TO FOLLOW! THANKS. BESIDES, IT WAS ALWAYS NICE TO BE ABLE TO SEE HOW MANY PAGES OF COMMENTS THE AUTHOR RECEIVED. LIZ CHENEY RECEIVED 123, THE RECORD.

Posted by: cashmere1 | June 24, 2007 11:22 AM

FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH WAPO, I LIKE YOUR OLD POSTING FORMAT MUCH BETTER THAN THIS! THE PAGE BY PAGE WAS MUCH EASIER TO FOLLOW! THANKS. BESIDES, IT WAS ALWAYS NICE TO BE ABLE TO SEE HOW MANY PAGES OF COMMENTS THE AUTHOR RECEIVED. LIZ CHENEY RECEIVED 123, THE RECORD.

Posted by: cashmere1 | June 24, 2007 11:22 AM

FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH WAPO, I LIKE YOUR OLD POSTING FORMAT MUCH BETTER THAN THIS! THE PAGE BY PAGE WAS MUCH EASIER TO FOLLOW! THANKS. BESIDES, IT WAS ALWAYS NICE TO BE ABLE TO SEE HOW MANY PAGES OF COMMENTS THE AUTHOR RECEIVED. LIZ CHENEY RECEIVED 123, THE RECORD.

Posted by: cashmere1 | June 24, 2007 11:22 AM

To Harold Vick -

The executive branch of our government was and is privy to classified information that we do not currently have access to - it also has the responsibility to share that information IN TOTAL with the elected legislative branch of our government, which has the sole authority to legally authorize action based on that intelligence. Unless, of course, they piss it all down their legs in fear. There is no excuse for establishing a "unitarian executive" in a truly democratic republic. The German public and regular military had NO excuse for following clearly illegal and indefensible policies and orders of its legitimate government - and neither do we. That's why (as you well know) it is also the responsibility of the people, even those in the armed forces to question such policies and orders - and refuse them. And yes, I know that it takes real courage to do that. That's why my great grandfather ended up in a concentration camp. It's also why my grandfather died on the Russian front. And why their commanders and political leaders ended up tried as criminals in Nurenburg. My great-grandfather always said it was the inability of ordinary people to believe in their own power that creates the opportunity for evil in the world. This administration proves that point!

Posted by: morrighan | June 24, 2007 11:24 AM

SORRY WAPO, I wasn't trying to be emphatic with triple posing! It was slow and I didn't think it went though! However, if it helped, I am happy!

Posted by: cashmere1 | June 24, 2007 11:26 AM

wheatley1, I have re-read the article because of your comment, but the article correctly states that Cheney was a PhD candidate at Wisconsin.

Was the article corrected after your comment?

Posted by: levbarg | June 24, 2007 11:26 AM

Wow, this is very interesting timing!

Friday, Cheney asserts that he is not part of the executive branch and is therefore accountable to no one.

Sunday, the Post begins "Angler," a glossy series that looks suspiciously like a PR piece to rehabilitate Cheney's image.

Given his record, the series could have been more accurately named, "Criminal."

Posted by: War4Sale | June 24, 2007 11:27 AM

kristinn - how do you like posting comments at WaPo?
A recognized Freeper (yeah folks, go to the Free Republic website - kristinn is all over it) must think it weird to be
allowed to post comments which are not completely and
thoroughly vetted by a censor, as is done at Free Republic.
No wonder you are such a Cheney fan. Glad that you are
able to participate in discourse that by your thinking,
should not be allowed.

Posted by: smokinmike | June 24, 2007 11:27 AM

The article and the comments focus on Cheney himself and whether he was "good" or "bad" for the country. The situation is very polarized, and few reach out to the larger issue of whether our country has the decision making capabilities (the government structure at large) that it needs in this day and age. But this is the central issue that pervades the background of Cheney's role, and which will transcend and continue after this administration.

In fact, taking the point that the Government (all branches included) represents the "collective system by which Society at large coordinates", our concepts and methods of government are increasingly showing strains in a universe which is increasingly globalized, where attacks can be on a scale unimaginable before, delivered at a speed inconceivable before, with an impact bigger than was ever dreamed of before.

We live at a time where conceivably a nuclear bomb could one day be detonated in Washington - or any other world capital - resulting into the immediate disappearance or insanity of half the government. Where Bacteriological incidents could arise resulting in tens (hundreds) of millions affected. Are our governing structures strong enough to address such scenarios? Not in the least.

That is the major Orwellian political science context against which Cheney's role should be understood - and that is the only long time issue, of utmost importance that surfaces from the present ooplah.

As kristinn | June 23, 2007 09:10 PM writes: "Nobody thought it would be this long between attacks after Sept. 11." The population post Abu-Graib may forget but that is a fact.

On the other hand as andrew.genetta | June 24, 2007 08:56 AM summarizes very well the pros and the cons of the specific Cheney's' impact:
"His ability to get things done is remarkable in a time of gridlock, and arguably necessary in a time of unusual terrorism. He was the man for the job at the time: no time for niceties.
[But] I'm confident history, which is all he seems to consider, will judge him an effective mover of very questionable policy, and that he was a clear negative influence on democracy."

The fact is that with Cheney we have a man standing at a cross road of power and history, being doomed left, or being doomed right.
On the one hand, legal due processes is what are our society needs to be and remain what it is at heart: not a dictatorship with unchecked power, but a society with higher principles, with the People collectively involved in the guardianship of our freedom, and the preservation of our values.

On the other hand, had society been attacked (which did not happen, but which undoubtedly has the most frightening potential to happen in the future to come) all the due processes would have been self defeating methods of a society entangling itself into self-destruction mode.

offroad in his/her several very well document interventions puts is very well:
offroad | June 24, 2007 07:00 AM
"Let's see what 8 years of treating terrorism as a Law Enforcement problem did to make us safer: our best prosecutors went after the Blind Sheikh, and we got what...6 of them behind bars? How many of the folks who bombed the USS Cole did we get? How many of the folks who bombed the barracks in Saudi? How many of the folks who bombed the Embassy in Kenya? How many of the folks who bombed the Embassy in Tanzania?"

Legal due process is what are our society needs to be and remain what it is at heart. But these processes are not adapted to the dangers of the day. Again as offroad | June 24, 2007 07:57 AM recalls us, we had up until recently
"an Administration which had issued an Order which prevented the CIA from passing information about known and suspected terrorists to the FBI, or even to the Immigration folks, so that those people could be tracked and hopefully prevented from entering the country.
By preventing live intelligence from being exchanged, for whatever reason, this order made our country blind to almost any and every terrorist threat."

He is absolutely right, and that is easy to forget: in the aftermath of Sept 11, the incapability of the intelligence right hand to coordinate with the left hand had everyone in the country outraged, as an insult to intelligence.


Cheney is the man that stepped up at the time. To fill the void of a society riddled in contradictions, and open to destruction. A few years down the line, in the words of : jlk1 | June 23, 2007 11:20 PM:
" it was developed very quietly by Cheney and whisked in for the President's signature. Hardly the sign of a defensible position.
The result is what you see -- we have become a nation that tortures, we have become what we profess to despise in other countries"


By doing so Cheney renegaded on the values and doctrines that he himself had learned and summarized for Baker - per the very interesting report of the article. He was a man that truly believed that "an "orderly paper flow is way you protect the Pres.," ensuring that any proposal has been tested against other views.

We touch here the central point of the whole story: its is at the heart a cognitive and decision problem, thrown at the very top of the decision making structure of our nation:

On the one hand, we want our society to be organized with wise and moral decision-making capabilities and structures, indeed insuring that all points of views and possibilities be analyzed, understood, and, if relevant, integrated into decisions.

On the other hand the collective vetting processes as they exist today, for all their desirable niceties are unworkable in situations of crisis: they are maddeningly slow; they involve the tyranny of the many that we all know from life, they are indecisive, and they inherently cannot resolve urgent issues of a moral nature faced in crisis.

This is the true context within which Cheney's saga must be understood. In fact, even though Cheney's specific role and actions appear to be at the center of the journalistic storm, with missiles being exchanged between pro and con factions, Cheney himself is just an element in that very deep constitutional problem that we face as a society.

It is an essential problem that lies at the core of what wants from a modern executive government:
Long-scale view: We want a government that, yes, preserves our freedoms and values; and which will not allow a few, or the majority, to usurp power.
In continuation of this deep need, we want "morality" imbedded in the structures, with multiple legal and operation checks and balances that insure that the short term actions do not belie our long-term systems of beliefs.

Short-scale view: But we want as well a government that is healthy, quick, and decisive when the urgency arises. A government that is capable to take decisions "through the fog of crises", a government that is capable to use all information available for better decision making.

There is a deep tension between the imperatives of these two different scales. Our system of government was well tuned and capable to handle that tension in the first two centuries of its existence. But that was a time where challenges of life and death took months to unfold, and required vast confluences of forces to result in significant destruction. We live now at a time where crisis means being capable to take portentous decisions in the matter of minutes, where destruction can be waged by small numbers. (Think again Sept 11.)


We need to preserve the nimbleness and the decision making capability of the executive. BUT:

Government was conceived at the time where thinking, communication and codification was all paper based. We need a revamping of government capabilities, bringing the new collective cognitive capabilities that come at a time of computers.

We need fast cognitive mechanisms allowing the decision makers at the top to benefit form the problem solving wisdom of the many - without encumbering the decision makers with the slowness and paralysis that current codified collective decision making processes inherently carry. These processes should not be the average mob mechanisms associated with social networks, but with smart vetting processes. We still live in a prehistorical era, where the Commander (in Chief) has only mediated access to the knowledge of the collectivity under him/her. Current furor about Cheney's role is just one emanation of that deep structural problem. That is not Cheney's fault. Nor removing Cheney would address the issue.

We need to have better mechanisms allowing individuals to comprehend and control vast organizational processes: the cognitive impact of complexity is damning, and was, incidentally, Bill Gate's topic at the commencement talk he delivered this year at Harvard. In the case of government, we have a President that has only one brain, and has to rely on people around him to help him understanding and control all the levers of government.

To both mediate and expand the capability of the few at the top, we need new, fast, reliable decision mechanisms to distribute and assemble decision making capabilities: decision capabilities still flow around rigid hierarchical mechanisms. These systems are slow, open to corrupting influences (i.e. someone perverting the system) and fragile. Fragility in time of world crisis is a huge Achilles' heel.

Etc ...

saaackkk@yahoo.com

Posted by: saaackkk | June 24, 2007 11:33 AM

This article states clearly what we have all known for a long time that responsibility for the crimes of this Administration were shared by Bush and Cheney! Being a memeber of the 9/11 Truth movement I can surmise as to why Cheney had no emotional response to the collapse of 1 of the WTC towers-advance knowledge of the crime! All I have to say is this; Impeachment, The International Criminal Court, any route to incarceration for both Bush and Cheney for their crimes against humanity is fine with me!

Posted by: drlora2 | June 24, 2007 11:36 AM

Ironic that Cheney has designated himself a Superhuman Enema remedy for rule by law when, in fact, he is the big impacted turd fouling things up. Great article.

Posted by: driftwork | June 24, 2007 11:36 AM

To sja1933

I assume that this is futile, but I'd like to point out that I have a much greater likelihood of dying in a fall at home or in a car accident than I do as a result of a terrorist attack. Dying is inevitable in any event and it doesn't scare me that much. What does scare me even more is the likelihood that my children and grandchildren will live in a nation that abandoned the difficult struggle for human rights and freedom just to save their own skins. Terrorists are called terrorists because they use TERROR, not knives, to control events. Wake up.

Posted by: morrighan | June 24, 2007 11:38 AM

There was once a big institution that burned to the ground. It's now a field of smoldering ashes.

The flames were so large all the people could feel its heat and they choked on its smoke. They yelled, "Fire, fire, fire...".

Now the Washington Post, who choose not to report the fire, is describing what happended room by room.

Too little, too late.

Posted by: Vunderlutz | June 24, 2007 11:38 AM

BREAKING NEWS...BREAKING NEWS...Cheney is running the Govt. WaPo as usual, A FEW YEARS TOO LATE. This reporting sure would have been useful 3-5 years ago. Maybe one day the mainstream press will actually break a story of importance, something that will shake up the status quo, as apposed to waiting 6 years, and jumping on the band wagon. Chaney a YALE flunky, and a legal draft dodger was not even news.

Posted by: dgstone | June 24, 2007 11:39 AM

Missing from most discussions of detainee rights is any acknowledgment that a detainee may be innocent. In the war on terror, the enemy doesn't wear a uniform. We are not talking about rights for terrorists, we should be talking about how our own fallability confers rights on the accused, who may be innocent of any wrongdoing. Detainees may be journalists identified as suspicious by locals, they may locals turned in by neighbors to deflect attention from themselves, they may be locals trying to defend their families, or they may actually be dangerous combatants. Can the rights of the innocent majority be so easily bartered for the chance to extract information and justice from the few guilty? That is the question no one asks Cheney or Bush, but I don't know why.

Posted by: ckaroline | June 24, 2007 11:43 AM

If the actual quote taken by the military and others in public service is, "do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.", and it is obvious that the chief domestic enemy of the United States of America is Cheney, then why aren't our public servants actively working to defend the public? Hmmmm. We already know that the public is incapable of defending themselves, they are too easily manipulated into 'choosing' criminals for their leaders. And they are too timid to stand up against the slings and arrows of threats hurled from the VP's office of contorted patriotism. And we know that the so called public defenders are just other members of the public assigned that task of representation ...... so just what can we expect? We obviously can't expect the media to cast light on the illegalities and vagaries of the administration - they are owned by administration supporters. Oh, woe is me, woe is me!

Posted by: bovid4585 | June 24, 2007 11:44 AM

Why does it take an hour for a post to show up? That makes it difficult and pointless to respond to an earlier poster. Not happy with the new format.

Posted by: joydavid22 | June 24, 2007 11:50 AM

Re-read the article, folks. This vice president BYPASSED other Republicans in the Cabinet, including Rice, Powell, and Ashcroft. He consulted with Alberto Gonzales and slipped that memo directly to Bush, without telling him Rice, Powell, or Ashcroft hadn't even been consulted. And some of you think he wasn't capable of outting a CIA agent for personal revenge?
This man must GO. By whatever means.

Posted by: auntmo9990 | June 24, 2007 11:50 AM

Well, well. I hear lots of complaining form the readers of the Washington Post regarding Cheney's behavior but isn't this angst misdirected. Shouldn't these same defenders of the constitution and the integrity of our country really be angry with our elected senators and congressman who have not done anything of true substance to this administration for this behavior? Better yet, shouldn't they direct their anger to those who elected this entire bunch? (Twice) Thank you corporate America! Your campaign contributions have served our country well!
Not!

Posted by: rpk953 | June 24, 2007 11:56 AM

Having read many of these comments, and hundreds of news stories and other related matrials about Cheney and his effect on the US during the past 6.5 years, I can only agree with many here....

It seems to me "Parrot" is feeling very secure right now in his personal world.

"Parrot" has a talent for being obtuse, and a follower; he/she would be one of the first of the weak people to charge after Cheney and Bush if Parrot's personal world took a hit....IMHO

GB

Posted by: gloriaboone | June 24, 2007 11:56 AM

Did any of you reporter youngsters ever read Seven Days in May ? Have any of you younger reporters ever read and understood the Bill of Rights ? the Consitiution ?

Posted by: rbe1 | June 24, 2007 11:58 AM

"Largely hidden"?! Please, its all in the open. This facsist, along with the Token Condi, are The President of the United States. W is just a mouthpiece who is too stupid to make any of the decisions. This nation has been goverened by a small group since 2000, it is un-Consitutional, and all involved should be jailed accordingly.

Posted by: AnonPoster | June 24, 2007 12:01 PM

Cheney continues to defiantly hold up his middle finger to all of America. The question is: what will we do about it? If this man is not going to be impeached, then let's just run the Constitution through the shredder right now.

Posted by: shannon4 | June 24, 2007 12:01 PM

Dick Cheney is by far the very worst VP in the history of our great country. He replaces Spiro Agnew at the top of the stinking heap.

History will remember Cheney as a major footnote in the worst Administration in our history.

Posted by: chetwood | June 24, 2007 12:04 PM

imagine the rage from the right if al gore had been this kind of vice president.

we would have never heard the end of it.

Posted by: xcorley | June 24, 2007 12:04 PM

Well, what else can be said, except the major portion of the voting class of people in this country was dumb, ignorant, & blind in one eye for the first round of Bush & Cheney & lost sight in both eyes for the second round. So you people are in bad, bad need for implants in both eyes & some important schooling. So wake up America!!!!!! & our so called reporters have lost all feelings for honesty. Our troops are on death row, & have been put there by Cheney & Bush to be murdered. So say a prayer for them.

Posted by: mrc12pc | June 24, 2007 12:08 PM

Two important points jump of the pages of this article and the comments that follow it. I agree 100% with the poster that stated that the OVP would not have had the opportunity to inflict some or most of this damage if the Fourth Estate had been doing it's job a)in the run-up to the 2000 election and b)post-9/11 when they were afraid of being labled anti-American. The coverage of this administration has been abominable and a slap in the face to the brave journalistic trail-blazers that preceeded you and taught you your craft.

Secondly, to the commenters that attempt to make points on an internationally-read institution like the Washington Post without command of the English language: stop posting.

You embarrass yourselves, cheapen discourse and certainly do not make your point unless your point that the dim and uneducated have a viewpoint too. Find yourself a local librarian, teacher or more-educated family member to help you write.

Posted by: gimmeabreak1 | June 24, 2007 12:10 PM

Impeach him; convict him. Fire his entire staff. Go to work to undo the damage.

Posted by: jayham | June 24, 2007 12:15 PM

Cheney will go down in history along with Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin and Joseph Stalin.

Posted by: masmith53 | June 24, 2007 12:20 PM

However negligent the Washington Press Corps has been in the past, I can't understand why people are bashing this article. It's full of new information and quotes. Do you guys have any idea how hard it is to dig this kind of stuff up?

Barton Gellman and Jo Becker have done a great job here, and I look forward to the rest of the series. I just hope they examine the way Cheney has corruptly enriched himself by popping in and out of the contractor revolving door.

It's easier these days to get eyewitness accounts like these, because the Administration is coming apart at the seams and "Bush loyalists" are willing to talk to the media, in hopes of pinning blame on each other.

Posted by: kenonwenu | June 24, 2007 12:21 PM

When a democratic republic goes awry due to the corruption and unconstitutional seizure of power by any branch of the government, the remedy can be immediate. We do not have to wait for elections in 2008. We the people can demand that legal proceedings to remove Cheney and Bush from office begin today by contacting our federal representatives and voicing our decision. If we call to express an opinion, the result will be "of the people." Opinion can be taken into account and discarded by our delegated authority. Decision, on the other hand, is different. It is "by the people." We do not have to delegate but can instigate. True, we are an indirect democracy, however, now is the time to become as direct
as possible. History has written it's judgment today about Dick Cheney and George Bush. History is based on eyewitness accounts and original documents. They were published by the Washington Post and the commentary is merely commentary; but the judgment is unambiguous-abuse of power through intentional lies, secrecy, negligence, and the unconstitional actions of standing above or outside the rule of law. Thank goodness for the freedom of the press, the freedom of speech, and the freedom to throw off the bonds of tyrants.

Posted by: Gronamox | June 24, 2007 12:21 PM

Each year, approximately 40,000 people are killed in car accidents in the US, and their deaths receive little attention. If we spent a couple of hundred million dollars, that number could be cut down considerably.

On 9/11, only 3,000 people were killed, and the Bush Administration and many Americans are ready to ignore the Constitution, waste billions of dollars and thousands of lives on disastrous wars, and ruin our standing internationally.

What a tragic overreaction.

Posted by: annoying | June 24, 2007 12:22 PM

Mark my words - what began with an illegal response to 9/11 at the beginning of this administration will end with an illegal attack on Iran after the elections next year. The legacy of this VP will haunt us for decades.

Posted by: nathan.stratton | June 24, 2007 12:22 PM

Dick has problems with a global breakdown of his dictatorship. Libby will meet a large cell mate and move to contact Mr. Fitzgerald.

http://www.light-to-dark.com/dicks_new_scooter.html

If we see the dictatorship collapsing, what must Libby be thinking? Why should he continue to protect the body Neo Con when the entire criminal enterprise is being outed.

Prepare for nostalgic overload-a Nixonian bloodbath but with prosecutions on a massive scale.

Stay healthy, Dick.

Posted by: lthuedk | June 24, 2007 12:24 PM

Good article. It better exposes the conniving machinations of Cheney and his cabal. -- He cannot allow the fumblebums in other departments and bureaucrats like State of Justice muck up the decisions of "the unitary executive" (and his trusty sidekick, the VP), no sir.

Darth Cheney he is.

All this just adds fuel to the campaign to "SINK THE CHENEY!"

SINK THE CHENEY!

Posted by: odin966 | June 24, 2007 12:31 PM

Interestingly, this first of four parts has been mildly informative. Perhaps the nouns 'coterie' and 'trimvirate', however, indicate much ado about old news with a new slant.

Madalyn Fouts
Cedar Rapids, IA

Posted by: mfouts | June 24, 2007 12:32 PM

saaackkk:

I follow your argument somewhat, however, I think there is a weakness in your defense of Cheney (maybe you were not trying to defend him, but it seems that you ultimately say that Cheney is merely doing the best he can in difficult circumstances).

It is tempting to say that we cannot learn the lessons of history because we live in a novel present. Never before has there been so much power, and speed, and danger.

However, that argument is new every day. You could ask the Sumerians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Soviets, and so forth about their impending tribulations and they would give you the same response. Someone must be ruthless because the inertia of the state will destroy us should we come under attack unexpectedly or experience cataclysmic force majeure.

Hurricane Katrina did expose for us how ineffectual the federal government is at protecting its citizens from disaster. Painfully apparent a week out, the President, and undoubtedly, the Vice President, apparently did not seek to exercise the necessary ruthlessness to protect and preserve human life and property in the Gulf Coast. This was no surprise attack from the enemy, it was a hurricane. A natural, predictable event, as natural and predictable as the cyclic return of pandemic disease, climate change and even war over natural resources and fanatic religion.

The flaw in your argument is that government is necessarily a top down pyramid. Are the masses necessarily unwashed and ignorant? Thomas Jefferson advocated public education as a way to socialize the masses and mold their loyalty to the state. Granted, Jefferson himself was afraid of mob rule, even with an publicly educated populace, hence the framing of a representative government.

The pandemonium that you seem predict is a consequence of lack of real education and intentional mis-education of the masses. Your argument is predicated on the rapid onset of the threat. However, rather than concentrating power in the hands of the few, especially those who are representative of only three percent or less of the citizens of this country, the public needs to be engaged more fully and given more power over their immediate welfare.

The simple fact is that government exists as a means to pool resources for the good of those being governed. The model that you seem to be advocating is a model that might be necessary in a worst-case scenario, but it does not function well for the common and necessary tasks that must be accomplished everyday for the benefit of the governed. The consistency of the fear- and war-mongering of our current administration has yielded a self-fulfilling prophecy of increased terrorism and rogue warfare.

What is more, you fail to realize that Cheney, et al., have since before Watergate been formulating a world view that holds the US' constitutional-style democracy in low esteem. Their enmity then was focused on the USSR and Communism; their new boogeymen, the Islamofascists, are their own creation, conceived when they pulled an impressionable Osama bin Laden out of obscurity and taught him the art of terrorism to use against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Now, instead of the Cold War, we have the War on Terror. "Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia."

We must hold Cheney, Bush, Kristol, Wolfowitz, Perle, and the rest of the Project For A New American Century neo-conservatives accountable for their failure to serve in the best interests of the citizens of the United States. Their actions have spawned equally insane reactions, and they must be stopped. The calamity you predict is not from the outside, it is a result of the very world view you imply is necessary from inside Cheney's office.

There is no such thing as "necessary evil."

Posted by: LiberalTarian | June 24, 2007 12:33 PM

Remarkable. I look forward to the rest of this series.

I have only one question: Why did it take six years to produce cohesive investigative reporting on Dick Cheney, given his very clear history in Congress and previous administrations?

Posted by: capbentley | June 24, 2007 12:37 PM

"A prince who is not wise, cannot be well advised." Machiavelli

Posted by: jan.kearney | June 24, 2007 12:38 PM

Impeach the Bush and his boss DICK Cheney. We cannot wait 19 months.

Posted by: rcc_2000 | June 24, 2007 12:45 PM

We don't get the truth from our so called "free press" because of the financial interests that own same. This includes WaPo, which is another CFR mouthpiece. I have NO idea why WaPo is running this excellent and long overdue article. Unless Robespierra the Dick has pissed of the CFR folks-- that nasty little money club that gives us all our presidential candidates.

Posted by: karisprowl | June 24, 2007 12:45 PM

The Washington Post should have been on top of this story six years ago.

Since its early days in office, the Bush Administration has been guided by a false and corrosive belief. In the name of a higher morality, they have wrongly believed, whether wittingly or unwittingly, that "the end justifies the means." How this moral distortion has corrupted government policies and practices is the underlining story of the entire Bush Administration. It is a story that remains untold, even today.

The net result of this neglect is that an unfettered "will to power" has held the central political processes of America in bondage. All "checks and balances" have failed. Corruption has been allowed to dominate politics. Truth and noble traditions -- those elements which have made America to become the "world's dream" -- have been cast aside. Isolation and fear have replaced personal dignity, individual freedom, and human solidarity.

The failure of the Post to report how this theme has been operative across the board is absolutely mystifying. It shows a dangerous disengagement from responsibility. Especially is this true since the Washington Post is in the very top tier of America's greatest newspapers.

Finally, it's astonishing how detached the MSM in general has been regarding the central central constitutional questions of our time. Why is this country only now shaking its head and saying "no" to the long and sure descent of this country into shame?

As a people, we have little to be proud of these days. This is surely not the country I thought I was serving throughout my adult life. What we witness now is not the America the world had previously come to trust and respect. We have become a pariah on the world stage, and for good reason.

Clearly, we have disappointed much of the world's populations. For this reason, our security stands in the greatest of peril.

Posted by: impact4u | June 24, 2007 12:45 PM

We don't get the truth from our so called "free press" because of the financial interests that own same. This includes WaPo, which is another CFR mouthpiece. I have NO idea why WaPo is running this excellent and long overdue article. Unless Robespierra the Dick has pissed of the CFR folks-- that nasty little money club that gives us all our presidential candidates.

Posted by: karisprowl | June 24, 2007 12:45 PM

We don't get the truth from our so called "free press" because of the financial interests that own same. This includes WaPo, which is another CFR mouthpiece. I have NO idea why WaPo is running this excellent and long overdue article. Unless Robespierra the Dick has pissed of the CFR folks-- that nasty little money club that gives us all our presidential candidates.

Posted by: karisprowl | June 24, 2007 12:45 PM

The "understanding" is that Cheney will be "on top" and Boy George will be "on bottom"...taking it real good.

Posted by: fwonschik | June 24, 2007 12:48 PM

Didn't anyone read this in Rolling Stone?

The Curse of Dick Cheney
The veep's career has been marred by one disaster after another

T.D. ALLMANPosted Aug 25, 2004 12:00 AM

Should George W. Bush win this election, it will give him the distinction of being the first occupant of the White House to have survived naming Dick Cheney to a post in his administration. The Cheney jinx first manifested itself at the presidential level back in 1969, when Richard Nixon appointed him to his first job in the executive branch. It surfaced again in 1975, when Gerald Ford made Cheney his chief of staff and then -- with Cheney's help -- lost the 1976 election. George H.W. Bush, having named Cheney secretary of defense, was defeated for re-election in 1992. The ever-canny Ronald Reagan was the only Republican president since Eisenhower who managed to serve two full terms. He is also the only one not to have appointed Dick Cheney to office.

Posted by: john.bremer | June 24, 2007 12:51 PM

Reporter Barton Gellman, thanks for the article. Could you forward it to Fred Hiatt, Michael Gerson, and company?

I don't think they would read it, otherwise.

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | June 24, 2007 12:57 PM

Oh I do not care who is to blame that all this has not come to light sooner, sure we could blame the press or we could blame the pathetically ignorant and complacent voter who voted these creeps back in. What concerns me is what to do and who is going to do it?! How can we change this? The Democrats cannot get nothing done and have proven themselves spineless. Please tell me how is that any better than this administration being corrupted and evil. The silence the inactivity and the tolerance for injustice and corruption must end now. Does congress have the balls to impeach when they do not have the will to stop this awful war involvement? Of course not, so what to do...are we to further despair or should we look more seriously to the next election and a perhaps a third party candidate? I shall and I have been a loyal Democrat for decades but both Democrats and Republicans will be disgusted with this story! What is the conscientious and caring American voter suppose to do after reading a story like this? Are we to despair? Who will give us hope, where do we look to for leadership? And correction? I want to thank you and all who worked on it for this story...it does not make me happy nor does it gives me hope, but it does shine a light on a very dark and secret political world...too secret for my likings and too dark! It shows me that there is dirt and mud and blood on my hands too...and that perhaps saddens me the most.

Posted by: bruman | June 24, 2007 12:58 PM

If you are interested in more news of un-American actions taken by this administration and many conglomerates of American origins who want nothing less than world control please watch LinkTV and FreeSpeechTV or go to the website freespeech.org.

Our government is corrupt, as well as many other American Institutions. We the people need to force our government to reform itself to enable government free from the influences of big money and big business.

Posted by: pete2006 | June 24, 2007 12:59 PM

I am for all torture if we can try it out first on Mr. "Five Deferment" Cheney, John Yoo, Rumsfeld and Gonzales.

Posted by: tangerine2 | June 24, 2007 01:01 PM

It's simply sad to see that two men, have the ability to run this country straight through the ground.

Is this what true conservatism is?

Posted by: fzelaya | June 24, 2007 01:02 PM

I wonder if those who continue to espouse the opinion at this late date that we should just stop complaining and trust those fine men in office to do the right thing for us, thought that way when Clinton was president. Or will they look the other way and trust the government when a Democrat is President in Jan2009? No? So only Republican politicians are trustworthy? No mistakes have been made by this administration? Hmmm?
Anyone who thinks the free press and the citizenry should ignore their duty to keep an eye on what OUR government is doing with our fellow citizens lives and OUR tax dollars, is no patriot.
I don't know if my spelling is perfect, but I do know enough to only hit the "submit" button once.

Posted by: SamBrown2 | June 24, 2007 01:03 PM

Where is the outrage from the public at large? Wake up America!

Posted by: noBushLouisville | June 24, 2007 01:18 PM

"Don't you people see the trick? Many of those opposed to this government are supposed to get so sick of politics that they do not vote in the coming elections. That is why more and more dirt about this government will be brought to the surface the coming months.

This is psychological warfare. The WaPo is not finally doing its job and exposing the machinations of this government: it is still co-operating with the government.

Open your eyes, Americans, you're run by a dictatorship, with media that are serving as ministry of propaganda.

Posted by: jesaja"

I see your point but I don't agree. Many if not most Americans care very much and will vote in the next election and will do all within their power to make this country a better place. This story is a public service and many and most will respond to it properly and will not be deterred.

Posted by: bruman | June 24, 2007 01:26 PM

As a retired journalist, who spent six years covering the Nixon White House, including Watergate and its early Ford Admin-istration aftermath, I long ago concluded that: a) Led by the TV news brass band patriotic runup to war in Iraq, the print press
joined the parade and also failed its duty; b) The Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld triumvirate continue mindlessly to mock history in demonstrating that this war is destroying both the attacker and the attacked; and, c) otherwise intelligent and informed Americans are ignorant of how news is gathered and fail to see
that your current series is now possible largely because "insiders" viewing the wreckage around them are willing, at last, to talk. History will reveal even more clearly the ugly depths of this criminal administration.

Posted by: sagamore | June 24, 2007 01:35 PM

Has there ever been a more appropriately named person than Dick Cheney?

Posted by: noBushLouisville | June 24, 2007 01:35 PM

Cheney/Satan '08

Posted by: Lisa123 | June 24, 2007 01:46 PM

This story paints a picture of a man who doesn't understand what it means to govern in a democracy where power is derived from "the consent of the governed".

How can the electorate hold elected officials responsible if they don't know what policies they are implementing (thankfully, some have come to light).

Also, any decision make needs to be presented with ALL of the information related to the decision at hand: both assenting and dissenting arguments. To govern in the manner depicted is a sure path to disaster... as we have seen.

Posted by: earnric | June 24, 2007 01:52 PM

To the "conservative posters" (and I use that terms loosely), please update your vocabulary to include words other than "Wow". Now, about Cheney and the White House. It really doesn't matter which "in charge" person is handling the affairs of this country. The fact remains that it has and is being handled poorly. Our reputation is at an all time low Republicans or the Democrats. It is about saving what is left of this country while we have the motivation to succeed.

Posted by: kkdjogden | June 24, 2007 01:55 PM

Let's not forget, this VP powergrab foolishness had its genesis in the perceptions of some of daddy's cronies that an adult should be in charge of the executive branch.

Posted by: alnjan109 | June 24, 2007 01:56 PM

Thank you Washington Post. This is truly excellent reporting of the kind that's been sorely lacking from this venerable paper for the past six years.

To those who make the argument in defense of Bush and Cheney that no further attacks have occurred since 2001, neither have any meteors hit the earth, nor have the dead risen to feast on the living. What amazing powers of prevention!

The number of people who have died as the direct result of terrorist attacks in the last decade is so small that you're in much greater danger from your own bathroom and household appliances. Does your bathtub fill you with enough fear that you're willing to trade away your rights and sunder the Constitution? You have been manipulated through fear, irrationality, and illogic, and our once proud country, in the eyes of a majority of the electorate and to the rest of the word, is disgraced as a result.

Posted by: Chip_M | June 24, 2007 01:56 PM

Sagamore makes a good point. People within the Cheney sphere are talking, which is why today's article is possible.

Is this trickle of evidence enough? Or will Cheney and his cronies be just more American war-criminals-at-large, like Kissinger and Negroponte? Will Cheney's underlings of today be the out-of-control Cheneys of the 2010s?

Posted by: LiberalTarian | June 24, 2007 02:03 PM

Another description of Dick Cheney that fits is, "the most dangerous man in America." Because of his arrogance he has litte concern for things such as checks and balances, judicial process, separation of powers and congressional oversight. This man think he is above the law and not accoutable to the American people. He is one of the chief architects of the war in Irag having mislead congress and the American people by misrepresenting intelligence he knew was false or unreliable in the run up to the war. And while over 3500 American service personnel have died serving their country and doing their duty Cheney has managed to make millions of dollars through his stock options with Halliburton which has profited greatly from the war in Iraq. Does no one care that he is enriching himself on the blood of U.S. military personnel and innocent Iraqis? Why is this allowed to continue while more and more Americans and Iraqis die every single day?

Posted by: ergm71 | June 24, 2007 02:05 PM

Chip_M wrote:
"To those who make the argument in defense of Bush and Cheney that no further attacks have occurred since 2001, neither have any meteors hit the earth, nor have the dead risen to feast on the living. What amazing powers of prevention!"
==

No, not so great. After all in the five years since 9/11 there have been exactly as many terrorist attacks on the US as in the five years before, and NOT ONE FEWER!

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 24, 2007 02:11 PM

Cheney's plan was on view long ago, as advisor and Secretary of Defense.

His lack of reaction on 9/11 simply demonstrated that his plan was abetted, and the coup would NOT be controlled or rejected by Congress, or the press.

The most purely evil man in the history of the United States is not an angler, but a shark on a blood scent, and he doesn't even leave a trail in his wake. A sneer is NOT a "half smile".

It is sad to lose the Constitution, but to give it to a thief is reprehensible on the part of the public, press, and Congress.

History, if there is one, will condemn not just Cheney, but the stupidity of a people so easily led. Welcome to the Fourth Reich.

If we do not soon stand to our own defense, the rest of the world will mourn the loss with sorrow, because they've been warning us for years.

Nationalism = Stupidity--and Dick counts on it.

Posted by: dtroutma | June 24, 2007 02:12 PM

It's good to see that these posts are in the present country's polls.
WaPo, of course, is slow with this article. But it is necessary to show the 15% who idolize this guy and maybe they will see how detrimental to the country he has been. Well there is hope anyway.

Posted by: jetinman | June 24, 2007 02:15 PM

Cheney and Bush are gangsters. ruthless profiteering war criminals. liars. impeachment is a pale sanction. they should be charged with crimes against humanity and crimes against the planet. the pair of them should be doing the perp walk right out of the oval office and into jail. why did it take people so long to acknowledge what has been evident from the onset of this sordid swaggering bush cheney regime? a coup d'etat right before our eyes and instead people get worked up over who dissing who on american idol and janet jackson's nipple.

Posted by: treeef | June 24, 2007 02:16 PM

is it just me, or has there been an extraordinary transformation from the efficient clerk of the ford and daddy bush years to the v.p. that belies the relatively short time passing? the photogenic factotum has morphed into the stooped, ugly creature lurking in "secure undisclosed locations". he reminds me of nothing so much as gollum, cruelly scarred by the power he craves so badly. dick cheney could not have existed in his present form without the vacuum that has existed in the presidency since 2001. seriously, can anyone imagine an alben barkley, hubert humphrey, or even spiro agnew presuming as much as has he. hst, lbj, and rmn would have set them down in the blink of an eye. the problem folks is one step above dick cheney's office.

Posted by: jimfilyaw | June 24, 2007 02:21 PM

Sadly, even with the voluminous reaction to the WashPo's tardy reportage of Cheney's criminal mis-use of power, I predict the extent of peoples' action will be hitting the "submit" key. And Cheney knows it; nothing will come of this expose.

Posted by: iopsc | June 24, 2007 02:28 PM

And the Washington Post is proud of this story that they could have reported on from the git go.

The way Cheney chose himself to be Vice President clued me in on how he works.
He's not some great genius-media was either to lazy or didn't want to give up enjoying a quail lunch at the Rove's.

It's all about access innit?

Interesting story-but The Washington Post isn't doing anybody any favors not doing investigative journalism until after the fact.

Izzy Stone was so right about established media.

Posted by: r0d_dickson | June 24, 2007 02:29 PM

This series should be a wake-up call for everyone!

www.ImpeachForChange.org

PLEASE help push for impeachment!

www.ImpeachForPeace.org

This isn't hyperbole--I really don't know if our country and Constitution can survive another 19 months of Cheney/Bush!

www.ImpeachBush.tv

PLEASE HELP!!

John Sodrel
New Albany, IN

Posted by: noBushLouisville | June 24, 2007 02:31 PM

I'm a middle-aged Canadian and somewhat centre-left in my political opinions (call it New Labour). Canadians have been bashed and accused of all kinds of things by the Administration because it was convenient for them to do so.

I was appalled when the presidential election was decided in a way I can only describe as suspect. I am also appalled by what I have seen and read about our great friend and neighbour the U.S. above. I hope you realize the way the U.S. is managed have a big influence on us. I see the Administration listening blindly to lobbies that have only their own interests in mind -- oil industry, auto industry, lumber industry, to name but a few -- and taking illogical and hurtful decisions that will hurt you for years to come. When one sees a government giving out big contracts without any tenders, it should be a warning sign. In fact the Administration and the lobbies have partly identical casts which is an even worse sign.

Justice always prevails in the end in the U.S. but sometimes it takes a long time. Dear American neighbours, please hurry and get these crooks out of office before they do a lot more damage, not just to the U.S., but to the whole world.

Posted by: aline_binette | June 24, 2007 02:31 PM

Yes, just as nothing came of the Post's recent articles on Walter Reed or on the attorney firings .. just a lot of impotently angry bloggers hitting "Submit."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 24, 2007 02:31 PM

This country won't heal, or regain a semblance of its former place in the world, until we show that we do have rule of law and all of these criminals are behind bars. Pardoning Nixon was wise, letting these criminals walk would be America's suicide.

Posted by: wrb | June 24, 2007 02:35 PM

I agree with many posters that the media could certainly have done a much better job long ago informing us of the deep level of corruption in this entire administration. I do not, however, blame the media for the re-election of Bush/Cheney in 2004. There was certainly enough public information available to keep anyone of intelligence and compassion from voting for Bush/Cheney for a second term. I also agree with the growing, although belated, call for impeachment. I propose that Gonzales, Cheney and Bush be impeached - in that order, since Gonzales is the firewall; without him, the fascade will quickly crumble.

Posted by: gsross | June 24, 2007 02:35 PM

This is a classic illustration of what can happen when a weak, ill-prepared leader is elected. It creates the opportunity for a cunning despot to fill the vacuum and from his lair do things that would not be approved if they were done in the open.


Posted by: seablufftom | June 24, 2007 02:38 PM

Yes please dear Americans, go out and vote, every one of you! And please stay near the polling station and watch so that there is no fraud this time.

Posted by: aline_binette | June 24, 2007 02:42 PM

The Iraq invasion and occupation, based on phony evidence and orchestrated out of Cheney's office, clearly constitutes an illegal war. Compound all that with this government's brutal illegal mistreatment of "battlefield" prisoners and our own citizens and that easily makes Cheney, and anyone complicit, a war criminal. Whatever the criminal procedures designed to prosecute such blatant violations of international law should be invoked immediately. Anything less is willful neglect and appeasement on the part of what's left of the civilized world.

Posted by: TDewey | June 24, 2007 02:44 PM

The Washington Post might be late on this story but so are all the massive commentators that seem suddenly enlightened. is this because the stock market is beginning to falter?

Posted by: mcguire2744 | June 24, 2007 02:49 PM

Is it time to make the office of the VP an elective office?
This article comes too late. Another commenter suggests, wisely, that the article is "rehabilitation" for Cheney
When a US Congressman, (R. Emmanuel, D. 5/IL) makes a wise suggestion to correct Cheney's behavior, but then backs off with the feeble words "it's just a stunt," you know you've got a dictatorship.

Posted by: DusaGyllensvard | June 24, 2007 02:50 PM

Is it time to make the office of the VP an elective office?
This article comes too late. Another commenter suggests, wisely, that the article is "rehabilitation" for Cheney
When a US Congressman, (R. Emmanuel, D. 5/IL) makes a wise suggestion to correct Cheney's behavior, but then backs off with the feeble words "it's just a stunt," you know you've got a dictatorship.

Posted by: DusaGyllensvard | June 24, 2007 02:50 PM

After reading this, if Congress does not wake up and immediately begin impeachment proceeding against this despot Cheney, we are truly lost as a nation and a free people.

Cheney's ouster followed by impeachment of Bush is a genuine litmus test for our elected Senators and House members of both parties: you either stand with us - free Americans of all parties who believe in and demand a return to the rule of law in our country, or you stand with the (Bush-Cheney) terrorists - which will it be?

Please recall: the French had an effective plan against their own home-grown "terrorists" of the late 1700's.

Posted by: kjarch | June 24, 2007 02:52 PM

Dusa: we have formally been a dictatorship for some time. When the chief executive can order the arrest and imprisonment of citizens without charge or limited duration then the definition is met.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 24, 2007 02:54 PM

Dubya was chosen to be president by Big Oil because he is a dunce.

Cheney is Big Oil's operative.

The price of oil keeps going up but there is no real valid reason to justifiy it. Most of the rumours and fears are manufactured.

Posted by: aline_binette | June 24, 2007 02:54 PM

It seems that Mr. Cheney does actually tell
Bush what to do and not do and that he is actually the commander-in-chief. I am sure that Cheney is very well versed in Nazi tactics and methods, utilizing his intimate knowledge of the government to exclude any one he likes from any decision of importance.
We now know that George W Bush was led by the nose by Cheney and didn't have the intelligence to know it was happening before it was too late. Now that Cheney has ruined our country and made us the most despised nation on earth, he can walk away and let Bush be the fall guy for the worst administration in our history. If he isn't impeachable, he should be, change the laws to fit the crimes he has committed.

Posted by: jherpers | June 24, 2007 02:58 PM

The time will come for the American people to know everything about the evil and pernicious influence VP Dick Cheney has exerted on President George W. Bush (who for all of the six years of his presidency so far has acted the role of Cheney's acolyte) and on the whole Federal bureaucracy, including the Judicial system.

When all of the ugly facts come out in the
open, out of a huge Pandora's Box, Dick Cheney will likely be seen as the dominant figure responsible for the missteps, the mistakes, the reckless violations of the laws, of the Bill of Rights and of the Constitution, and the US's loss of prestige in the world community which were laid on the door of the White House.

Dick Cheney conjures the image of another evil and pernicious influence on no less than a Russian Czar and Czarina--Rasputin.

Posted by: MPatalinjug | June 24, 2007 02:59 PM

Too little, too late.
The WP has failed democracy.

For the record, going after Cheney does not change how the WP editors have betrayed American democracy. As well, Bush deserves the same harsh treatment...if being honest matters.

We ALL know the lies and half-truths, and omissions the reporters used just prior to 2000 and 2004. Cheney and Bush are both plutocrats or fascists or whatever is the current term referring to those who refuse to understand that it is not THEIR country, it is OUR democracy and that WE, the PEOPLE, SHOULD BE LOYAL TO OUR CONSTITUTION, not to individuals. It would be nice if the editors of the WP understood that.

Posted by: Jjcsplace | June 24, 2007 03:02 PM

Once again please take note: all that Cheney has wrought is being dismantled even while he is still in office. One thing you can always count on with the far right: they go too far. They are easily seduced by their own lies and they believe that in their hearts the American people are as nasty and vicious as they are, held back by "PC."

They're wrong.

The American people are weak and easily distracted but they are at heart somewhat better than the Dick Cheneys and Richard Perles and Donald Rumsfelds who engineered America's spectacular descent to rogue status. Cheney overreached; his ideas are as repellant as his character and he overestimated, as did Karl Rove, the extent to which we would be driven by hate.

Now Bush has approval ratings--while at war!--to match the lowest of any sitting president, every major piece of legislation of the past six years will probably be reversed in the next six, and "conservative" has lost all its luster and legitimacry for two generations.

Nice going, guys.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 24, 2007 03:04 PM

A prominent UK politician, Dennis Healey, was asked in the 1980's what he thought of the position of Deputy Primeminister. He compard the position with that of the American VP, saying "if they were bad, they could do much damage, if they were good, they could do nothing", Cheney?

Posted by: leedschos | June 24, 2007 03:12 PM

What does he plan on doing? Hold a big bonfire for all the secrets once he is no longer in office?

Is there any possibility that someone could "seize" these documents? Like, maybe the Congress under a subpoena?

The man's arrogance has got to be challenged!

Posted by: rpaulalderson | June 24, 2007 03:14 PM

It has always been my suspicion that Cheney was the power behind President Bush. From the beginning he is very versed in manipulation of the political process in the administration. Obviously he is very intgelligent and has used his intgelligence in a devious and destructive manner. Secrecy should not be condoned in our democratic form of government. If a situation cannot stand scrutiny, it is immediately suspect. Unfortunately President Bush's ability to govern was predicted early in his academic and business careers. I believe that Bush is a misguided individual and the person who has been pushing him is Cheney. If Cheney has resorted to dirty trick and secrecy as he obviously has, he should not be in his position.

Posted by: jsundin | June 24, 2007 03:15 PM

It has always been my suspicion that Cheney was the power behind President Bush. From the beginning he is very versed in manipulation of the political process in the administration. Obviously he is very intgelligent and has used his intgelligence in a devious and destructive manner. Secrecy should not be condoned in our democratic form of government. If a situation cannot stand scrutiny, it is immediately suspect. Unfortunately President Bush's ability to govern was predicted early in his academic and business careers. I believe that Bush is a misguided individual and the person who has been pushing him is Cheney. If Cheney has resorted to dirty trick and secrecy as he obviously has, he should not be in his position.

Posted by: jsundin | June 24, 2007 03:16 PM

This is a very disturbing article. I feel the executive part of our republic is under seige and heading for dictatorship.

Posted by: francestyler | June 24, 2007 03:18 PM

I say we wait until the minute the wretches are out of office before arresting them for war crimes. No presidential pardon, no escape to Bahrain. Into the dungeon.

Posted by: croegner00 | June 24, 2007 03:22 PM

From another era regarding another over-reacher named Richard: LICK DICK BEFORE DICK LICKS YOU!

Posted by: smokinmike | June 24, 2007 03:27 PM

My immediate reaction to this "news" echoes that of many other comments here: Am I supposed to be impressed that, six years and countless disasters and crimes later, the WaPo finally decides to peek into Cheney's shadow government?!?!

Just a few days ago this sorry excuse for a newspaper was congratulating itself, and its in-house court stenographer Woodward, for its role in the Watergate affair. The current regime has committed crimes and blunders that make Nixon look like a philosopher-king, yet every time it counted the WaPo acted like a good little cheerleader. The WaPo has earned, many times over, the derisive nickname "Pravda on the Potomac". In particular, this disgraceful newspaper bears some responsibility for every American soldier and Iraqi civilian whose life has been uselessly squandered.

Posted by: SGlover910 | June 24, 2007 03:36 PM

Although the story is way too late, at least it's out in the open. The Post has been a cheerleader of the Administration from the start. As for the point there has not been an attack since 9/11, more are not necessary. We were suckered into a war with Iraq, even thought they did not attack us, stuck in the MidEast quicksand.
One has to admire how they marketed the war, yellow cake, WMD's, portable gas trucks, centrifuge tubes, all wrong, 16 intelligence agencies, all wrong. Then the ongoing slogans, support the troops, cut and run, slow bleed, when they stand up we will stand down, the surge, 5 rugs for 5 dollars, on and on. 19 more months, I'm waiting to see the low grade, non dirty, tactical nuclear weapon, Condi Rice mentioned the other day. Another marketing technique, mention the coming attractions.

Posted by: twistedreality109 | June 24, 2007 03:40 PM

Thanks chrisfox for getting it--Cheney *is* Big Oil's operative--but far more than the price of oil is at stake.

What's happening is beyond a national issue, or even a simple economic issue. This is about plutocracy on a global scale.

The global consolidation of money and power may be beyond the means of any single nation's democratic institutions to combat. And there's just no pan-national democratic force that has any clout to try. Americans let it happen, but it could happen anywhere you find the combination of unscrupulous leaders and apathetic constituents.

Evidence of lack of scruples and the global agenda? A marked disdain for democracy and democratic institutions; a manifest sense of invulnerability; an intolerance for international agreements based on consensus; a willingness to put plunder before protection of resources both at home and abroad.

Posted by: mal2code | June 24, 2007 03:42 PM

The article is a good one, although tinged with liberal bias. Cheney is a masterful strategist and there is no one in the world who was better suited for the job of being the President's chief advisor and confidant since that tragic day, September 11th, 2001.

I agree with everything that was done at Cheney's urging: the military commissions (straight out of FDR's handbook); the denial of Geneva Convention protections to people who fight almost exclusively outside the rules of war; the interception of phone calls by those communicating with known or suspected terrorists; and the use of robust interrogation techniques to force information from those terrorists who were suspected of having intimate knowledge of planned future attacks. Nearly all these things were done in similar fashion by Bush's predecessors when the nation was at war or under attack, albeit under different technological circumstances.

Cheney will be remembered as the greatest Vice-President in US history for his role in this very dangerous time. The accusations that Cheney has destroyed the Constitution are absurd. He's simply using it in ways it has always been used in times of national peril. He's stretching it a bit in order to save it. The Constitution, contrary to accepted liberal opinion, is not a suicide pact.

Posted by: theduke89 | June 24, 2007 03:49 PM

The American people are too busy, worried,
complacent, disinterested, selfish and most of all preoccupied to understand the ultimate damage the the Bush/Chaney dictatorship has perpetrated on they themselves. The cruellest blow has been the Republican ability to sustain their method of placing guilt on anyone who disagrees with their agenda, The old "if you are not with us, you are against us" seems to have prevailed. Democrats mostly scatter at hearing this.
I have read most of the e.mailed comments sent in so far... there is an absolute dearth of G.O.P. retaliation...huh ? wha?
How about a word from Cheney ?? His philosophy and methods are indefencable.

Posted by: clephane9 | June 24, 2007 03:49 PM

The American people are too busy, worried,
complacent, disinterested, selfish and most of all preoccupied to understand the ultimate damage the the Bush/Chaney dictatorship has perpetrated on they themselves. The cruellest blow has been the Republican ability to sustain their method of placing guilt on anyone who disagrees with their agenda, The old "if you are not with us, you are against us" seems to have prevailed. Democrats mostly scatter at hearing this.
I have read most of the e.mailed comments sent in so far... there is an absolute dearth of G.O.P. retaliation...huh ? wha?
How about a word from Cheney ?? His philosophy and methods are indefencable.

Posted by: clephane9 | June 24, 2007 03:49 PM

One day, the historians will tell us that the V-P and the rest of the Neo-Cons have divided this nation in a way that has never been witnessed since the civil-war. Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you that all of the above is the reason this man of darkness will never be impeached!

Posted by: JohnTovar | June 24, 2007 03:51 PM

About time, WP. But is it too late?
Many of us agree that Cheney should be impeached but, if Congress can't get the veto-proof 60% on something that is as much in the public's eye as the further funding of the war in Iraq, how can they possibly manage to garner the necessary votes to impeach the secretive Cheney? OK, I am a pessimist but I expect the self-serving Republicans will close ranks around him.

Posted by: gord_metcalfe | June 24, 2007 03:52 PM

In over 20 years of studying politics, I've never seen a more clear-cut case of impeachable offenses than those commited by Cheney.

If you haven't already, please contact your Congressional Representatives about supporting H.R. 333, which is Kucinich's bill to impeach Cheney.

You can also go here for more info:
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/cheney

Posted by: myzenthing | June 24, 2007 03:55 PM

to those new to these forums: theduke89 is a troll who posts outrageous statements in hope of starting fights.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 24, 2007 03:59 PM

is it any wonder why the USA has so many problems these days,
and look at that ridiculous groupie staff surrounding him in the 9/11 photo. impeach now and save American.

Posted by: kennytal | June 24, 2007 04:00 PM

Those who justify trampling the Constitution by saying "we haven't been attacked again" are ignoring the obvious - it's not thanks to but in spite of what the Administration is doing that we haven't been attacked again. It's really a result of people everywhere being more suspicious and questioning, as well as steps that any President would have pursued.

If we had kept our eye on the ball, gotten rid of Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Mullah Omar, and kept the pressure on Pakistan instead of squandering our international credibility in Iraq (which also has played a major role in allowing Iran and North Korea to develop nuclear capability for real)we would be a hell of a lot safer now - in fact the war on terror would likely be just about won, instead of stretching off into infinity

And to offroad: that was Colin Powell's point: that there was a lawful way to deny captured al Qaeda privileges of POWs. According to the procedure Cheney put in place George Bush could decide that YOU are an unlawful enemy combatant. You are only protected by his good will towards you. That's precisely why we have a Constitution - so that we have more to rely on than "trust me"!

Posted by: orrg1 | June 24, 2007 04:17 PM

DICKY is an extremely dangerous and very scary despicable little piece of lifeform.

Ken

Posted by: kentigereyes | June 24, 2007 04:28 PM

Where was "Woodstein" when we needed them?
Oh yeah, Bernstein became semi-retired, and Woodward became an enabler of and pals with the Bush regime, writing detailed books about the inner workings of the Bush admin., but leaving out most of the stuff Americans really needed to know about, such as Cheney's appalling skullduggery.
How come it took till '06 for Woodward to finally write a critical 3rd account of the Pres. and all the Pres's men? Far too late to impact the '04 Pres. election, I'm afraid.

When the worst, most abusive U.S. admin. since Nixon is finally history, each journalist should ask him or herself: Was I an enabler of this immoral,duplicitous, possibly law breaking regime?
If so, why was I so cowardly or incompetent?

Posted by: Bobjb2002 | June 24, 2007 04:41 PM

Just in case anyone wondered how a coup d'etat might occur within the US Government, this article explains it in gruesome detail. It is not clear that it will ever be possible to restore Constitutional government after the Bush-Cheney bloodless coup.

Posted by: abc3 | June 24, 2007 04:45 PM

Cheney, Bush and Rove - the Axis of Evil

Posted by: Utahreb | June 24, 2007 04:48 PM

Cheney, Bush and Rove - the Axis of Evil

Posted by: Utahreb | June 24, 2007 04:48 PM

Yes, I recognize theduke89 and his inane blathering, not to mention blind loyalty to this feckless administration that's well on the way to destroying everything decent this country ever stood for. The only way this country can heal is for the Bush administration criminals to be brought to justice. I don't know what we as citizens can do, but I'm seriously losing patience and confidence. I've signed petitions, for all they're worth, but without Republican support, Congress' hands are tied. Can we the people file a lawsuit? Bush proves what a weak leader he is by allowing incompetence, recklessness, and lawlessness to flourish under his reign. I fear this is a hopeless situation that will only be swept under the rug once these thugs leave office. They'll probably go into exile in some foreign country where we can't touch them. Afterall, isn't that what most tyrannical dictator do?

Posted by: ggwalt123 | June 24, 2007 04:52 PM

To reporters, I offer this sadly trite observation as a reminder of the importance of your job to dig, report, and not blindly adopt talking points as though they are real (e.g., 23% approval rate for Congress does not mean 23% approval rate for Democrats; it could just as easily mean a 77% disapproval rate of the bipolar obstructionism that prevents Congress from heeding the will of the people).

To the few readers who think this report is meaningless and a liberal-leftist smear, I offer the following sadly-trite observation to please, please wake up.

The great, vast empire of Rome did not fall because of attacks from outsiders. It fell from corruption of their systems from within.

This country is teetering on the brink and will not continue in a way recognizable to our founders if we do not all wake up and force our representatives to action. Certainly we are being threatened by outside terrorists and, by allowing this unchecked corruption of the nation's "highest office" to continue, we are letting them win.

Posted by: paulfish | June 24, 2007 04:58 PM

I beg to differ; from what I hear neither Dick nor Lynn were "highly regarded" as PhD students at Wisconsin.

Posted by: kspena | June 24, 2007 05:02 PM

One of the key questions that I have for the authors of this series as well as the editors of the Wash. Post is "What exactly was Dick Cheney's role in the months before the 9/11 attack? As alarms were being sounded by Richard Clarke, the terrorism advisor, George Tenet, the CIA director, as well as various other intelligence agencies, what was Cheney's role in the (non) response by the administration?

We know that in response to warnings during December of 1999, the Clinton administration went on red alert, and the President convened daily briefings with a range of intelligence advisors including the head of the CIA in order to find out more about possible attacks and put the word out to intelligence, police and border officials. The result was the interdiction of a plot to attack the LA airport by an alert border guard.

It is clear that the warnings in the summer of 2001 were just as strong if not stronger. Yet Bush (and Cheney) and their administration did nothing. Nothing. Why hasn't the press examined the ignoring of this intelligence which went straight to the president in July and August. He responded with disdain to CIA warnings.... What is the justification of this massive dereliction of duty? And why hasn't the Wash. Post and other news organizations asked hard questions and done detailed analysis on this subject? After all, the 9/11 attacks are the basis for the entire Global War on Terror. Where was Dick Cheney and what were his decisions in response to the alarming warnings that were being sounded in this most critical time in modern American history?

I find it astounding that the press (and particularly the Post) has been so intimidated by the Administration that it simply has not seriously examined the role of the Vice President and President in these critical moments--and put the reporting on page 1, where it belongs.

Posted by: opal22 | June 24, 2007 05:44 PM

NO mention of the latest exploits of this gang..NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE 51/HOMELAND SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE 20..legalization, in case of an emergency, of the VP becoming the defacto "EL PRESIDENTE".

Posted by: dgstone | June 24, 2007 06:22 PM

Opal22. Maybe I can help you out. If you will go the PNAC website you will read where they "needed another Pearl Harbor" to implement their plans. When they were warned of an "imminent attack" they must have been the happiest people on earth. They were not about to prevent what they so desperately needed to put their plans in force.

Posted by: bluebonnet | June 24, 2007 06:43 PM

Let me just say, that this is an excellent piece. I can't wait to read more.

Posted by: lmatzat | June 24, 2007 06:46 PM

Cheney is evil. He couldn't have done any of this without your acquiessence. You have acted as Cheney's agent, and sold us into Hell. I hope your cut is enough to soothe your conscience. We have seen clearly, from the nosebleed seats, what you have done your best to ignore from front row center for the past six years. What you have given us has been Michael Jackson, Paris Hilton and two-headed sheep. Good job.

Posted by: ggshanuman | June 24, 2007 06:46 PM

I heard Ben Ginzburg, a top GOP lawyer, say on "ardball with Chris Matthews" a few momths ago that bush-cheney can bomb Iran or any other country they deem a threat to the US. Chris Matthews asked under what authority bush-cheney could bomb Iran, he said under the authority of the "War on Terror", which will be ongoing, they DO have the authority! Scary, isn't it! Chris Matthews was stunned, speechless, and that doesn't happen too often! If true, we ARE living under an autocratic administration, as many have suggested.

Posted by: cashmere1 | June 24, 2007 06:53 PM

History should teach the American public that Bush and Cheney are very irrational and crazy. Bush and Cheney are corrupt. Both have contempt for the constitution. The American public believes that they will not commit a crazy irrational act:Cheney and Bush would not start a nuclear world war by bombing Iran. Unfortunately,we,the American are very irrational. Unless we immediately impeach Bush and Cheney history will ask why the American public was so crazy and irrational in not impeaching Bush and Cheney.

Posted by: jshood | June 24, 2007 06:53 PM

Why do an article on this crook (other than he has more power than the standing president and this is unprecedented)when it would be more of the interest to the people to do one on the constitution and how how this administration has undermined it. We will see how the rest of the series goes and maybe I am being a bit hasty.

Posted by: glenglish | June 24, 2007 06:56 PM

Although never thought possible, the actions of VP Cheney make us long for the days, believe it or not, of Spiro Agnew and Dan Quayle!

Posted by: Wadew666 | June 24, 2007 07:00 PM

Excellent article. Too bad it was not published when these events were occurring (2001 and 2002). I feel like something has been stolen from me through the secrecy and twisting of government process that Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney has employed.

Posted by: jbspires | June 24, 2007 07:04 PM

A cautionary for future presidents and those who elect them. The President should not be able to be maneuvered so easily. Because he/she is wise and is respectful of the opinions of the people and because he/she is a student of our history and Constitution, he/ she would not be the one to be known to have led the decline of our great experiment. We need to think about how this unqualified small man was trust upon us?! How we were fooled?! My My!!!!!

Posted by: cwgiese | June 24, 2007 07:05 PM

Do an artile on how this administration has shown disregard for the constitution and how they are impeachable for their crimes and that they are not credible in their statements that the Geneva Convention does not apply to this "war" and I will be impressed.

Posted by: glenglish | June 24, 2007 07:09 PM

The Post's reporters can't get up in the morning without harrumphing and snorting about the Bush Administration. Gellman's article this morning confirms this observation. I can't wait for the rest of this smug series. I smile contentedly, knowing that we're in safe hands.
Go Bushies!
Signed, non-shrieking Conservative.

Posted by: charlieg | June 24, 2007 07:10 PM

the press, and among them the WP, has abandoned their responsibility when it comes to reporting on this admin from day one. And worse, their reporting often served to enable the admin to continue the actions that have led to the mess this country is in today. All in the name of 'access'.

Had the press responded differently over the past 7 years, instead of the feeble protests of a few hundred people lining back streets of cities, we might have seen 100,000 people on the Washington Mall, protesting the war. As did major cities across the globe, making this war one of the most protested in history...every where but here.

The main stream media enabled Americans to react with fear at this governments machinations. They echoed the 'if you aren't with us, you are against us' propaganda that came out of the right wing mouthpieces on talk radio. They allowed good people's reputatations to be stained, and ruined. They allowed this admin to be elected in the first place. The Fourth Estate abandoned it's role of watch dog, a role it has been proud of in the past, but sadly surrendered out of the same fear they have projected on the rest of us.

I blame the press. They have enabled an unreasoned discourse of politics in this country. The few voices of protest have had to erupt out of secret hiding places like blogs, and been shouted down as anti-patriotic, and conspiricy minded idiots. The press has allowed columnists to print unsubstantiated fact as truth. Main stream media has become star driven, and fact void. They have allowed their agenda to be set by a small minority in this country, who would continue to shout down the truth, and promote lies instead.

I blame the press.

Posted by: rareinc3 | June 24, 2007 07:16 PM

A rogue presidency, from start to finish.

Posted by: gardener1 | June 24, 2007 07:25 PM

Maybe I missed it but--don't we still have a Constitution? Or did Bush apply his felt-tip pen to another 'signing statement' to render that august document obsolete? This Cheney episode demonstrates why we need a Constitutional amendment stating very clearly what the duties of the vice president are--and what they are NOT! Cheney has invented an executive position that doesn't exist with powers that are unlimited. I hope the 'historical judgment' Cheney is so willing to wait for is both swift and harsh.

Posted by: free9604 | June 24, 2007 07:36 PM

Mr. Cheney is an American Hero who is working hard to ensure the future of America by securing the Middle East's oil supply to U.S. corporate control. If he operates in a gray area so does everyone else. Many citizens drive SUVs and consume more than their fair share. Long Live Cheney and his policies.

Posted by: draxcorp | June 24, 2007 07:39 PM

It's funny reading this article which seems to bend over backwards to be repectful and polite when speaking of Cheney and Addington and then read the comments in which there is a downright loathing for these two. I for one can't stand to here how "principled" Addington is and how "determined to protect our country." This guy is a fascist for god's sake. He seems to know the constitution and the bill of rights by heart only in order to abuse them to the hilt. And notice how they never once used the word "supected" when refering to "terrorists" I suppose because they assumed anyone captured was already guilty. Sickening; and like others have stated before me, a day late and a dollar short. Imagine woodward and Berstein putting out their articles in 1980 and how much impact they would have had by then.

Posted by: robert.carino | June 24, 2007 07:40 PM

Is anyone else very afraid? I've been reading "The Thirty Years' War" by Cicely Wedgwood. The parallels are startling, and very frightening!

Posted by: thrh | June 24, 2007 07:59 PM

Nobody ever had the excruciatingly bad taste to elect "Shooter" Cheney to a national office. He's a Wyoming taste, like crucifying homosexuals on barbed-wire fences. Apart from being married to a prominent lesbian pornographer, he has no national credentials. Yet he is running the country. Can somebody in the Republican party explain how this has happened?

Posted by: thrh | June 24, 2007 08:02 PM

Dick Cheney is the best. It seems most whom have commented seems to place procedure before the importance of the activity. Washingtonians are essentially clueless about attaining real world goals. They are all on the US Government doll. Not Cheney he and his people are creating wealth and prosperity for America for 100 years into the future. In fact, Cheney's work is on par with the Framers. Military, Resource Control, Business and Economics are the sole reasons for human existence at its core. Grow up and realize Cheney is a Master Planner ensuring the prosperity of US Society.

Posted by: draxcorp | June 24, 2007 08:02 PM

Cheney is one of the few people in the modern world to have invented a new obscenity ["Cheney"}! Congratulations!

Posted by: thrh | June 24, 2007 08:08 PM

When is heart attack number five due? This sick man and David Addington should be tried, convicted and imprisoned. Our constitution weeps.

Posted by: erin_go_bragh | June 24, 2007 08:10 PM

It's hard to imagine a more complete, selfserving, egotistical arsehole than Dick Cheney. I know he takes it as a compliment, but it isn't. Poor little wimp from Casper. Shoot your friends in the face. Dodge the draft. Marry a lesbian, probably due to your own masculinity problems. Betray your wife and apparent daughter [your wife's child] by banning gay marriage. Kill foreigners indiscriminately. Is there anything you won't do???

Posted by: thrh | June 24, 2007 08:15 PM

Bald old fart, ain't he?

Posted by: thrh | June 24, 2007 08:16 PM

I would describe him as a "Piece of Work," but "Piece of Crap" fits better.

Posted by: thrh | June 24, 2007 08:18 PM

The real story behind this series of articles is the stunningly bad leadership of George W. Bush. Bush has allowed his power to be usurped by an arrogant and wrong-headed Vice President who has built a record of failure that condemns the Bush administration to being among the worst in American history.

Yet Bush is too weak and stupid to understand what he has done. Shame on America for electing these fools and for suffering their folly.

Posted by: hovaness | June 24, 2007 08:23 PM

Cheyney is a tasteless joke. Anyone who has ever lived in any of the states bordering Wyoming [i.e., Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Montana, South Dakota] understands "Wyoming" as a repugnant, but true, joke about mental disability. Hey, he married one Lesbian, fathered another, and has a second daughter who lies about it. And he even missed in shooting the Texas lawyer. Is there anything funnier?

Posted by: thrh | June 24, 2007 08:29 PM

"
Dick Cheney is the best." No argument here, draxcorp. If you want a tasteless, obscene, funny joke, then Dick Cheney is the Best!!!!!!! If you want a vice-president, however, you might do better with mickey mouse. Or Adolph Hitler.

Posted by: thrh | June 24, 2007 08:33 PM

"In roles that have gone largely undetected..."

"Undetected" is exactly the WRONG word. Dig into the blogosphere and into back issues of progressive publications, and you can find well-documented detection of many of the events detailed in this article, stretching back for months and even years. In particular, the constitution-shredding activities of Cheney, Addington, and Yoo have been extensively documented, for example by The New Yorker.

What you should have said is "uninvestigated and unreported in the mainstream press" -- until now, and the astonishingly tardy publication of this report. It's excellent -- but where was the Post (and the New York Times, and the networks, and the rest) over the past few years?

It's high time that these high crimes -- which they are -- bring us to the investigation and impeachment of Dick Cheney, "Fredo," and the rest of the administration's law- and constitution-breakers, ultimately including George W. Bush himself.

If Nixon could be impeached for his wrongs -- and, if Clinton could be impeached for his adultery! -- how much more does this administration deserve the same?

These articles, by undeniably bringing to light what's been obvious for a long time, should be the last straw. Congress, act! The clock is ticking, and it's not only marking time toward the next election. Every day, we creep closer to becoming an authoritarian state. It has to be stopped, and NOW.

Posted by: woid | June 24, 2007 08:39 PM

I can see Dick talking to King George. He puts a piece of paper in front of him and says: Just sign here. King George signs and then asks: Dicky, what is this about?
Dicky: Trust me George, it will benefit Halliburton.

Posted by: robertjames1 | June 24, 2007 08:56 PM

Huh. You know how people are knocking the WaPo for finally running this story? Well, according to the blogosphere, it is lucky it ever got run at all.

Laura Rozen, a real reporter, at War and Piece: http://www.warandpiece.com/blogdirs/006337.html

Yup, Pravda on the Potomac--but don't blame it on the reporters!

Posted by: LiberalTarian | June 24, 2007 08:57 PM

It's a good thing that the media is finally delving into Cheney's dark side.

The question is, when will our system of checks and balances actually do anything about Cheney's outrageously corrupt behavior?

Posted by: bornintheUSA2008 | June 24, 2007 09:05 PM

There was enough information and news reports out prior to the November, 2004 election for Americans to be able to conclude that both Bush and Cheney lied to get us into the war in Iraq and that the Bush Administration acted as though they were above the law. Certain Americans, however, would only focus on gun rights, anti-abortion laws, and gay marraige as the most critical issues in the 2004 election, no matter how inept and dangerous the Bush administration proved to be prior to the 2004 election. The corruption was reported, but most Americans ignored it, or did not bother to be well informed prior to voting 1n 2004.

Posted by: bringbackimus | June 24, 2007 09:06 PM

It only shows how complacent, and compliant, the press has been in accomodating the wishes of the administration. Just bend over a little more, as the Priest said to the Choirboy!

Posted by: thrh | June 24, 2007 09:12 PM

It is only unfortunate that the only actor capable of doing justice to Cheney when his role is immoralized on film is long since dead . . . Cheney is an un-mustachioed Adenoid Hynkel . . .

Posted by: rlee | June 24, 2007 09:14 PM

For what it is worth, which is apparently not very much, I posted several anti-Cheney posts on this board, which are now cleanly gone! Is it just the usual incompetence of the people the Post hires to run their website [which is legendary and extremely humorous], or something more sinister?

Posted by: thrh | June 24, 2007 09:20 PM

Ironic that they code named this sleaze "Angler"...seeing as how he was bisted, ticketed and fined for illegally catching trout back in Wyoming in his youth...guess he always felt he was somehow above the law.

Posted by: Jerryvov | June 24, 2007 09:24 PM

Okay, voters: you voted for Bush, even though even back then he was a stale anti-Christian joke! Now you got him, and Cheney, too! Just what is it you plan to do about the fascist takeover of your government, anyway?

Posted by: thrh | June 24, 2007 09:26 PM

You voted for the nosepickers: you got 'em! Now you figure out how to deal with them, other than paying out the tens of billions of unnecessary expenditures that the little cowards want to pay in military expenditures, having conveniently bypassed the military themselves.

Posted by: thrh | June 24, 2007 09:29 PM

Impeach Bush AND Chaney!!!

5 deferments and he is sending our young people off to war....

Posted by: hartfordcity | June 24, 2007 09:29 PM

What we need is a president who acts like
a president instead of an ignoramus and
a vice president who acts like a vice- president instead of an emperor.

Posted by: janye1 | June 24, 2007 09:29 PM

The most interesting thing about the first scene Gellman describes is how close it is to the primary Bush disaster, 9/11. Surely much of the horrible reign of President Bush can be explained by the fact that insiders know just how much he is to blame for the 4 separate hijackings. His dismissal of the CIA warning about it in August, 2001, his refusal to even follow up, to ask the FBI about the possibility of terrorists in the country, to ask the transportation department about airport safety - all the minimal stuff that a competent president would do - would probably have prevented 9/11. But as we know from the reports and videoclips around the time of Hurricane Katerina, Bush's problem is that he panics in the face of crisis. His level of competence was surely reached when he was made, through his Dad's friends, a part owner of the Texas Rangers. He is too stubborn, too uninformed, and too prone to panic to ever be entrusted with serious business. This isn't a secret - I'm sure that 9/11 demonstrated to his father and his inner circle just what George Jr. was made of. The same stuff. Not the right stuff. Cheney knew this as well, but since Cheney insisted on a course of action quite contrary to that natural to George Bush, Sr. - who responded to crisis by trying to limit the bad effects, rather than trying to exploit them - he had his hooks into George, Jr. in two ways. First, he would be, forever, the cool one, and Bush would be forever the man frozen, reading the Pet Goat, thinking no doubt about the meeting with the CIA handlers just a month before when he was told this would happen. Surely that must have haunted Bush. Second, he was the one way that Bush could show the inner circle that he was tough and creative, not lazy and prone to panic. And of course Cheney wrapped his poison in the idea that he was working for a strong executive. Bush could even pretend that he was the strong executive, although obviously Bush has only and always been regarded by Cheney as a patsy.


Posted by: rgathman | June 24, 2007 09:30 PM

Cheney has little regard or respect for the Constitution he has sworn to uphold.

Posted by: mimi424 | June 24, 2007 09:57 PM

A credible bio about Cheney's legendary characteristics, flaws & failures was published in 2004 by journalist John Nichols. Called DICK: THE MAN WHO IS PRESIDENT (The New Press), it was routinely ignored by the Mainstream Media, including The Washington Post. (They are pretty late to this story, which is hard to fathom as he has been a mover/shaker for some time.) Mr. Cheney's long history is worth noting. What we are seeing is his apotheosis, and it isn't pretty...unless you think fascism is pretty.

Posted by: tdisante | June 24, 2007 10:03 PM

So who wrote paragraphs 7 through 10 and hastily inserted them? Obviously not Barton and/or Gellman. And how long did the WaPo sit on this story until the Blogs forced the WaPo editors hands?

"Tell Laura I love her";-)
MDA

Posted by: exomike | June 24, 2007 10:33 PM

So who wrote paragraphs 7 through 10 and hastily inserted them? Obviously not Barton and/or Gellman. And how long did the WaPo sit on this story until the Blogs forced the WaPo editors hands?

"Tell Laura I love her";-)
MDA

Posted by: exomike | June 24, 2007 10:34 PM

Don Imus nailed it right on years ago when he referred to Cheney and Bush as War Criminals. The evidence in this investigative report reinforces this belief shared by many. Congress needs to step up and remove these fascists from power and from further dragging our great country into the abyss. God help us.

Posted by: cheetah_ho | June 24, 2007 10:51 PM

Mr. Gellman: "Why did it take so long?" we see, is a frequent theme. What insights have you two derived, while formulating this report, regarding the ways by which the White House -- so vividly illustrated by this series -- has manipulated, exploited, subverted, deluded, corrupted, coopted the press? What do you think guardians of our liberty in the Fourth Estate must do to mend their missions, methods, mores to reduce the likelihood that they, and the media they serve, will again serve as instruments to fool more of the people more of the time --so as to have war made easy?

Posted by: asglickman | June 24, 2007 11:18 PM

Has anyone noticed that the people posting the really rude, right-wing comments (such as "Get a haircut hippies," et al.) seem to be semi-literate? Is this a coincidence? Could it be there is a correlation between people who are extremely gullible and fall for the adminstration's bogeyman tactics and those with low education levels?

Posted by: fitzrite | June 24, 2007 11:26 PM

Why do they call this story "Angler" and show the cheesy, whiskey-commercial image with it? Cheney's no outdoorsman. Remember the shooting incident? He and his buddy were "hunting" birds that were kept in cages, then released to fly up and get shot down. The people who do that aren't hunters; they're usually stockbrokers or other rich people who think you can buy an experience. Does anyone know a real hunter who thinks shooting birds from a bag is anything but what dumb city slickers do on a weekend out? Cheney's no outdoorsman; he's that corporate type who bought a package deal. He ain't country; more like country club.

Posted by: crozetproject | June 24, 2007 11:35 PM

I've never heard of a job as hard as being this Vice President's Lawyer.

Posted by: paulhrice | June 24, 2007 11:54 PM

My God, where is Bush in all this! It reads as though he's out smelling flowers, or riding his bike in the hills. Didn'y it occur to him that loud objections from the Attorney General or Sect of State ight be a problem?

Posted by: jim | June 25, 2007 01:08 AM

Wow, maybe I will reconsider my criticisms of Ashcroft .

Posted by: cjjoy | June 25, 2007 03:50 AM

Isernia -

George Bush isn't unintelligent. He has a kind of animal cunning that suits his political methodology (slash and burn) very well. He just has never been interested in the things one needs to be interested in to be a head of state.

Bush, like Cheney and Rove, is a psychopath. Now and then he accidentally shows us who he really is. Click here for more about the real George Bush.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

Posted by: caro | June 25, 2007 07:19 AM

Cheney harmed the US reputation abroad much more than Nixon, in Italy we wonder: why hasn't he been impeached yet?

Posted by: lgorini | June 25, 2007 08:33 AM

Gellman and Becker who write this stuff at WoPo and those people that believe Cheney is working at all for the good of America are really naïve. James Baker III himself the stalwart of the military industrial complex clearly says of Cheney:

"He has been pretty damn good at accumulating power, extraordinarily effective and adept at exercising power."

His and his teams efforts so far have been extremely successful remember, these are the same people who brought you:
- Al Qaeda, funding Bogie men through their friends in Saudi
- 9-11, killing thousands of their own
- the war on terror, an endless excuse for power
- the deaths of over a million civilians in two illegal but profitable wars of occupation

Whatever makes you think these people have any mutual interests with you? Or have any morals or scruples. It is perfectly well known to military professionals that torture is not an effective method to extract usable intelligence, especially from people who have none to give, i.e. 90% of those at Gitmo or Abu Ghraib, but what all these horrors can and do accomplish is the escalation of antagonism towards America, and the War on Terror, which in itself acts as a catalyst to spontaneous insurgent activities around the world.... Create the enemy.

In short, 9-11 with a few other priors primes the pump and sets the stage for overt aggression, the indiscriminate violence unleashed along with the horrendous scenes of torture and humiliation, in turn causing hate and revulsion around the world, driving up recruiting to religiously based insurgent groups. Now any reaction is termed as "Al Qaeda" related, or like or similar type, or inspired... and so the proof is in the pudding (result) and no one ever thinks to check the cause! (and that is not including the Mickey-mouse sting ops targeting the mentally feeble at home)

The present and immediate activities are to strategically finance and control through surrogates selected terror cells to create "divide and concur" scenarios. In Iraq, in Lebanon, in Gaza, in West Bank, in Iran, in Pakistan, in Kabul, these people like Cheney are the monsters that are behind terrorism. When "a little known" terrorist group " inspired by Al Qaeda", kidnaps a journalist like Alan Johnston, who has done only good for the Gaza people, you can be sure who are behind it. They are marketing hate and fear, and you buy it.
A conspiracy? You bet! See: ZEITGEIST, The Movie - Full Production "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

Posted by: Lusitanian | June 25, 2007 09:06 AM

Cheney is a prototypical corporatist, with an identifiable presumption that We The People are his minions (read slaves). I cannot believe the WaPo weenies have just now written a series that purports to tell the truth about Cheney. Delicious irony? More like blatant deceit! Cheney and his obsequious MSM--much to their imminent detriment--have underestimated both the will and the intellect of We The People.

Posted by: chervil | June 25, 2007 10:24 AM

Re: the accusations that reporters not doing their jobs contributed to the election and re-election of Bush-Cheney. It is my gripe that this piling-on of terminolgy referring to candidates is ludicrous, not to mention harmful. E.g, why does every pundit immediately claim that Hillary Clinton is "polarizing" yet none has called Mitt Romney "polarizing" for calling for a doubling of the size of Guantanamo at the Republican debate. And who, exactly, decided that John Kerry's windsurfing was deserving of mockery, but George Bush's brush clearing and chain sawing were not? I'm an avid reader of newspapers, yet I have become convinced that someone must be passing around 3x5 cards with a list of permissible descriptives for the candidates....or you all just sit around the local tavern and decide on what you think are clever terms to use for them. Sure beats tough research on the issues. Maybe no one cares about the issues because the media don't provide the information readily.

Posted by: RYBice | June 25, 2007 10:27 AM

Re: the accusations that reporters not doing their jobs contributed to the election and re-election of Bush-Cheney. It is my gripe that this piling-on of terminolgy referring to candidates is ludicrous, not to mention harmful. E.g, why does every pundit immediately claim that Hillary Clinton is "polarizing" yet none has called Mitt Romney "polarizing" for calling for a doubling of the size of Guantanamo at the Republican debate. And who, exactly, decided that John Kerry's windsurfing was deserving of mockery, but George Bush's brush clearing and chain sawing were not? I'm an avid reader of newspapers, yet I have become convinced that someone must be passing around 3x5 cards with a list of permissible descriptives for the candidates....or you all just sit around the local tavern and decide on what you think are clever terms to use for them. Sure beats tough research on the issues. Maybe no one cares about the issues because the media don't provide the information readily.

Posted by: RYBice | June 25, 2007 10:27 AM

I can't believe that any credible writer would assert that "Cheney is not, by most inside accounts, the shadow president of popular lore". If this article doesn't show him to be a "shadow president" then what in the world is he? A "shadow dictator"? "Fascist in Chief"? Take your pick. The man is inherently evil. He is responsible for the deaths of thousands of human beings, worldwide. It's about time that the mainstream media "got with the program" vis-a vis Cheney and Co. And by the way, to read more about Dick's day on 9/11, pick up a copy of Mike Ruppert's "Crossing the Rubicon". It will chill you to your core.

Posted by: dcunn123 | June 25, 2007 10:30 AM

I can't believe that any credible writer would assert that "Cheney is not, by most inside accounts, the shadow president of popular lore". If this article doesn't show him to be a "shadow president" then what in the world is he? A "shadow dictator"? "Fascist in Chief"? Take your pick. The man is inherently evil. He is responsible for the deaths of thousands of human beings, worldwide. It's about time that the mainstream media "got with the program" vis-a vis Cheney and Co. And by the way, to read more about Dick's day on 9/11, pick up a copy of Mike Ruppert's "Crossing the Rubicon". It will chill you to your core.

Posted by: dcunn123 | June 25, 2007 10:30 AM

Rather than a comment, this is a question. In the oral/visual description of Cheney's background, Barton Gellman stated that Cheney attended Un. of Wyoming after flunking out of Yale. The print article above states: "Cheney flunked out of Yale but became a highly regarded PhD candidate in political science at the University of Wisconsin." Which is correct?

Posted by: laguera | June 25, 2007 10:53 AM

This man is so scary that it isn't funny! How was the press so cowed during that period of time that we are just now getting wind of this serious (lawbreaking?) breach of executive protocol? How ironic that his (Cheney's) own words from when he was a Presidential Chief of Staff (see James Baker's notes)have come back to haunt him, but he choose to ignore them because this is a 'new ' war and a new age.

The constitution (and America) has withstood countless 'new' wars based upon strong principles. Funny how now those principles need to be changed because Herr Cheney says so!

Hitler had Geobbles, Bush has Cheney - God save us!

Posted by: raines04 | June 25, 2007 11:19 AM

It is well past time for members of Congress to get serious about Rep. Kucinich's articles of impeachment against Dick Cheney instead of running for cover.
Cheney is a cancer on the executive branch and it is well past time for his removal and possible criminal trial as well.

Posted by: napperfat | June 25, 2007 11:56 AM

If Cheney's actions don't rise to high crimes and misdemeanors, what actions do?
The consequences of his actions have disgraced the united States internationally and done more to lose the war on terror than any other policy, decision or action. Let th impeachment process begin. This is not the America I love, respect, and wish to defend!

Posted by: hollistersturges | June 25, 2007 11:57 AM

If Cheney's actions don't rise to high crimes and misdemeanors, what actions do?
The consequences of his actions have disgraced the united States internationally and done more to lose the war on terror than any other policy, decision or action. Let th impeachment process begin. This is not the America I love, respect, and wish to defend!

Posted by: hollistersturges | June 25, 2007 11:57 AM

The complete disdain for the law by Cheney is obvious to most Americans. The apparent impotency of the Democratic majority to take action to remove Cheney from office leads me to believe that we should all be registering Republican in order to take back our country.

Posted by: rawbird | June 25, 2007 01:03 PM

Laura Rozen at www.warandpiece.com :

A careful reading of the story of Cheney's coup against a feeble executive reveals that paragraphs 7 through 10 were written and inserted in haste by a powerful editorial hand. The banging of colliding metaphors in an otherwise carefully written piece is evidence of last-minute interpolations by a bad editor whom no one has the power to rewrite....

That in turn suggests that this piece has been ready to run for some time. Insertions like the one about the veep's office not being part of the executive branch and seriatim "softenings" show that jamming it into the paper at the end of June, when only cats and the homeless are around the read the paper, was made at the last minute....

This series is a landscape of an internal war. Parts of it are still smoking and some reputations are visibly dying--anonymously, for the moment. The journalistic graves registration people will go in later and tag the corpses.

These are grafs 7-10:
Over the past six years, Cheney has shaped his times as no vice president has before. This article begins a four-part series that explores his methods and impact, drawing on interviews with more than 200 men and women who worked for, with or in opposition to Cheney's office. Many of those interviewed recounted events that have not been made public until now, sharing notes,e-mails, personal calendars and other records of their interaction with Cheney and his senior staff. The vice president declined to be interviewed.

Two articles, today and tomorrow, recount Cheney's campaign to magnify presidential war-making authority, arguably his most important legacy. Articles to follow will describe a span of influence that extends far beyond his well-known interests in energy and national defense.

In roles that have gone largely undetected, Cheney has served as gatekeeper for Supreme Court nominees, referee of Cabinet turf disputes, arbiter of budget appeals, editor of tax proposals and regulator in chief of water flows in his native West. On some subjects, officials said, he has displayed a strong pragmatic streak. On others he has served as enforcer of ideological principle, come what may.

Cheney is not, by nearly every inside account, the shadow president of popular lore. Bush has set his own course, not always in directions Cheney preferred. The president seized the helm when his No. 2 steered toward trouble, as Bush did, in time, on military commissions. Their one-on-one relationship is opaque, a vital unknown in assessing Cheney's impact on events. The two men speak of it seldom, if ever, with others. But officials who see them together often, not all of them admirers of the vice president, detect a strong sense of mutual confidence that Cheney is serving Bush's aims.

Posted by: sales3 | June 25, 2007 01:48 PM

The only reason the Washington Post deigns to run stories like this now is that circulation is falling precipitously.

As the mouthpiece of record for this, and all, administrations, they've known all this for years.

They simply went with the wind.

The true traitors are Messrs. Donald Graham and Arthur Sulzberger.

~

Posted by: DickeyFuller | June 25, 2007 02:02 PM

I think that God must talk to Cheney a lot?

Posted by: jrains | June 25, 2007 03:52 PM

I think that God must talk to Cheney a lot?

Posted by: jrains | June 25, 2007 03:52 PM

I think that God must talk to Cheney a lot?

Posted by: jrains | June 25, 2007 03:52 PM

I think that God must talk to Cheney a lot?

Posted by: jrains | June 25, 2007 03:52 PM

I think that God must talk to Cheney a lot?

Posted by: jrains | June 25, 2007 03:52 PM

I believe that it is time to impeach the Vice President. His arrogant abuse of power simply cannot be tolerated any longer without serious damage to the entire philosophy and balance of power of the US government. Simply playing into his legalistic word games and cutting off the funding for his executive office actually lends some credence to his argument. It is time to draw a line in the sand. The American people cannot tolerate such an abusive leader. Period.

JSR

Posted by: jsrosin | June 25, 2007 04:24 PM

Powell said of bin Laden and Afghanistan "We have something they want and they have something we want." Bush said "We are not going to trade food for bin Laden." Powell was sent to Scandinavia for a month or so, and we invaded Afghanistan; bin Laden is still at large.

Saudia Arabia is running out of oil; Iraq was signing agreements with China and Russia to supply oil, paid for in Euros, and the neo-cons wanted a permanent American force in the Middle East ("like Korea"), and oil to be continued to be valued in dollars; so we invaded Iraq.

The "War on Terror" is one of intelligence first, not one of arms, except where we've chosen to do so. The invasion of Iraq has not prevented terrorist acts in America any more than "Cheney has", the intelligence services have. 9/11 was an abysmal intelligence failure caused by a lack of imagination (remenber, the towers were attacked prior to 9/11).

Every "failure" in Iraq just makes it more necessary that we provide a continued presence. "Failure to rebuild the infrastructure," "Failure to send enough troops," "George Tenet's medal of freedom," "failure to secure the weapons caches following the invasion," the election with the predictable result that Shias voted for Shias and Sunnis for Sunnis that fomented the sectarian divide we now have, the weak president we still support, "Failure to secure the country," "failure of the surge." Hello! Failures or Cheney-style Machevillian plan that's working just fine?

While the Post is pealing a few layers off the onion, the onion has many more layers that aren't being peeled to reveal what's really been going on "below the radar." We all know it is and was about oil, don't we? Then think just a little harder and ask yourself whether Rumsfeld wasn't building permanent facilities from day one, and why we've been building our largest embassy in Iraq - from the beginning.

Every step and mis-step that has occured in Iraq, starting with "You break it, you own it" had logical, predictable negative and disasterous outcomes that happened just like you'd have expected them to. You'd almost think that plans were made, assuming that they would turn out just the way they did. No wonder Cheney isn't worried: the "real" plan is coming along just fine, thank you, and no one is the wiser. Investigate THAT WaPo and you'll really have a story.

Sorry if it sounds conspiratorial, I'm really not one who goes in for conspiracies, but when every alleged failure seems to further foster the ultimate goal, I have to wonder...

Posted by: paul | June 25, 2007 04:27 PM

'Robust interrogation,is it? What comes next,the 'final solution'?

Posted by: ruinedbruin | June 25, 2007 04:57 PM

So far I have not seen mentioned Cheney's role in bringing Halliburton to the edge of bankruptcy. This ought to be important because invading Iraq with the emphasis on privatization contracts - happened to fix the multi-billion dollar mistake Cheney made at Halliburton.
For more info and a link to a Washington Post business piece on the chapter 11 filings see:
http://www.orderfromrandomness.com/halliburtonstockprice.html

Posted by: randomray | June 25, 2007 05:43 PM

I remember quite well Lynn Cheney's comment of "He's an evil man", referring to John Kerry after his debate with GWB. This was in reference to Kerry's remark about their daughter's sexuality during the course of the debate. Unbeknownst to her and to most of us she's married to one.

Posted by: eqabellera | June 25, 2007 05:55 PM

I remember quite well Lynn Cheney's comment of "He's an evil man", referring to John Kerry after his debate with GWB. This was in reference to Kerry's remark about their daughter's sexuality during the course of the debate. Unbeknownst to her and to most of us she's married to one.

Posted by: eqabellera | June 25, 2007 05:55 PM

It's too bad that we have a Cheney in our government, but it's not like we didn't know what we were getting. If our Congress had the necessary gumption, impeachment would have occurred long ago. cld

PS: WaPo -- is this watered down enough for you? Obviously, someone on your staff failed to appreciate my reference to Fascist wannabes yesterday.

Posted by: desaulniers | June 25, 2007 07:22 PM

sounds like cheney learned a little something something from the chinese. bravo.

Posted by: westish | June 25, 2007 10:11 PM

Look a little deeper folks. You have to learn to think like they do.

The Post article is all part of the plan.

It is time for Dick to step down to make way for our next President.

We'll get a new Vice President (who promises not to run for President).

He'll take over as President next spring when George leaves office for medical reasons. Or because he's back on the sauce and being too rowdy in public.

We'll have a chance to get used to the new guy.

There will be another 9-11 type attack.

He'll be a big hero.

Jeb 2008

You have to learn to think like they do...

Posted by: aortelee | June 26, 2007 12:37 AM

To me, a physically detached onlooker, the scariest part of all this is that Cheney might actually believe that he is rendering your nation an invaluable public service...as opposed to just enjoying power for power's sake!

Posted by: blairsuenick04 | June 26, 2007 01:22 AM

Great article! One point: your use of "principle; in most cases in the article, the accurate term would be "rigid belief" or "doctrine" or "ideology" or "disregard of other beliefs, views, or reality itself". "Principle" is code in this adminstration, as in the buzz phrase "stick to principle", e.g. uttered by Karl Rove when he's pushing Shrub to do something that ignores the fact that the world isn't black or white. There's no reason for a journalist to use insider jargon, loaded rhetoric devised by the administration to make itself look good, e.g. look principled when it's merely being stubborn or blind or rewarding supporters. Use the term that a journalist would use to describe the situation accurately. E.g. "adhering steadfastly to principle" is Cheney's glorious view of himself; it's not the reality, which is not that pretty.

Posted by: jpk | June 26, 2007 04:14 AM

The Gellman-Becker series on Cheney is the most astonishing piece on the chicanery and manipulation of the system for power in my 40 years of reading the WP and NYT, etc. In some ways, I find Chaney to be more dangerous than was Nixon, who was an amateur by comparison and did not, I believe, subvert the Constitution quite so vigorously and shamelessly.

Will there be any discussion in this series of the need, in the view of some Republicans no less than Democrats, of an impeachment or other action against Cheney? He makes Bush look benign and innocent.

Posted by: larycham | June 26, 2007 10:25 AM

This series is well written, highly credible...and bone-chiiling. Although fighting the threat of terrorism is important, nothing is as important as the preservation of our liberties and the mantle of morality that has made America stand alone among nations. I am appalled that this Orwelian behavior is happening but thrilled that through a free press, the truth can be brought to light. It is important that all Americans read this series and understandits signmificance.

Posted by: jkfk | June 26, 2007 11:35 AM

Who are we as a people, that the democratic process could be so subverted, not only by a careerist like Cheney, but by his cotery of legal thugs, the worst of whom is David Addison? How does this occur for seven years, while America cowers like sheep?

It amazes me how someone who's been known as a career pragmatist, so quickly became a behind-the-scenes autocrat; how quickly his minions churned out legal justifications for all kinds of non-democratic decrees; how quickly the affront that is called the Patriot Act was published and rammed through Congress...much like the Reichstag Fire Decree was enacted by Hindenburg on Hitler's behalf; how quickly Congress was marginalized by the administration, as if wishing to dissolve the institution, again, much like the dissolution of the Reichstag in 1933 (see the Enabling Act).

If these people are truly dedicated to a free and democratic republic, and its preservation, then history will show that each and every action they have taken since September 11, 2001, has been antithetical to that ideal.

Posted by: bufford_tee | June 26, 2007 01:11 PM

Thank God for our constitution and the Rule of Law in this country. We are not that far from being a dictatorship! The Bush administration would hi-jack this country if it could. What a mess they've gotten us in. Will we ever recover? I think not. What a mess!

Posted by: cweather | June 26, 2007 08:02 PM

It looks to me as though Cheney is the kind of person most CEOs and COs would love to have as an XO. He enables the President to get on with the job at hand. War is not pretty and if you wish to win, you can't treat it as a parlor game. This war is less pretty than any before because the enemy is using our sense of fairness against us. The North Vietnamese and VC began this and did it pretty well. The jihadists are taking up where the Asians left off. And they're pretty good at it. We have to be fiercer than they are in order to convince them that they will not prevail.

Posted by: murrays | June 27, 2007 02:37 AM

MASSIVE, EXECUTIVE LIES, ILLEGAL WAR-FOR-PROFIT, WHICH IS MASS MURDER OF MORE THAN 650,000 HUMAN BEINGS -- TO STEAL THEIR OIL, TORTURE, TREASON (OUTING VALERIE PLAME AND A COVERT OPERATION TRACKING WMDs), CONSPIRACY, THEFT OF U.S. TAXPAYER MONEY FOR PERSONAL GAIN (HALLIBURTON), EMPLOYING MERCENARIES, ABUSE OF POWER... ALL HIGH CRIMES... AND THIS ARTICLE MENTIONS THE WORD "IMPEACHMENT" NOT ONE SINGLE TIME!!! AS SURELY AS HE AND BUSH PULLED THE TRIGGER, OR PERSONALLY TORTURED HUMAN BEINGS, THEMSELVES, THEY ARE GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY...AND SHOULD BE IMMEDIATELY HANDCUFFED, ARRESTED AND MARCHED OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE TO A JAIL CELL, PENDING THE COMPLETION OF INVESTIGATIONS.

THE SHOULD BOTH (ALONG WITH RICE, RUMSFELD, GONZALEZ, ROVE, LIBBY, MEYERS (all military leaders)SPEND THE REST OF THEIR NATURAL LIVES IN A HIGH SECURITY PRISON, BEING POKED AND PRODDED, PSYCHOANALYZED AND DOCUMENTED AS TO HOW HUMAN BEINGS CAN BECOME SUCH MASTERMIND SOCIOPATHS.

NEVER AGAIN!!! IMPEACHMENT NOW. IF THEIR CRIMES ARE NOT WRITTEN INTO THE "OFFICIAL" HISTORY...THEY DIDN'T HAPPEN...AND ALL THE BOOKS, ARTICLES THAT HAVE BEEN WRITTEN DOCUMENTING THEIR CRIMES WILL BE LEFT AS PURE SPECULATION.

IMPEACHMENT SAYS, "WE'RE SORRY!" TO THE WORLD, FROM AMERICANS WHO SLEPT THROUGH THEIR GOVERNMENT'S DESTRUCTION AND A COUP PROBABLY ONLY EQUALLED BY HITLER.

WE NOW KNOW THAT 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB. THE MOST HORRIFIC ACT OR HORROR AND DECEPTION PERPETRATED ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THE WORLD BY THE U.S. PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT. THE MEDIA MAY NOT BREACH THIS DECEPTION, BUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE KNOW THE TRUTH NOW.

EVERY DAY THAT PELOSI KEEPS IMPEACHMENT "OFF THE TABLE" MAKES HER...AND EVERY MAN AND WOMAN IN CONGRESS... AN ACCOMPLICE TO MURDER, TREASON, WAR CRIMES, TORTURE, THIEVERY, THE VERY DESTRUCTION OF OUR CONSTITUTION, WHICH BUSH AND CHENEY HAVE DONE A GOOD JOB OF RELEGATING TO, AS BUSH HAS SAID, "A GODDAMNED PIECE OF PAPER!"

EVERY DAY THAT THE CORPORATOCRACY MEDIA DENIES THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THE TRUTH, THE BLOOD OF AND TORTURE OF EVERY HUMAN BEING VICTIMIZED BY THIS ADMINISTRATION...IS ON YOUR HANDS.

Posted by: lucille.moye | June 27, 2007 07:56 AM

This excellent series should receive every commendation. Chilling reading, brilliant journalism, you have restored my faith in American investigative and political reportage. Surely impeachment cannot be far away.

Posted by: vsjstudy | June 27, 2007 10:15 AM

This excellent series should receive every commendation. Chilling reading, brilliant journalism, you have restored my faith in American investigative and political reportage. Surely impeachment cannot be far away.

Posted by: vsjstudy | June 27, 2007 10:15 AM

Nattan Stratton :

Attack on Iran, if any, I would highly suspect it would take place before the elections should the republicans, much by instigation and to joy of neocons, feel threatened and therefore needing a boost in polls and opinions.

Having said that, I pray Mr. Cheney realizes while his intent for the US,while personally profiting immensely too, to secure its hands on world's second largest oil reserves is not going well, he contends
himself with the current fiasco he is significantly responsible for, rather than embarking on a new one. For Iran is no Iraq., Vietnam or any other ordinary foes the US has had to encounter either unjustifiably or otherwise so far.
As much as there are some discontents back in Iran, the US will find out the hard way the consequences of an unprovoked attack on Iran whose population is and has successfully proved in the past to be a fiercly anti foreign intervention and invaders and will offer an unmatched resistance in face of a US attack and in a way that US will think twice in future before venturing out more than twenty miles from its shores again,
for a considerable time in future.
I sincerely hope the Vice president heard the Iranian defense minister loud and clear when he said recently "if the US attacks it will be Iran who will finish it"
Fred, Bos

Posted by: frft5 | June 27, 2007 01:00 PM

i just believe it this president cannot be removed from his post and the vice president should be held accountable for lying to the peoples and the congress why they the congress impeach him out of office how stupid this peoples are to let it go this far what they are waiting for a another 9 11 to take place get rid of bush and his croonies and hold him and father accountable for the innocent peoples lives they have taken like saddam

Posted by: vm5162003 | June 27, 2007 03:23 PM

Harlodvick, USAF retired :

They certainly did.
And not only that but deemed irrelevant, the loss of Six to Seven hundred thousand Iraqi lives and counting, more than Four million of them displaced and counting and needless to mention the dissovereitization of a nation with such an ancient history,
when they went in by immediately starting to build sixteen to eighteen Airfields and numerous other military compounds to permenantly establish themselves till the last drop of the Three letter word is extracted before the last soldier would pack up.
Fred, Bos

Posted by: frft5 | June 27, 2007 05:34 PM

I am truly sorry for the people of the United States. I am a veteran and have always prided myself on being a patriot and so proud of my country. Today, I am not proud of how far we have fallen. I just wish that it was true that the politicians did work for us the public. If it was true I would fire them on the spot!!!

Posted by: rock-nutt | June 27, 2007 06:13 PM

Cheney has had four heart attacks, has a cardiac defibrillator, congestive heart failure, and has had several cardiovascular occlusions impeding blood flow to the brain. There is cognitive impairment associated with these medical conditions as well as the medications needed to keep him alive. Why is this not being discussed in more depth?

Posted by: mcafla | June 28, 2007 05:49 AM


This is one more thing that prove that Chaney, has the character of a drug dealer. He's don't care for life or the law.

Posted by: mpaul | June 28, 2007 11:14 AM

To the Bushies who say Cheney has kept us safe since 9/11: I would rather die at the hands of terrorists than lose my freedoms. Choosing to give up your freedoms to be "safe" is cowardly and un-American.
jc.

Posted by: derekharvie | June 28, 2007 12:40 PM

Very interesting! The first thing that I noticed is that you say that it is lore that Cheney functions as a shadow president and then you go on to illustrate how Cheney, not G. Bush is not only influencing, but creating policy.

After reading this I more afraid about the climate in this country than before

Posted by: allen_phyllis | June 28, 2007 02:13 PM

Very interesting! The first thing that I noticed is that you say that it is lore that Cheney functions as a shadow president and then you go on to illustrate how Cheney, not G. Bush is not only influencing, but creating policy.

After reading this I more afraid about the climate in this country than before

Posted by: allen_phyllis | June 28, 2007 02:14 PM

This is almost the standard of journalism that made me look forward to the Post each day from 1968, when I arrived, until a few years ago. I seriously considered subscribing to the New York Times for awhile. I am enthused again.

Posted by: jalee | June 28, 2007 08:57 PM

Okay, we impeached a president for lying about a sexual act in front of a grand jury. Why are we not pursuing every single one of these characters for gross violation of US laws and international treaties? What skeletons are still hiding in the closets of those who are refusing to take this mess on as a matter of defending the Constitution to which they have all sworn an oath to uphold?

Posted by: revruthucc | June 28, 2007 10:41 PM

What happened to my comment of July 2nd
2007. I can't find it the comments only go to june28th

Posted by: glgswd | July 2, 2007 10:20 PM

if only Americans would have defended their votes, America would now have a courageous Al Gore as president.

Posted by: robe1 | July 3, 2007 11:42 AM

It become more and more clear why so many federal employees, particularly Defense Department employees have found themselves in the position of being accidental whistleblowers just for standing up and trying to ethically do their jobs! It also explains a lot of the thuggery done to these people to ruin their lives and careers. For more details of some whistleblowers experiences, see http://whistleblowersupport.blogstream.com

Posted by: rcvb | July 3, 2007 09:02 PM

Through history, folks like the Kahns, the Huns and the Biserkers all treated their horses with kindness because that was where their butts were sitting! This didn't change their essential evilness. So Cheney doesn't beat his wife! Hitler married his mistress and treated her with respect also.

Posted by: watersmdw6 | July 4, 2007 02:36 PM

Unmentioned in the comments I have read, and not a part of the series, is the abject failure of other administration officials -- Ashcroft, Powell, Rice, etc. -- to make any public statement. They were shocked, shocked! at being bypassed and ignored by the vice president for decisions and policies within their areas of responsibility, yet took no stand. Rather, they allowed Cheney's treason to continue. Why did they not resign and state openly and plainly their reasons? Doing so would be an act of principle, but principle is something foreign to this administration.

Posted by: kmjx | July 5, 2007 02:35 AM

The Presidential order you included in your article reads much like the "Legal Bulletin of the Reich No. 17" published in Berlin on February 28, 1933, together with the orders on the use of "Protective Custody" The full text can be read in the book: Concentration Camp Dachau,
by Barbara Distel and Ruth Jakusch

Posted by: m_warzone | July 5, 2007 05:42 PM

The order that President issued reads much like the Third Reich. Notice the similarity.

LEGAL BULLETIN OF THE REICH No. 17
(Originally from Berlin, Germany February 28, 1933)

Presidential Order for the Protection of the State and People:
In accordance with Articles of the Constitution of the Reich the following has been ordered as protection
against Subversive Activities which represent a Danger to the State and it's people.
Part 1:
Certain Articles of the Constitution are NOW INVALID UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE:
A) RESTRICTIONS on the Freedom of the Individual, the Right to Free Speech,
including Freedom of the Press and the Right of Assembly and to Form Groups,
infringements on the Secrecy of the Post, Telegraph, E-Mail, Telephone Communications,
House searches, Confiscation of Property Ownership over and above previously
specified limitations, ARE NOW PERMISSIBLE.

B) The Government is Authorized to take over Provisional Control of States in order
to implement the measures necessary to ensure the reestablishment of Public Order
and Security.

C) In accordance with "B" ALL STATE AND MUNICIPAL AUTHORITIES are to respect
the Sovereignty of the government of the Reich.
D) Any individuals or subsidiaries who Obstruct the Execution of the Orders or those
who encourage or incite such Opposition will be sentenced to Severe Punishment
under existing regulations. Those who endanger human life by their Opposition will
be sentenced to Penal Servitude, or in extenuating circumstances to term of imprisonment,
and those who cause LOSS OF LIFE will be sentenced to DEATH. In addition, the
confiscation of personal property can be ordered.

E) The following crimes are to be punishable by DEATH or with LIFE LONG PENAL SERVITUDE:
Crimes which in the existing penal code are punishable by life imprisonment including:
High Treason, poisoning, arson, causing an explosion ,flooding, damaging railway installations, airports and large scale damage shall now be punishable by Death.
1: Those who attempt to Assassinate a member/deputy of the Reich or those who encourage,
aid and abet or conspire with other persons to carry out such an attempt.

2: Those who incite or Riot or cause a Severe Breach of Public Peace, make or use fire arms or
Deliberately and knowingly negotiate with Armed Persons.

3: Those who rob a person of his/her freedom with the intent to use him/her as a Political Hostage
in their Political Struggle.

(REGULATIONS ON PROTECTIVE CUSTODY WILL BE ADDRESSED IN OUR NEXT ACTION)

THIS DECREE TAKES AFFECT FROM THE DATE OF IT'S PROCLAMATION.


SIGNED: Berlin, February 28, 1933

President:Von Hindenburg
Chancellor: Adolf Hitler
The Minister of the Interior: Wilhelm Frick
The Minister of Justice: Dr. Gurtner

Posted by: m_warzone | July 5, 2007 06:16 PM

Those who are not familiar with Google Earth and other satellite photo sites will be interested to know that on the high quality photography of the Washington, DC area you can see high resolution images of the White House, the CIA, Congress, the National Security Agency and the Pentagon, but if you scroll up Massachusetts Avenue to Observatory Circle you will find intentional blurring of everything inside the Circle, which is of course the location of Vice President Cheney's house. Talk about "undisclosed locations"!

Elsewhere you can also find clear images of Minuteman ICBM sites, strategic bomber bases, nuclear weapons storage sites, communications sites and communications intercept sites, the infamous "Area 51--all there to see, measure, interpret. But the Vice President's mansion is obviously far more secret! (and why does Google do this? Has its high command been intimidated by Cheney's goons--but not by anyone else)?

Posted by: capeann1 | July 7, 2007 08:59 AM

The only people in the entire country - apart from the fringe Republicans - who are clueless and in need of an in-depth report on the machinations of this lunatic are you people of the press. What he is, what he stands for, and how he operates have been obvious to the rest of us going on a couple of years now. Too bad you were sitting on your fat behinds for so long. We could have used you a few years ago when you were cheerleading this band of outlaws.

Posted by: rbe1 | July 16, 2007 01:08 PM

How difficult is it to be the most influential vp in history when the one being influenced is a monkey ?

Posted by: rbe1 | July 16, 2007 02:43 PM

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