The Washington Post's Cheney Series.

The remarkable thing about the WaPo Angler series on Cheney is that it is designed to make everyone, Left, Right and Center, hate Cheney.

He is blamed for military commissions, warrantless wiretaps, violating the Geneva conventions, promoting torture and black sites. He’s blamed for killing fish, gutting the environment, snowmobiles in National Parks, Yucca Mountain and shafting the EPA for his energy producer friends.

Then, to make sure Republicans are on board, he is blamed for pushing the courts too hard (“turned tactical victory into strategic defeat”, “setting precedents that will bind Bush’s successors”), tricking the President on military tribunals, shafting Ashcroft and Powell, turning Gonzales and Meirs into pawns, deliberately chasing Jim Jeffords from the GOP (and thus losing the majority), backstabbing Greenspan, O’Neill and Evans (to get his captial gains tax relief, thus creating the budget deficits). And he protected William Jefferson (the Dem caught with $90K in his freezer) from the wheels of justice, for unknown reasons.

Continued after the jump.

In case you’re still not on board, he is secretive, manipulative, a bully, a backstabber and uses techniques Stalin would have been proud of (stacking the cabinet, putting plants in the OMB, intercepting WH communications, inviting himself to meetings, filtering everything the President hears). Oh yeah, and being so cold and unemotional that he had no reaction to the 2nd plane hitting the World Trade Center, and was unconcerned at the loss of life in the Columbia shuttle incident. His tentacles stretch so far, he can get the National Academy of Science to cook their studies. Plus he has no problem reaching far into someone else’s turf and badgering their underlings to do his bidding in secret.

Add to that the truly remarkable list of people who are quoted on the record (Mary Matalin, Josh Bolten, John Yoo, James Baker, John Ashcroft, Karl Rove among the more recognizable names) from a White House that specializes in secrecy and off the record discussions, and you have to ask “Who is behind this?” I mean Woodward had to kiss WH ass for 2 books before he got enough access to either dish the dirt or come to his senses (I vote for the latter).

Bush is whitewashed. Instead of being portrayed as an idiot who doesn’t know when he’s being played, we get this quote: “…the president thinks that the Reagan style of leadership is best — guiding the ship of state from high up on the mast.” We learn of Bush’s “‘compassionate conservative’ resistance to multiple breaks for the wealthy”; that Cheney’s insistence (and trickery in getting) capital gains tax relief instead of the dividend tax relief that Bush wanted has been a major contributer to the current deficits.

Interestingly, both Gonzales and Meirs are pretty much tossed under the bus with Cheney – both are shown tricking Bush into signing things that Cheney wanted but Bush was worried about.

John Yoo is partially exonerated (it was really Addington and Flanigan who came up with that torture stuff, Yoo just gave them theoretical advice), but I’d guess that was the price of gettin him on record.

Theodore B. Olson comes out like a saint, which could mean that this is an intervention by Daddy and his grown up friends. But you wouldn’t have Matalin, Bolten and Rove on record without George W’s permission.

An interesting puzzle. And with subpoenas flying and phantom branches of government appearing and disappearing, I think it’s a story with some important ramifications.

The series: (Part one) (Part two) (Part three) (Part four).

The agonist stories: (here) (and here)

A different analysis.

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  • is a man in his own right.
    He does what his corporate sponsorses tell him what to do.

    repressive governments mix administrative clumsiness & inefficiency with authoritarian tendencies.

  • and then other parts are bs. Cheney is actually milder than bush on matters like homosexuality (with a lesbian for a daughter), stem-cell research, and other social matters. Bush came into office without a clue about the workings of the bigger world out there. Cheney and his group did dictate matters of foreign policy. They kept bush in a bubble, (which wasn’t difficult, when you consider he doesn’t even read the newspaper) and fed him what they wanted him to hear.

    I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but I think that in spite of himself, bush has learned a thing or two in the last six years and is becoming a problem for his handlers. Just traveling to other countries and discovering that the people and places are real will have that effect on a person. Hence we have Condi trying her hand at dimplomacy.

    Course the damage is done and we’re dealing with bush’s new reality now, so my hopes aren’t high.

    Cheney unbridled=we already attacked Iran.

    I can almost hear his teeth grind.

    At some point Cheney probably does fall on his own sword for the team, but there’s more where he came from–plenty more.

    I’ve read references from no less than Bob Woodward warning of the “secret government”. At one recent commencement speech, Woodward asked that the lights be turned on. He surveyed the room and then issued his warning. Beware of the secret government. Then again. Beware of the secret government. Not some conspiracy theorist cookoo here. A man with facts at his disposal and afraid for his life. Makes me wonder what else he knows.

    I did inhale.

  • This accusation has flown since Wilson first admitted such a thing. Eisenhower did the same. The question is just who is the secret government? Theories range from banking or energy cartels to a group of reptiles from outer space. Is the secret government always the same group or do they trade-off power?

    Woodward’s ominous warning sounds more like it was made for dramatic effect than information. Come on Bob! If you’re going to drop little bombs like that, let us in on the secret!

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