Cheney Lurking: Caught on Tape

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cheneyshrub.jpg
This is just amusing. Catch C-Span’s creative “visual” commentary on Cheney’s role in Bush’s world.
Is Cheney just lurking behind the scenes, scripting the President’s moves? Or, is Cheney just in the doghouse and scared of getting too close to the President? Or was he just eavesdropping?
Brad DeLong keeps insisting that they all work for the Czar — which they do — but that just doesn’t capture the whole story.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

29 comments on “Cheney Lurking: Caught on Tape

  1. Kathleen says:

    Darth is there in the shadows, as President of the Shadow Gov’t,
    Remember the old radio program, The Shadow? It began with the question,”Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of man? The Shadow knows.
    Darth visually in the background was “subliminal” for “I’m in back of everything.”
    And you can bet he is.

    Reply

  2. pauline says:

    Today’s Must Read
    By Paul Kiel – April 6, 2007, 8:53 AM
    For Vice President Cheney’s lies and distortions to be exposed is common. But it’s a rare satisfaction for them to be thrown back in his face on the same day.
    Yesterday, Cheney, in an interview with Rush Limbaugh, again touted a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda, saying:
    …remember Abu Musab al Zarqawi, a Jordanian terrorist, al Qaeda affiliate; ran a training camp in Afghanistan for al Qaeda, then migrated — after we went into Afghanistan and shut him down there, he went to Baghdad, took up residence there before we ever launched into Iraq; organized the al Qaeda operations inside Iraq before we even arrived on the scene, and then, of course, led the charge for Iraq until we killed him last June…. This is al Qaeda operating in Iraq. And as I say, they were present before we invaded Iraq.
    Now, as with nearly every Cheney statement, this is about three distortions rolled into one big lie. The three distortions: Zarqawi did not organize operations for Al Qaeda prior to the invasion, in fact, he did not affiliate himself with al Qaeda until 2004; prior to the 2003 invasion, he was in the northern Kurdish portion of Iraq, outside of Saddam Hussein’s control, not Baghdad; and there’s no evidence of collusion between Zarqawi and Hussein. (A bonus fourth distortion might be the fact that the U.S. reportedly had a prime chance to kill Zarqawi before the invasion, but chose not to — some say because his presence in Iraq provided justification for the war.) But the big lie is that Iraq and Al Qaeda were allies and co-conspirators.
    It just so happens that something else happened yesterday: Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) released a declassified version of the Defense Department’s Inspector General’s report on Doug Feith’s intel shop at the Pentagon, the one tasked with finding a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda in the runup to the war. And the report shows that not only did the Intelligence Community speak with one voice before the war that there was no evidence of a significant relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda, but they were right. From The Washington Post:
    …the inspector general’s report, in a footnote, commented that it is “noteworthy . . . that post-war debriefs of Sadaam Hussein, [former Iraqi foreign minister] Tariq Aziz, [former Iraqi intelligence minister Mani al-Rashid] al Tikriti, and [senior al-Qaeda operative Ibn al-Shaykh] al-Libi, as well as document exploitation by [the Defense Intelligence Agency] all confirmed that the Intelligence Community was correct: Iraq and al-Qaida did not cooperate in all categories” alleged by Feith’s office.
    From these sources, the report added, “the terms the Intelligence Community used to describe the relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida were validated, [namely] ‘no conclusive signs,’ and ‘direct cooperation . . . has not been established.’ ”
    http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/002961.php

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  3. kofu says:

    For what it’s worth, the simplest explanation is that Cheney has to keep his distance from Bush so the two of them can’t be hit at once. The rest of it is spin, from all sides.
    The idea of remote control operating only by line of sight may get to why Cheney felt he had to be there. Bush’s little presentation was important to Cheney, and he had to be there to pick up the sort of details that are best perceived by those who are there in person.
    He didn’t intend to be caught on video. At least from the short snippet, it seems like the speech was staged for the TV press, and someone on staff screwed up by letting someone with a video camera take the shot from off to the side.

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  4. Pissed Off American says:

    Well, I think Wonkette has it right. The theory is that the remote control that Cheney uses to make Bush’s mouth move only operates by line of sight.

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  5. aegfgfgf says:

    This is just a variation on the comment “Just making sure shrub doesn’t improvise” above. But, yes, I did theorize that he was there to glower in Bush’s sightline to make sure that Bush didn’t waiver from the Cheney agenda. I would actually bet that Bush has considered firing Cheney and Cheney has threatened Bush with revealing a lot of what Cheney knows about the administration.

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  6. Matthew says:

    Memo to Patrick Briley: You need to take the tin foil off you head if it keeps causing you to believe that the Bush Administration listens to CAIR.
    Been to Quantanamo lately?

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  7. Palolo lolo says:

    Just making sure shrub doesn’t improvise

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  8. Christian says:

    He better be careful. The rustling in the brush might be mistaken for quail, and some elderly, heavily medicated and beer’d up would-be gentleman shooter might wheel around and empty two chambers of birdshot into his face.
    If that elderly hack shot was the kind of idiot who fancied himself Lincoln managing a bunch of McLellans in Gulf War I because he watched some goddamned Ken Burns pbs films, and suggested asinine things like dropping the 82nd Airborne miles from anywhere without support in the western desert, it might even be worse.
    He might be the kind of guy to make the man with the face full of birdshot apologize for being in the way.

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  9. RonK, Seattle says:

    That is creepy, on more than one level.
    Only a matter of time before clever video-hacks have Cheney lurking in other contexts, past, present and future … and extraterrestrial.

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  10. Matthew says:

    Steve: The Wingnuts are just engaging in reverse psychology. They want Democrats to believe that the more we point out that “George Bush’s War” is a catastrophe, the more the voters (who already share that view) will “punish” Democrats.
    Let the Wingnuts keep peddling that tripe. It brings to mind Mencken’s observation about democracy: Democracy is the system of giving people what they want, and they deserve to get it good and hard.

    Reply

  11. pauline says:

    Richard W. Crews wrote:
    “I am in no way demeaning “The Washington Note”, but if Patrick Briley is sitting on such hot info, why is he broadcasting at an Internet posting comments?”
    A lot of people may want to know that. Ask and post his response — if any.
    He shows pbriley@yahoo.com as his number.

    Reply

  12. Richard W. Crews says:

    I am in no way demeaning “The Washington Note”, but if Patrick Briley is sitting on such hot info, why is he broadcasting at an Internet posting comments?
    I believe a fundementalist is a fundementalist, a right-winger is elemental, and we have them here. Arabs do not have a monopoly.
    Plenty of people in this country are capable of that bombing; capable in all ways: morally, intellectually (meaning know-how), politically, and logistically.
    It happened with the extreme American Left ( the Weatherman/people) in the late 60’s, but they were quickly alienated. Not over 100 people of the Left went that far.
    The American Left is NOT about violence or anarchy. Most of us are dissatisfied pragmatic Democrats.

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  13. pauline says:

    Maybe Cheney looks depressed because he just read Briley’s latest article?
    OKC BOMBING LEGACY: MORE ISLAMIC TERROR ATTACKS
    Patrick Briley
    newswithviews.com/Briley/Patrick40.htm
    April 4, 2007
    On April 19, 1995 at 9:01 am, 169 people were murdered and 800 people were injured when the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (OKC), was bombed.
    The OKC bombing was a failed federal sting operation that was, and still is, being covered up by federal officials and bureaucrats. Federal officials had their own prior warnings because of intelligence they had gathered from informants and provocateurs that the FBI and CIA had planted in collaborating domestic and foreign groups, both Islamic and non Islamic.
    Evidence shows that the Islamic terrorists involved in the OKC bombing were under the umbrella of the Muslim Brotherhood supported by Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Syria and belonging to Hamas, AlQaeda, AlFuqra, AlFatah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Some of the Islamic terrorists involved in the OKC bombing and known to the FBI are still operating in the OKC area, and have developed an “Underground Railroad” for carrying out another attack in the U.S. for AlQaeda and Hezbollah.
    Some of the Islamic and domestic informants and provocateurs used by the FBI and CIA were also involved in the 1993 WTC and 9/11 attacks. The FBI and CIA had used many of these same informants and provocateurs before- during one or more now well known U. S. covert operations: backing of Nicaraguan rebels during Iran Contra, fighting the Soviets with U. S. trained mujahidin members, and transferring of U.S. WMDS to Iraq and Iran during the Iran-Iraq war.
    As established in chapters of my new book “The Oklahoma City Bombing Case Revelations”…”men associated with one or more of these same BCCI [Bank of Credit and Commerce], mujahidin, US WMD transfers to Iraq, Iran Contra operations were also involved in the OKC bombing case including Iraqis Ishan and Heidar Barbouti, Mujahid[in] Menepta, Roger Moore, David Hollaway, Terry Lenzner, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, DNI [Director of National Intelligence] John Negroponte and Senator Orrin Hatch.”
    Why is the U.S. government protecting known terrorists here in the U.S.?
    In 1996 the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Orin Hatch scheduled, then delayed, and then called off hearings that would have exposed the FBI and CIA failures and foreknowledge and Islamic terror connections to the 1995 OKC and 1993 WTC bombings. The hearings, if they had been held, might have also made 9/11 less likely. See this May 2003 article by CBS News, I repeatedly contacted Senator Hatch’s office in 1995 urging Hatch and his staff member Ashley Disque to hold hearings on the OKC bombing.
    In 2006, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, as Chairman of the House International Relations Subcommittee on Investigations, scheduled and then called off hearings for the OKC bombing that would have further exposed the FBI and CIA and foreknowledge and Islamic terror connections to the 1993 WTC, 1995 OKC bombings and 9/11 attacks. Rohrabacher instead issued a deficient report around Christmas 2006.
    The behavior by Hatch and Rohrabacher to schedule and then call off hearings relating to the OKC bombing was not a coincidence. These hearings would have risked exposing Rohrabacher’s and Hatch’s personal, on-going involvement with Pakistani, Hezbollah and Saudi Islamic backers of mujahidin members fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan who now have became blow back terrorist groups, AlQaeda and Taliban, operating against the U.S. These hearings would also have exposed Rohrabacher’s and Hatch’s involvement with the Pakistani and CIA backed BCCI bank used to funnel money to the mujahidin, the Nicaraguan rebels during Iran Contra, and to Iraqi agents Ishan Barbouti and Ramzi Yousef for transfers of U.S. WMDS to Iraq and Iran in the late 1980s.
    While Hatch was BCCI’s mouthpiece, BCCI was also at the center of a worldwide scandal involving drug money laundering, arms trafficking and support of Islamic terrorists. Bill McCollum of Florida stated in 1991 that there were indications that Orrin Hatch’s BCCI contact, Mohammed Hammoud, helped finance Hezbollah, the Islamic terrorist group backed by Iran.
    Rohrabacher’s Islamic extremist friend, Khaled Saffuri, a former director of the American Muslim Council (AMC), has coordinated contributions to Rohrabacher’s re-election campaigns from Muslim donors. Some of these donors, such as Abdulrahman Alamoudi and Sammy AlArian, backed Hamas and Hezbollah terror groups and today are under federal indictment or in federal prison on terrorism-related charges. There was a raid on an OKC mosque believed associated with the OKC bombing looking for Sammy AlArian and/or his associate, Ramadan Sallah, who is now working for Hezbollah in Syria. See the 2004 story, “Dana Rohrabacher’s Troubling [Terrorist] Friends,” by Ken Timmerman.
    Even though Rohrabacher and Hatch defend their involvement in U.S. covert operations, it is not excusable for them to call off hearings that would likely result in action against known FBI, CIA and State Department protected informants and provocateurs involved in those covert operations but who have turned against the US, were involved in the 1993 WTC, 1995 OKC and 9/11 attacks and are now helping AlQaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah AlFuqra and Islamic Jihad terror groups in the U.S. and around the world.
    Full hearings would also expose the fact that Rohrabacher and the former U. S. ambassador to the Philippines, John Negroponte, had advanced warning details of plots for the OKC bombing and 9/11 style attack.
    A Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. State Department has yielded an “UNCLASSIFIED” document (transcripts) showing in part what Rohrabacher knew when he held talks April 22-24, 1995, just three days after the OKC bombing, in the Philippines with Philippine President Ramos and Philippine National Security Director Almonte.
    Rohrabacher was Vice Chairman of the House Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare when he held talks in the Philippines. The talks transcripts confirm that Rohrabacher already knew much about the Philippine Abu Sayef terror cell, its members Ramzi Yousef, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abdul Murad, the 1993 WTC bombing, meetings with Terry Nichols plotting the OKC bombing, and even the 9/11 style plot, certainly by April 22, 1995, if not much earlier. Transcript excerpts are presented in my book. Before the OKC bombing, Rohrabacher already had the benefit of intelligence information contained in House Task Force staff memos from Josef Bodansky warning that Islamic terrorists associated with the 1993 WTC bombing who were plotting an attack on the Murrah Federal Building and other federal buildings.
    John Negroponte had been monitoring the Abu Sayef cell of Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Mohammed in 1994 through early 1995, with members of the FBI, CIA and DIA according to Sam Karmilowicz, the senior U.S. State Department security officer at the U.S. Philippine embassy. Counterpunch published an interview “Ex-State Department Security Officer Charges Pre-9/11 Cover-Up” in March 2006 with Sam Karmilowicz who asserted John Negroponte gained knowledge of the 9/11 style plot while Negroponte was U.S. ambassador to the Philippines from 1993 to 1996. While at the NSC, Negroponte, like Hatch and Rohrabacher, had been directly involved in BCCI, in Iran Contra, with the U.S. backed mujahidin operation and with the transfers of U.S WMDS to Iran and Iraq.
    Today, elected and bureaucratic officials are protecting Islamic extremists in the U.S for more reasons than covering up failed operations with Islamic extremists.
    An Islamic suspect in the OKC bombing, Pakistani Mujeeb Cheema, is the Director of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). NAIT is a Saudi Wahhabist terrorist organization controlling mosques in the U.S. that were visited by many of the 9/11 hijackers. An Arab informant, Hanni Kamal, told the OKC police and FBI in 1995 and 1996 that Mujeeb Cheema worked with Dr. Samir Khalil. Dr. Khalil is a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and was the employer of the Iraqi suspect who helped McVeigh, Al Husseini, who also sued KFORTV.
    Cheema may be protected because his employer, Hawkins Oil and Hawkins Energy, was controlled before the OKC bombing by not only Clinton confidant Terry Lenzner but also by the Who�s Who of U.S. clandestine operations: the National Security Council (NSC), CIA, DOD and Presidential personal assistants who ran operations with the Pakistani based BCCI, Iran Contra, the mujahidin, and transfers of U.S. WMDS to Iraq. Hawkins Energy runs a huge gas fired energy center between Iran and Pakistan. See my book for more details.
    Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees have complained that their Director, Michael Chertoff, is hamstringing counter-terror operations with pro-Islamic political correctness. Chertoff has told officials in memos not to describe Islamic terrorism as Islamic and to respect Islam as a “religion of peace.” From Chertoff’s ‘Islam PC’ rankles fed officials: “It’s constantly drilled into us that Islam is not the enemy, and that the terrorists are merely a minority of ‘extremists’ distorting Islam,” said one official who wished to go unnamed.
    Last year the IG of DHS, Clark Kent Irvine reported that FBI Director Robert Mueller refused to move against 1000 known AlQaeda members in the U.S. on a list provided by the CIA. FBI Director Robert Mueller wrongly claimed the AlQaeda members had not yet committed crimes. See London plot not Osama’s encore;
    In 2006 Mueller took OK FBI agents off investigations of Islamic terror groups involved in the OKC bombing who are running criminal enterprises such as drug trafficking, tax evasion, money laundering, and raising money for terror organizations by using property and insurance scams.
    U.S. and European Union (EU.) officials are using the same script to cloak Islamic terrorists. From EU guidebook: Don’t link Islam with terror: “A classified European Union handbook advises government spokesmen not to link Islam and terrorism in their statements, banning words such as ‘jihad’, ‘Islamic’ or ‘fundamentalist.'”
    Pro Islam posturing by our leaders will not protect our children from predicted attacks on public schools in the US by known Islamic terrorists being hired but not screened as bus drivers, janitors, maintenance workers and delivery people. Intelligence reports show Islamic terrorists are training for school attacks and have detailed maps of our schools.
    CAIR and AMC are now trying to use the federal courts to silence and terrorize the American people. The situation has gotten so bad that Republican Representative Steve Pearce of New Mexico has had to introduce legislation [HOUSE BILL 1640] to protect anonymous (“John Doe”) citizens who report suspicious Islamic terror behavior from legal liability. Pearce’s legislation was prompted by CAIR filing a lawsuit against the citizens who had Muslim clerics removed from a Minnesota flight in November 2006 after their intentionally provocative behavior alarmed passengers and crewmembers.
    Pearce’s legislation is needed so citizens can continue to report activities that might endanger them and their children. The public should report suspicious Islamic terror activity as I urged in my recent article Protection from Shootings, Vehicular Run Downs.
    OKC eyewitnesses and members of the intelligence community continue to be ignored when they go to the FBI with reliable reports of currently active Islamic terror individuals and cells involved in the OKC bombing. Will the legacy of the OKC bombing be even more, but preventable, Islamic terror attacks because federal officials will not take proper action on reliable reports about Islamic terror network activities just to appease Islamic terror fronts like CAIR and the AMC?
    2007 Patrick Briley – All Rights Reserved
    —————————————
    Patrick Briley is a Navy Viet Nam era veteran who served on a Polaris ballistic missile nuclear submarine patrol in the Pacific. His Polaris submarine patrol in far East Asia near China was historically significant and exceptionally dangerous.
    His Naval service was from 1968 to 1976 during the Viet Nam era. He was a battalion commander of his Naval ROTC unit and a Midshipman on board the ballistic missile submarine, SSBN 624, the Woodrow Wilson. He was chosen to serve under Admiral Rickover as a project engineer at Naval Reactors near Washington DC. Patrick Briley started research and investigation into terrorist attacks after the Oklahoma City bombing.
    Patrick submitted his findings concerning the OKC bombing and the 9-11 attacks in briefings to high-level staff for the Senate Judiciary and Senate and House Intelligence committees, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, and the 9-11 Commission.

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  14. Gary says:

    The beginnings of senile dementia.

    Reply

  15. SmellaRat says:

    Terrorists, yes. But they’re OUR terrorists…

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  16. Mac says:

    Naughty, naughty C-span! Well, at least the cameraman’s bias was showing.

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  17. Mike says:

    I’m wondering, does the fact that Cheney silently encourages Pakistani guerrillas against Iran, who videotape executions and really are not much different from the insurgents we’re fighting, make Cheney a terrorist? Indeed, is Cheney a state sponsor of terrorism or the leader of the free world? Or has he not yet made up his mind?

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  18. erichwwk says:

    Actually, thanks *Ben* for
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/04/washington/04prexy.html
    And thanks David N for keeping impeaching the pair on the stove. To me the long term issue of obsolete clauses in our constitution MUST be addressed to keep the US viable.
    Impeachment is certainly one- it is FAR too unwieldy a mechanism for removing leaders whose continued exercise of power is detrimental – no firm or org would tolerate a leader running the institution into the ground.
    Secondly, we MUST find another mechanism to ensure an independent judiciary. We are ONE justice (John Paul Stevens, 87 in about 2 weeks) away from a permanent dictatorship. The same clause (article 2, sec. 2) that requires a supermajority of the Senate to confirm foreign treaties allows a simple majority for Supreme Court appointments.
    We cannot survive as a nation with decision making mechanisms that cumbersome and responsive to manipulation. As China and India pursues hydrocarbon rights by negotiation and foreign aid, we still pursue empire by military force and subversive government intervention. THAT is a fight we cannot win. Even Edwards (and Obama) don’t get it, replicating the Iraq fiasco in Iran, Kenya, Somalia, and the Sudan.

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  19. Marcia says:

    After McCain losing his marbles perhaps there is another mental victim in the fold. Cheney just wants to play hide and seek, jolly old boy that he is.

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  20. erichwwk says:

    Steve writes:
    Brad DeLong keeps insisting that they all work for the Czar — which they do — but that just doesn’t capture the whole story.
    So Steve….. expand on this when you get a chance, and give us your sense of “the rest of the story”.
    It seems to me that Cheney knows where too many bodies are buried to allow GWB much leeway to support breakaway factions. And to assert that he has enough knowledge/ experience to decide on his own seems to me not credible. Whatever, we think, GWB IS still USA President. If USA leadership is to have any meaning, verbal and official policy MUST come out of his mouth, whatever the origin.
    And thanks Daniel for the NY Times link!

    Reply

  21. David N says:

    My favorite answer to either-or questions is, both, of course.
    Bush sorta wants stuff, but he’s too stupid and lazy to work out how to get it done, and too disconnected to pay attention to getting it done.
    Cheney has his own agenda, but largely carries out the heavy lifting, through his cadre of minions — there is no better word — involved in getting things done. Cheney got the signing statements drafted, but Bush signed them happily, understanding that they were a way to do what he wanted without having to bother justifying it.
    There is no point in worrying about who is responsibile for what. They are joined at the hip, and pretty much support whatever the other wants. Cheney, because Bush got elected — or at least so say the justices — and Bush because he can’t be bothered.
    Thus, the idea of either impeaching both at once, or Cheney first and then Bush. Both must go, because both are criminals and both are responsible for their disastrous policies, both foreign and domestic. And both are guilty of violating their oaths of office.
    Thus, this whole question is a waste of time, and I look forward to reading the next eighty-seven posts on it.

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  22. hell's kitchen says:

    That scene is really weird. It’s like one of those spooky ghost movies, or may even a stalker movie.

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  23. bubba says:

    Once again, Cheney + Lurking = redundant.
    Verrrrry Interrresssting. Bot schtupid!

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  24. Daniel CAZ Greenberg says:

    You can almost see the mental bubble over his head.
    .oO(That press corps looks pretty quail-y from here.)

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  25. Dan Kervick says:

    Rasputin worked for a Czar also.

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  26. Zathras says:

    Vice President Cheney’s influence now appears to be exercised in two ways.
    One is through the large number of administration appointees who owe their jobs to him, and in paricular those who report directly to him. The Office of the Vice President remains substantially larger than it was in any previous administration. More than half the battle in Washington is having someone in the room, and Cheney still does far more than any of his predecessors (or all of them put together) did.
    The other way Cheney appears to exercise influence is through negative recommendations to the President. That is, he can block policies proposed at State or one of the other departments if the people proposing them have not taken care to create strong foundations of support for them. He does not appear any longer to be able to initiate major policy changes.
    This is certainly due in part to Donald Rumsfeld’s departure from the Pentagon. It may also be a factor of Cheney’s declining physical vigor. But an obvious consideration is the fact that many policy directions with which Cheney was closely associated have not worked out well. Even a very weak President, which I have always believed Bush is, will hesitate before again overruling his other subordinates to follow recommendations of his Vice President after so many public relations disasters.

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  27. daCascadian says:

    Mr. Cheney looked exasperated.
    Ahhhhhh, too bad.
    “…With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power…” – Henry Wallace

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  28. Mike says:

    Hey Steve, I was wondering. Since you’re in Washington, can you ask Cheney’s spokespeople what Cheney is doing secretly encouraging Pakistani militants who execute Iranian border guards on film? Is covertly sponsoring Pakistani militants now government policy?
    Perhaps Cheney can tell us about how Bush made covert sponsoring of terrorist groups into a “signing statement”?
    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N03282170.htm

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