Torture Deal? Keep Your Powder Dry. . .Vice President Cheney’s Power May Be on the Rise Again


The White House and various Congressional watchers are suggesting that a deal has been forged that accepts John McCain’s language that Americans and their agents will not engage in torture or inhuman treatment of prisoners. But no one really knows the legislative details, and even Congressman Duncan Hunter has said that lots still needs to be worked out.
I don’t trust Vice President Cheney on this front — and nervous rumors are leaking out of the White House and State Department that Vice President Cheney’s supposed “containment” by Bush was a ruse, or at least was just temporary.
Some are suggesting that Cheney and his people are back — and that he has even sent word out on one front that “diplomacy with North Korea will be suspended.” Rice may not yield to Cheney, but what is important to note is that some of those who thought that the Libby indictment and combination of bad news items crippling the White House had harmed Cheney’s status are now reversing themselves. At a minimum, they are talking less definitively about Cheney’s downfall.
The New America Foundation and I are hosting a small dinner tonight at Washington’s Cosmos Club with Lawrence Wilkerson, former State Department Chief of Staff, and I’m sure that this topic will come up. I’ll report back if anything new comes to the surface.
More later.
— Steve Clemons