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June 24, 2007

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Strange, isn't it, Marcy?

Why do people continue to read Bush's arrogant and self-deluded obstinance as if its firm leadership?

according to laura rozen's source's analysis - the paragraph that claims that cheney is not the shadow president was an editorial addition.

http://www.warandpiece.com/blogdirs/006337.html

I found it hard to read your post above without trying to apply Cheney's actions that are described to your recent posts regarding Cheney/Libby and the laundering of classified information in the Plame case.

"Which makes you wonder. Why is it that these people believe that Cheney is not the one leading? What about this portrait suggests Cheney is anything but a shadow President?"

Read what Laura Rozen wrote today: http://www.warandpiece.com/blogdirs/006337.html
A friend of hers points out that some passages in the article seemed to be written and inserted by editors at the last minute. The paragraph that you highlight at the beginning may be another instance of this editorial hand. It looks like they are passages that are meant to confuse and try to lessen the impact on Cheney....for whatever reason.

heh looks like selise and I have been reading the same sites today :)

How does Cheney ever find time to go hunting and shoot his friends in the face?

Right, dipper, when it's so much more fun for him to shoot all the rest of us in the back.

Have we apologized yet? Let's ask Nancy and Harry.

Just another data point to evaluate the wisdom (or lack thereof) in the Constitution as crafted, where the winner of the most electoral votes in the presidential race is president, and the second place finisher is VP.

Party politics and the promise of "efficient government" now combine #1 and #2 into a package - take it or leave it.

I cannot undertand why Pelosi and Reid insist that impeachment is off the table, when, there is one more a case that could arouse even Republicans (some of whom care about the Constitution, even if they care more about being elected) towards that end.They don't follow through! I am in deep despair about the future for my little grand-niece when all the markers for tyranny are right there, staring us in the face. How can Congress stand by and fail to respond to this crisis of government? Writing letters to Washington have accomplished no responses other than the pablum that Congress is "investigating." Well, let's put a name to that investigation, shall we? Let's call it an Impeachment Investigation!

Cheney having the intelligence portfolio, along with all these backchannels, only reinforces the notion that he and Libby knew Plame was covert in a hundred different ways.

Is there not any body in the world that this man has not "played like a fiddle." What a puppet master. He's not Darth Vader. He is Senator Palpatine.

It sure looks like the Plame Leak investigation only happened because Ashcroft's ego was wounded.

God bless his little ego.

margaret -- Pelosi has an inherent conflict of interest that prevents her from demanding the impeachment of both Cheney and Bush since she is third in line. However there is little to stop another Representative from making the call for impeachment; if they had a critical mass of co-sponsors and promised yea votes, Pelosi might have no choice but to go with the flow. The other option besides initiating impeachment proceedings within the House of Representatives is through state governments, and that's been stymied. Reid could call for impeachment, but he may be waiting until there is enough inconvertible evidence of criminal behavior that sways public sentiment firmly, to a point where it would be difficult not to support impeachment. But since impeachment behins in the House, Reid may not have a large role for now.

SaltinWound -- exactly what I was thinking, have been thinking for years. I suspect that Cheney actually met Plame during one of his unprecedented trips to Langley, but I don't have anything solid to support this. Makes it all the more likely that Cheney not only knew about Plame's status, but about her portfolio.

There are a whole host of interesting and remarkable things about that article, but the one that sums up the cause of our current predicament is this:

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.

I'm not sure that Taft even understands that for the cabal that designation isn't metaphoric but literal. So he and his ilk go on enabling the cabal to destroy our democracy because the ultimate aims are inconceivable to normal people. It's not just honest Republicans that are the cabal's enemies and don't know it.

The press is in the same situation (and apparently nothing that Jay Rosen says will ever wake them up).

The entire legislative branch, even the administration's most ardent supporters, are enemies, but very few even understand the "game" that's being played.

Anybody who stands in the way of the relentless pursuit of power is an enemy. These guys make Nixon look like a mere piker. They have an enemies list that includes over 70% of the American people.

I've been anticipating your thoughts and insights on this story all day...and you've delivered. I have nothing to add that you or other commenters already didn't note or point out about Cheney's style or assholedness...except for this.

YOu linked to a page of the cast of characters that will be mentioned as a part of this series I assue. I had only skimmed it earlier, but I went back and saw Rove's face there and this is what was captioned under it. I hadn't caught this earlier but it made me smile....Rove v. Cheney.

Karl Rove. Bush's chief political advisor. Many observers assumed it was Rove who was behind the reversal of a government decision to cut off irrigation water to Western farmers in favor of threatened species of fish. Cheney left no tracks.

Cheney even used Rove to cover his tracks and take the blame among the farmers. Also wonder what the timing was on that little event, before or after the Libby indictment. And what Rove's actual thoughts on the matter were..perhaps he agreed with Cheney, but either way at the very least Cheney hid behind Rove here. Anyway I had been wondering about the relationship Rove and Cheney might have had...especially being cut from the same cloth and all. Hope the upcoming series will touch more upon their relationship dynamics.

Rayne, I am aware of certain states initiating grass-roots efforts to impeach, or force Congress to impeach, but I live in a state where this is kind of action vitually unthinkable: Florida. I feel personally frustrated about the inaction of Congress on this score. Certainly, there is enough evidence to impeach right now, wouldn't you agree? So, what are they afraid of? The poll numbers about confidence in Congress are lower than the President's, for heaven's sake. I'm so tired of the media and "campaign coordinators" telling the world that the voters don't want Impeachment. I don't believe that the majority of citizens don't want this nightmare to end!

I wonder if, in all this, there might be a way to use this to turn Bush against Cheney. Does anyone think Bush will read the WaPo article? W is hyper-concerned about his place in history. If history decides that Cheney was really the driving force in W's administration, where does the president fit in, historically. If he gets the idea that history will see him as Cheney's puppet, what might his reaction to that be, now?

As welcome as it is to see front-page coverage of Cheney’s unconstitutional assertions of power, the WaPo damningly refuses to go where its information leads. In fact, it controverts its own evidence by claiming that Bush remains in charge and that Big Dick is just doing his bidness, which gives the heavily hyped WaPo series a troubling aura of being a pre-emptive strike against more damning revelations by others.

The WaPo doesn’t seem to know what to do with the inconsistencies of Bush and Cheney. It early on denies that Cheney is a shadow president, and links that to a description of Cheney's "impish sense of humor and unusual kindness to his subordinates". Huh? Hannibal Lecter was kind to Clarice, too, just not the census taker whose liver he ate with fava beans and a nice chianti.

The WaPo's claim that George Bush is in charge and that Cheney is just doing his business seems to confuse the cart with the horse because they move in tandem. Few would describe Bush’s behavior as that of the guy or gal in charge. Few would describe Cheney as an unwieldy but effective subordinate. He’s the guy who envisions, creates, defends and enforces his policies and prerogatives, often in insubordinate defiance of his president and his public statements, and in defiance of his president's chief subordinates who are fulfilling constitutional roles that the VP is not.

Are we to believe that Shrub “delegated” that authority? Or, should we use the common sense we use when eyeballing a friend's relationship with their boss or spouse, and conclude that Big Dick took that power because Shrub wasn’t and isn’t looking. Shrub has always been hampered by his poor self-esteem and inability to deal with the down side of being born into the elite – some of them really are smart over-achievers and he’s not. Nobody understands how to manipulate that better than Big Dick.

my too sense

I'll come back to this point later in the week, when WaPo publishes that part of the series.

But one of the things Waxman's committee focused closely on in its questioning of Ralston was that decision. Thing is, getting Rove's emails will only show who executed the policy, not who was behind it.

The Laura Rozen piece reminds us that no matter how many Dana Priests or Carol Leonnig's the WaPo employs, it's still owned by people who think Fred Hiatt's editorials are the right stuff.

Seems to me this also, in part, explains why Flanigan was loathe to appear for a nomination hearing and withdrew his name from consideration....

EW: Thank you for the sharp overview.

Ockham: Amen. The fact that should be dominating most agendas in DC now (and should have been doing so for over six years).

But any attempt to restore the pre-leak facade of side-by-side wing chairs, even a better-crafted attempt than the clumsy passages that the editor found, is just not going to be adequate to protect Cheney in the face of what looks like a fraudulent manipulation of the prescribed lines of counsel and authority in the executive branch.

Personally, I think that Bush was more than acquiescent in the scheme from the start, because of the deniability factor. It strikes me as the family style. (Interesting how the same structure also enables circumventing of potential roadblocks and dissenters. Bush always said he was a gambler.) But whether he was or wasn't complicit in front helps Cheney not at all, if he could be shown to have carried out acts, and even Bush himself not very much for indolently or knowingly allowing it.

I just glanced over at Rep. Kucinich's impeachment proposal. Perhaps he can now add more general fraud counts to it, or make specific reference to the military tribunal atrocity.

WaPo (as quoted by EW): "The Geneva Conventions would not apply to al-Qaeda or Taliban fighters captured on the battlefield."

Wow. Think about that for a minute.

Even if you accept the Administration's rationale that Al-Qaeda does not possess the rights of the Geneva Conventions (which kind of disregards the meaning of 'rights', but let's skip that for the sake of the argument), because they don't represent a state government, how do you apply that to the Taliban, who clearly represented the state government or former government of Afghanistan at that time?

These people are shameless.

At the risk of focusing on a bit of "inside baseball", what on earth does it mean that Brad Berenson, defender of the "loyal Bushies" at the DOJ and elsewhere, was willing to be a named source for so much of this article?

William

I've been trying to figure him out, on that and on the way he worked Ralston's testimony. With Ralston, at least, he made sure to get things in the record. Some of that was to protect her, so he was just doing his job. Things like making sure she clarified so as to provide complete testimony. But then there were a few more tidbits that burned Karl worse than need be, I think.

Perhaps he realized he was being used to launder nasty stuff and got fed up?

yo, William Ockham, okay, I'll bit:

what on earth does it mean that Brad Berenson, defender of the "loyal Bushies" at the DOJ and elsewhere, was willing to be a named source for so much of this article?

the answer is:


It means that Brad Berenson is gonna make a damn fine witness when we try dead eye dick for Crimes Against Humanity

how's that ???

If Addington wrote the memo, then we cannot accuse Gonzales using the term "quaint" to describe the Geneva Conventions. That phrasing is the first thing that really made me afraid of these people, afraid that they really failed to grasp the thing that gave us any grounds to assert American exceptionalism. It was only a deep respect for law and human rights that in the past has always brought us back from the abyss. These people just don't recognize the demands of that system. They believe they know better than we do, and that they know better than our ancestors. They believe that they can run things without any reference to the past, without losing the respect of decent people everywhere.

masaccio,

He signed his name to it. He owns it now.

ew & freepatriot,

I'm not so sure. I think Berenson may actually be protecting Cheney in all this. It's a bit much to think that Berenson (who identified the Addington/Flanigan/Yoo team for us) did not know who was behind that military commissions document he got from Flanigan. I'm going to have spend a bit more time looking over the unnamed source comments.

We now know What he did, and How he did it. But Why? Why bother to mobilize his political and legal resources to squeeze Bush into renouncing the Geneva Conventions, into setting up Military Tribunals, into secret prisons, and ultimately into approving torture? The Washington Post article makes it clear that this all originated with Cheney. It's clear that he pulled it off in a series of bold Gambits that would make Bobby Fisher proud. Minority Whip must be like riding a bicycle. You just hop on and you remember how to ride.

But why? It doesn't seem like something that moves Cheney in the directions he wanted to go. Assuming he had reasonable goals, things that might help us militarily - it was dumb. You don't gather allies by taking the lowest of roads. Thinking of his more likely motives, it doesn't get him any closer to his goal of invading Iraq for their oil down the road that I can see. He went to a hell of a lot of trouble to do something that isn't clearly furthering his interests. That's inconsistent with his character. And he's still at it!

Perhaps he's simply a sadist. He sure looks the part. And I expect that there is a "heart of darkness" aspect to his inner life. But another possibility would be that he's serving another master - the Saudis? maybe the Israelis? This sounds "Middle Eastern." Or maybe some as yet un-understood motive.

But whatever the truth, there's an big unanswered question of motive in this story. Why?

There was a profile on Cheney in the New Yorker soon after Bush became Pres. Did you know his father worked for the BLM and that he himself worked as a telephone lineman after he flunked out of Yale? Lynne was instrumental in getting him off his butt and into the U of Wyoming to get his degree, and there are those who think she was at least initially the more driven of the two.

The impression I got from the article and from Ron Suskind's "The One Percent Doctrine" and Josh Marshall's Vice Grip (presciently written in early 2003) is that Cheney has a very dark vision of the world and how it works. He is very fearful and has VERY high control needs. He believes that the US has to be in charge of everything to make the world safe (for him and his kind and in light of peak oil and the Chinese). He believes absolutely in the strong executive, and has wanted to restore exec powers since Nixon lost them, he and Rumsfeld.

He does not see the world either clearly or as it really is, but through a glass darkly, one might say, and this distorts his judgment. This is why he is so consistently wrong in his judgments and policy choices. I'd say he projects his dark side onto everyone else and fears they are up to the same nefarious activities that he is, except that I'm sure he thinks he is smarter. He is now absolutely ruthless, as are his inner circle.

Bush, when he was elected, was very ignorant of large swathes of policy, particularly foreign affairs and national security, and it is in these areas that he relied so heavily on Cheney. I'm sure Cheney manipulates him, but Cheney also understands his own weaknesses--he could never be elected Pres, for example, because of his dark and grim personality. But he could use Bush's strengths to gain and maintain control. He must have really flattered and stroked Bush. But the key is that he made Bush, from the very outset, feel that he could BE Pres because Dick would always be there to explain things to him. (Apparently one of Cheney's strengths is that he speaks very matter of factly and in a low-key manner, so that it takes awhile to realize that he is saying truly outlandish thigs.) The New Yorker article described the morning briefings Cheney gave Bush as mainline infusions of confidence.

So the why is that Cheney thinks it is good for the US, himself and the extraction industries that are his buds and source of income for him to be in control, and it's psychically necessary for him.

There are also those who think that 9/11 reinforced his paranoia and that and/or his health problems have pushed him over the edge. Larry Wilkerson (Powell's chief of staff) seems to have thought so, and others too.

We are left with two questions--Has Cheney made enough enemies to dislodge him before Jan 2009 and can he be dislodged at all or is he even now planning a way to stay in control, given how necessary he evidently believes that is both for himself and the country.

Finally, when Pelosi and Reid said impeachment was off the table I think/hope they meant it as a carrot to Bush--don't go any farther, and it will stay off the table. Which of course he ignored. It is hard in the face of the revelations of the past year to think that it will be off for ever. The Q is who goes first, and here my money is on Fredo. Then Cheney. Or maybe Addington then Cheney, or both together. Then . . .

One more thing--for both Cheney and Rove the more things come unravelled the more they need to try to hold them together. Pull at every loose thread and they will unravel as well, because they can't hold it all together, especially not as they lose help and support.

Mimi,

What in their behavior so far makes you think that Pelosi and Reid would ever impeach Cheney, even if things got that much worse?

Quite a geyser of leaks springing all of a sudden. Anyone think maybe the Silver Fox had a hand on the spigot, either as consiglieri or to settle his own score, or maybe to keep us out of Iran? The way this has blossomed suggests the hand of a master even more talented than Turdblossom. If so, and the Boyz have lost faith in the Shooter, we could be in for interesting times.

All I can say is that I have been totally amazed at how much was revealed in the WaPo article, and I am sure we will all be digesting it for a long time to come.

As for Cheney and his dark view of the world, I have to say again that the man is NOT normal. I do not know how long he has suffered from his heart problems, but many people have severe bouts of depression after major heart surgery. Most recover nicely, but virtually all of them, in the back of their minds, live with the fear of dying suddenly.

Cheney reminds me greatly of a man I used to work for who was a control freak. He spent considerable time every day trying to ensure that his world was under his thumb. He was a relatively young man (early 50s) when he was diagnosed with some serious heart problems. So, in addition to his regular control-freak nature, he was worrying a lot about his health -- and the stress was making him lose touch with reality at times. After he suffered a series of heart attacks, it got so bad that several of us (including me) had to leave before we went crazy. The man was downright paranoid most of the time, and increasingly secretive about everything he did.

To add a bit more to Cheney's case, a psychiatrist friend recently commented that from what he has learned of Cheney, he has great concern about the man's stability. Maybe that is why Pelosi et al don't want to take him on -- and particularly if he has his finger on any triggers.

This all sounds radical, I am sure. Despite the work done by WaPo's editors, this story confirms for most of us some things that we have suspected for a long while: Dubya is a dork, and Cheney has him in the dark while he runs amok.

Exactly, Gosprey.

My problem is that we have been so inundated with and inured to propaganda from organs like the Washington Post for so long now, that I can't simply accept this reporting for its seemingly face-value import.

As with all propaganda organs, the information that is allowed to appear in them - especially in four parts on page one - drives a hidden agenda, especially when it's such explosive reporting from insiders about that organ's 'main squeeze' - an unchecked, constantly-enabled-to-the-public's-detriment powersource in its hometown, the President and the Vice President.

As someone else pointed out, there's possibly even an anonymous quote here from Scooter Libby - he of the obsessive note-taking - read from his notes made in the chaos of the 9/11 bunker where he and others were present with Cheney.

So is the real, so-far-unreported, news about this Cheney series the impetus behind, and the amazingly-helpfully-sourced (save for Ashcroft...) reason for the writing of this series? Or is this just the sudden, unexpected return of the "free (and honest) press" to the front page of the Post in the form of Barton Gellman (whose record may support that) and Jo Becker? I note that reports are that this amazing article was mentioned not at all by the Sunday morning TV show watercarriers or their 'current-event panel' gossips.

Apparently Gellman will be doing an on-line chat tomorrow for the Post - it'd be great if he'd explain when they started work on this series, whose idea it was, and/or what the trigger (a super source of some sort?) for this series was.

I left a question for Gellman's chat tomorrow:

Did he have to leave anything out of the series due to pressure from the administration or from his editors?

Mimikatz,

One more thing--for both Cheney and Rove the more things come unravelled the more they need to try to hold them together. Pull at every loose thread and they will unravel as well, because they can't hold it all together, especially not as they lose help and support.
That's probably the best statement of a collective strategy for the blogosphere/netroots/etc as any yet written. "Deconstructing" Rove and Cheney...

"But if Cheney can pre-empt communication going to Bush, it provides the President plausible deniability about the illegality of the activities he sanctions."

And that plausible deniability has become a hallmark of this administration. So Cheney just becomes another firewall. I remember back before the 2006 election when there were those who wanted Bush to pick a different VP. Quite obvious why he wouldn't or couldn't. Like Gonzo, Cheney knows where a lot of bodies are buried.

Time to get behind the impeach Cheney movement. They may have tried to give Bush plausible deniability but it's beginning to look like the Big Dick is vulnerable.

It looks like former Attorney General John Ashcroft might have to come back for another tête-à-tête with the Senate.

Hell hath no fury like an attorney general who has been scorned.

Oh, and one more item. This little story is going to make it that much harder for Cheney to pardon Libby.

Wah-ha-ha-ha-ha.

It's 1 am EST and part 2 isn't on WaPo's site yet. Usually, it would've been up hours ago.

I wonder if there is any rewriting going on?

And, I also wonder at the timing of Waxman's letter and this series...

Part 2
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/cheney/chapters/pushing_the_enevelope_on_presi/

desertwind - It's up:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/cheney/chapters/pushing_the_enevelope_on_presi/

It's been up for a few hours apparently. I just finished the sickening read.

This one is about Addington, Addington, Addington, with his fingers in every pie. The banality of evil?

Did you know that the President has "war-making" powers, not just war-executing powers? Oh, yeah - so swears Mr. Addington and "his client" Mr. Cheney. Anyone in Congress care to publicly contradict them yet? Anyone? Anywhere?

...crickets...

Funny how they've managed to parse Article II of our Constitution in order to find and claim every hint of executive advantage and power, to the complete exclusion of the rest of the document, which they seem to be unable to see at all.

They did their best to out-maneuver the checks of the Judicial Branch, with zero concern for principles of humane behavior or standards of civilized conduct, but with great debate about how to get around those potential Judicial Branch checks (the Legislative Branch is still lying prone, and has been no effective impediment to their lawless conduct whatsoever). We are so, so beholden to the few checks thus far exerted by the Judicial Branch on their behavior.

This series - just the first two stories - is forcing Congress into a corner. They can hardly ignore this potent evidence of a presidentially-enabled tyrant and his Rule of Cheney-serving manipulative enabling lawyer/chief of staff, carefully designing, building and defending a new-style monarchy in the Executive Branch. At least, not without further joining with the Bush administration and the Republican Party in repudiating, violating, and terminating our Constitution, and thus the whole foundation of our nation.

[Give Jim Comey credit: he had far more courage and integrity, as he faced down Cheney man-to-man on the NSA spying, than did the despicable Rice and Powell, who had the guts to scream once or twice at Gonzales, but didn't dare approach Bush, or especially Cheney, face to face with their concerns about the dangerous goings-on at the highest levels of the Bush administration.]

Rather nonsensical (as it stands in contridiction to every other paragraph of the article), but not so extraordinary --

"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"

Just means someone forgot to tell Bush he's not the President. He's just a puppet, half by mutual agreement, the other half because he is surrounded by Cheney people who control all access for Bush and too Bush.

That any of this suprises anyone is the thing that gets me. It's facinating to hear the details, but the dynamic in play here has been very f-ing obvious for a very long time.

I have to say that I was impressed with Addington writing the document that Gonzo validated, then Cheney acted as the wise advisor for a document that he created. Wow, if that's not a betrayal I don't know what is. Reminds me very much of the "government leak" that Cheney put out, then reffered to on Meet the Press as if he read it in the paper.

Can't wait to see what comes next, but I'm sure not holding my breath. And I still say Bush would pee is pants if Cheney looked at him the wrong way.

PS - Welcome to the Cheney Presidency, for those of you just joining our program.

Addington's scheme is pretty simple. They invented new authority to do whatever they wanted to, circulated it secretly among their allies for a stamp of approval giving it the appearance of legitmacy, then blocked internal dissent and oversight,then blocked congressional oversight once it was underway, then attempted to block judicial intervention.

When they faced with any risk of failure, they intercepted things, inserted favorable language into things without internal debate, and leaked information to discredit critics of their agenda.

When Congress provided any oversight, they balked and assumed more executive power to ignore congress by claiming congress was tredding on executive power. Then supportive republicans and weak democrats buckled time and time again.

When the Supreme Court rebuked their claims, they actually forced one of their own to tell the judge to reconsider his own gross error. When that didn't work they went back to square one - pushing for more broad legislation that would allow them to do what they wanted to do relying on what the Supreme Court didn't say they could do.

The Supreme Court won't issue advisory opinions, so Cheney and Addington can repeat and rinse over and over creating new authority, blocking oversight, and impeeding Judicial intervention.

Dismayed: "I have to say that I was impressed with Addington writing the document that Gonzo validated, then Cheney acted as the wise advisor for a document that he created. Wow, if that's not a betrayal I don't know what is."


I'm beginning to think that the Bush administration is run like a courtroom.

Cheney is the judge *and* prosecutor. Anyone against Cheney is one of those defense lawyers that Bush can't stand. And Bush is the lone juror -- who thinks he's the judge,, but he's not.

Which is why Bush will never see this article in WaPo: it's cut out of his edition before he gets it.

.

First off, I don't think any of this is new to anyone who has been following EW's outstanding work over the years - thank you!

If you read through the comments from yesterday's WaPo article, there is one recurring theme: Why the hell didn't you write this before now? It's a question that needs to be repeated, just as Digby and so many others have been writing about. Hit your local media with this message, build it from the bottom up (like the protest against the Nev Dem Debate was built).

I talked to my Congressman yesterday. He unequivocally stated that "there wasn't enough time" to impeach these guys, they would stall long enough to get out of office.

Wow. That's a mighty big shiv in the VP's back.

"I have to say that I was impressed with Addington writing the document that Gonzo validated, then Cheney acted as the wise advisor for a document that he created. Wow, if that's not a betrayal I don't know what is."

Completely agree. Gonzo perhaps drank from the Cheney well - circumventing DAG empowering Sampson and Goodling, no?

Jgabriel - Amazing but almost certainly true that GWB will never lay eyes on the WaPo articles. However his daddy will almost certainly see it. That said. His pop has probably been much more aware of the real situation for far longer than any of us. In fact he was probably passively culpable for it's creation. I doubt he ever believed for a moment that Dick would lead his son down this road, but clearly any protests lodged have fallen on deaf ears.

The only way GWB would ever escape Cheney's house of mirrors would be to turn to his pop, and he ain't never going to do that. Bush is a tragic figure in a Shakespearian tale. Doomed by his own flaws from page one.

I doubt very much if Bush has any problem being a shadow president. In fact, I am pretty sure this is the way he wants it. The hallmark of the Bush presidency is the Mission Accomplished caper. This is how Bush sees himself: the heroic commander, the Decider, the man in charge, the warrior who takes credit for victory (as he defines it). As long as this illusion can be maintained, he could not give a flying fuck that Cheney is running the war; in fact that is the way he wants it.

For those who are looking for dark motives in this series of articles, we can speculate till doomsday, but one possible motive for these articles is to start shifting the blame for Iraq onto Cheney's shoulders. To give Bush deniability in the eyes of history. Cheney himself couldn't care less. He just has his obsessions to implement, and that is all he cares about.

At least you have to grant him that -- he is not driven by public opinion.

"Law is not an aim in itself. When the existence of the state (in this case, this administration) is threatened, the government is not only entitled but is duty bound to leave legal considerations aside and make use of the material weapons of its power."

Leon Trotsky, "1905", quoting Pyotr Stolypin, Prime Minister of Russia 1906-1911, Chairman of Nicholas II's Council of Ministers.

We are in the middle of a revolution which has ridden roughshod over the rule of law and Cheney and Addington are making plans for that point in time where they have to implement their plan to put the full weight of the MCA into effect by mass arrests within the US using Department of Defense personnel, assigned to the newly formed Central Command Special Operations Group, a group based on US soil with the express mission of acting as shock troops against insurgents within the borders of the US. Consider:

"When directed by the president, DoD will provide support to civil authorities in the event of a civil disturbance," the document said. "DoD will augment civilian law enforcement efforts to restore and maintain order in accordance with existing statutes." The military also may assist civil authorities in "isolating and/or quarantining groups of people in order to minimize [foment] the spread of disease during an influenza pandemic," it said. [Bye bye, Posse Comitatus! And suddenly, the US is going to control its borders? Gag me with a chainsaw! This newfound 'border control' ability is to keep people from *leaving* the US. KBR's $385M detention center contract will be expanded and renewed.]

http://www.legitgov.org/DoD_to_augment_civilian_law.html

"The possibility for military operations in the U.S. is something that we have to plan for in the age of
international terrorism," said Daniel Gallington, a former policy adviser to former Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld.
The Bush administration created NorthCom, one of the military's nine war-fighting commands, after
the Sept. 11 attacks revealed deep flaws in the military's procedures for repelling an attack on
American soil.
The idea of giving NorthCom a commando unit shows how the military increasingly looks at the
U.S. homeland as a target for more terrorist attacks and how it may need elite counter-terrorism
forces to deal with the threat.

http://www.examiner.com/articlePDF.cfm?articleID=790871

Of course, the problem with the above article is that the threat may very well come from US citizens who have decided they have had enough of this administration's policies when it decides to pre-empt elections in 2008. These folks never do anything just for the sake of doing it, there's always an ulterior motive, and those immigration detention centers are meant for persons within this country who enjoy natural born US citizenship once they've been declared a threat to the "homeland" by the fuhrer.

Would that this were literature we were talking about...

Just a slight p.s. to Mimikatz's observations, upthread:

Cheney has a very dark vision of the world and how it works. He is very fearful and has VERY high control needs. He believes that the US has to be in charge of everything to make the world safe (for him and his kind and in light of peak oil and the Chinese). He believes absolutely in the strong executive, and has wanted to restore exec powers since Nixon lost them, he and Rumsfeld.

[...]I'd say he projects his dark side onto everyone else and fears they are up to the same nefarious activities that he is, except that I'm sure he thinks he is smarter. He is now absolutely ruthless, as are his inner circle.

And has become the image of what he feared. To wangle and maneuver and authorize the power to torture and to throw away the due process -- two major items that crushes national self-respect (for those paying attention) and loses the respect of the world.

In addition to the why question, precisely what sort of darkness does he wish to avoid in order to bring Samson-like destruction upon our entire nation? It's epic. Shakespearian. As noted in another comment in another thread, I wish this were 12th century history we were talking about. But, alas, Cheney's darkness is our national (and international) lot.

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