Dick Cheney Exposed (Again)
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With the release of his new book, Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman has lifted a dark veil from Bush presidency, confirming what we already knew, yet were probably too depressed to admit: that over the course of eight years, Vice President Dick Cheney has repeatedly and recklessly seized the reigns of the Bush Administration, in the process upending many of the fundamental freedoms of American democracy.
The New York Times sums up Gellman's sobering expose this way:
At the height of his power, Mr. Gellman [writes], the vice president 'made big things happen': he 'reshaped national security law, expanded the prerogatives of the executive branch, midwifed the birth of domestic espionage, rewrote the president's tax bill,' shut down negotiations with North Korea and played a major role in bringing war to Iraq. Mr. Gellman also argues that Mr. Cheney, in trying to face down opposition from within the Justice Department, would 'come close' to leading the Bush presidency 'off a cliff.'
With all due respect to author Gellman, we told you this six months ago. In our blockbusting biography, Young Dick Cheney: Great American (Alternet Books), we revealed that the portly potentate's hunger for power -- and contempt for playing by the rulebook -- traces back to 1950s Wyoming, where as vice president of Casper High School's student government, Dick learned to wield power with diabolical finesse.
He had secured the vice presidency with ease. Placing his boyhood pal, Donny, at the top of the election ticket, the two had sailed to a landslide victory, doubling their opponents' vote tally, and tripling the actual number of students at Casper High.
Then they took office--and that's when the fun began:
Bruce Kluger is a regular contributor to National Public Radioâ€™s All Things Considered, and a co-author of The Young Dick Cheney.
David Slavin is a regular contributor to National Public Radioâ€™s All Things Considered, and a co-author of The Young Dick Cheney.