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As Dick Cheney's punch-throwing memoir hits store shelves, Foreign Policy hosts a freewheeling debate on the legacy of America's most controversial vice president.
AUGUST 31, 2011
The publication this week of Dick Cheney's fiery memoir, In My Time, has a lot of tongues wagging, including those of many of his former colleagues in George W. Bush's administration. The former vice president's book has reopened festering wounds in Washington and sparked a ferocious debate over everything from the Iraq invasion to domestic surveillance to Condoleezza Rice's tears. If anyone expected the hard-nosed Cheney to have softened in his retirement, think again: The book is an unapologetic recapitulation of neoconservatism, power projection, American exceptionalism, and brass-knuckle politics -- in short, all of what made Cheney the most feared, hated, and influential vice president in recent history. Foreign Policy asked an all-star line up to debate his legacy. James Traub: He was a maniac Elliott Abrams: A man of principle Kori Schake: Biting the hand that fed him
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Dahlia Lithwick: A torturous rigidity Tom Malinowski: His cruel and unusual legacy Thomas E.. Cheney believed things that rational people -. He was a maniac. manipulating the Boy President with his dark and sinister arts.foreignpolicy.Lightning Rod . In Plan of Attack..An FP Roundtable | Foreign Policy http://www. State Department -." I wonder what he thinks of Dick Cheney. Ricks: When Cheney was good Jake Bernstein: First and foremost. the rational people in the U.understood to be baseless. however. a political warrior Anne Weismann: No secret-sharer he Robert Dallek: A memoir full of mysteries He was a maniac By James Traub In A First-Rate Madness. Woodward writes that Secretary of State Colin Powell "thought that Cheney had the fever. I have always been inclined to think of Cheney as the Lucifer of George W.com/articles/2011/08/31/lightning_rod. argues that "mania" makes leaders "more creative and resilient. a psychiatric researcher who claims to know something about political leadership. Nassir Ghaemi. Bob Woodward describes Cheney's obsession with Saddam Hussein's alleged connections with al Qaeda. And he believed them with a fiery certainty. I think I have given the former vice president too much credit for cool rationality.for example. The vice-president and [Deputy Defense Secretary Paul] Wolfowitz kept looking for the connection between Saddam 2 of 15 9/1/11 11:59 PM . Bush's administration. On reflection.S.
Perhaps where we go wrong with Cheney is confusing secularism or temperance with intellectual and moral clarity.Lightning Rod . rearranging the tangled sheets of his nighttime fevers into the semblance of a well-made bed. Cheney. Cheney was in control -. by example. "abnormal leaders are needed.frighteningly so. Perhaps it was what journalist Ron Suskind called "the one percent doctrine": the belief that America could not afford to take even a 1 percent risk of attack." his column for ForeignPolicy... He was in control on 9/11 when the president was not. "Fever to me is this kind of delirious -. 3 of 15 9/1/11 11:59 PM ." and the president. "Terms of Engagement. most recently. But they weren't secrets. to fear. and 9/11.General Eisenhower. "For abnormal challenges.foreignpolicy." This would be a laughable sentiment had the abnormal leaders of just the other day not shown it to be grotesque..asked Bush whether he "sensed a fever in Cheney." Cheney would leap at every cryptic fragment of intelligence to vindicate his wild claims. The Freedom Agenda. Abnormal challenges require men of cool judgment -. James Traub is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and author of. said no.com. Cheney was not transfixed by such lights. Spare us.com/articles/2011/08/31/lightning_rod.S. of course. being the president. like the diabolical lawyer Tulkinghorn in Bleak House. Woodward -being Woodward -. they were nightmares.An FP Roundtable | Foreign Policy http://www.He's in control. But that was Cheney's own formulation. But." Bush said. was an unillusioned man. unlike Bush.. runs weekly.the kind of magical thinking that Bush taught us. He did not believe that American missiles could seed the barren soil of Iraq with liberal democracy (though he did believe that Iraqis would strew petals on arriving U." Ghaemi writes. and yet he was transfixed by something dark. that's the paradox. and he was in control at all those National Security Council meetings where he kept his counsel. Nearly every conversation or reference came back to al Qaeda and trying to nail the connection with Iraq. Cheney was the silent custodian of dreadful secrets. please. He does not appear to have believed that God was guiding his hand -. tanks). not General MacArthur. only to wait for a quiet moment to whisper his dark suspicions in the president's ear. Cheney was a supremely rational man in the grip of mania.. your maniacs.
Many vice presidents are concerned above all about their own reputations and political futures.foreignpolicy. He has not admitted to the leaking. A man of principle By Elliott Abrams The early reviews of Dick Cheney's memoir have not evaluated the book. and for this he suffered caricature as a warmonger.com/articles/2011/08/31/lightning_rod. worst. then vice president. adjusted. and our discussions centered then on the wars in Central America. think again.. Or perhaps suffer is the wrong verb.An FP Roundtable | Foreign Policy http://www.Lightning Rod .. If that sounds predictable or normal in a vice president. 4 of 15 9/1/11 11:59 PM . but about his entire life and political career.) Cheney's memoir is not about 9/11. Cheney fervently believed that America was at war after 9/11. I did not find that so. with general assaults on George W. but instead have used its publication as an occasion for attacks on Cheney and his record. and of Secretary of State Colin Powell over leaking to defend his own policy choices and his personal popularity. many did. Cheney and Rice had a deep disagreement. the criticism is more personal. when I served at Bush's National Security Council. Cheney did none of these things. readers must judge who had the better of the policy argument then and who has it now.e. Some separate themselves from the president to curry favor with the press. Powell himself has admitted that he could not continue after 2004 because his views could not be reconciled with those of Bush. Richard Armitage. but we must await the Rice memoir due in November to see what arguments she can muster. Such a conviction would have been commonplace after Pearl Harbor but was less so in the years after 2002 -. but the criticism is not personal. Many use leaks to protect their personal interests. tacked.a practice that earned him unending attacks in the media from gossip-hungry journalists. for he thought far more was at stake than his approval ratings. Cheney refused. and fanatic. To me. Neither controversy nor scandal shook his view that preventing communist takeovers in that region was an important goal for the United States. or even the opposing party. News stories about the memoir have noted above all his criticism of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over North Korea policy. I first knew Cheney when he was chairman of the Republican Policy Committee in the House of Representatives (from 1981 to 1987). but the leaks by Powell and his deputy.and especially as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq became unpopular. Despite those who claim he changed over time. in fact. and this belief led him to the conclusion that America must fight and win. for though the attacks came they usually made him grin. and told the press and those outside the White House nothing -. not grimace. As to North Korea. example of this is Robert Kaiser's strident "review" in the Washington Post. When he differed from a policy he told the president so. Bush's administration thrown in for good measure. Later. and complete and unswerving commitment to any policy he believed served American interests. i. I sometimes worked with Cheney. He did not much care. privately. Cheney appears to win hands down. (Perhaps the best. torturer. As to Powell. their party. The central qualities remained: total devotion to principle and to country. for Cheney accuses him of criticizing the president and his policies to people outside the administration and of constant leaking. Many politicians would have flinched. or solely about Bush's administration.
all the policies that most incensed the administration's critics and even some of its supporters: "enhanced interrogation techniques. He believed this. and acted accordingly. Condoleezza Rice) that argued his approach was unduly driving up the cost of achieving the president's aims. was unjustly prosecuted for the leak of Valerie Plame's name. Biting the hand that fed him By Kori Schake It's incredibly discouraging to see former U. politicization of intelligence. it serves to remind us how much the vice president's actions have impeded acceptance of the very policies he advocates. were too widely known in Washington to require any additional proof." the Guantánamo prison. This cannot assist the conservative cause. sharp-edged uses of military might. Bush's administration. was deputy national security advisor handling Middle Eastern affairs in U. And as to Cheney's indictment of Powell and Armitage for standing by while Scooter Libby.. the facts are in. Vice President Dick Cheney vituperatively reopen disputes from George W. Elliott Abrams. a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.An FP Roundtable | Foreign Policy http://www.com/articles/2011/08/31/lightning_rod. and continues to support. By his own testimony. Here again. in fact. Cheney's comments now and his conduct while in office are a reminder that there are values and principles that must be still honored when popularity and even reputation are at risk. He denigrated both the policies (diplomatic engagement.foreignpolicy. His scorched-earth excoriation of critics makes little distinction between those who would recklessly endanger America and those who also had the country's -. and support for Iraqi expatriates as a government-in-waiting after the 2003 invasion.Lightning Rod .S. President George W. working through international institutions) and the people (Colin Powell.best interests as their motivation. put country first.. Bush's administration. Cheney's chief of staff.and the president's -. 5 of 15 9/1/11 11:59 PM . assertion of executive authority.S. Cheney supported. the complaint is justified.
engaged in running for office and crafting policies. there was a bipartisan consensus in Congress -.foreignpolicy. But Cheney displays a contempt for Congress and those who don't agree with him to an extent that is unhealthy in a free society." because the executive and legislative branches of government failed to provide them the proper framework for their actions. His legacy has made it more difficult for conservatives to support and enact the very policies he advocated. and made them more difficult to sustain. would do well to remember how much Cheney's approach hurt both the president he served and the causes he sought to advance.and much that needed to be achieved could have been achieved with skillful engagement of the machinery of American democracy.. it left the U.S.as the authorizations for the use of military force showed -. As Ben Wittes (whose blog Lawfare is essential reading on these issues) has often argued. and during President George W. Give Cheney his due: Many of these policies were and are essential to protect Americans from terrorist attacks. In 2007 and 2008 she was deputy director for policy planning in the State Department. but then adopted nearly all of them once in office. Kori Schake is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and an associate professor of international security studies at the United States Military Academy. But if Cheney deserves credit for staunchly advocating necessary policies. It freighted terrorism policies with the added requirement of subordinating the other branches of government. Bush's first term. The most damaging example was Cheney's vociferous support for reclaiming executive authority instead of working with congressional leaders to pass legislation that would demonstrate broad political support and establish the basis for judicial review. The president and his cabinet must also engage the levers of democracy to build a broad base of support. Having the right answer isn't good enough. Executive privilege had consequences beyond setting solid foundations for sustaining the policies. Conservatives who are public citizens.An FP Roundtable | Foreign Policy http://www. The proof of which is Barack Obama himself -. The former vice president is now a private citizen.a candidate who ran for president on opposition to those policies.com/articles/2011/08/31/lightning_rod. military in the unfair position of being both "our combatants and our conscience. director for defense strategy and requirements on the National Security Council.Lightning Rod .. in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. including indefinite detention and trial by military tribunal. 6 of 15 9/1/11 11:59 PM . As Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor powerfully argued at West Point in 2005. too. especially when the policies have few good alternatives. he also deserves considerable blame for crafting and enacting those policies in ways that increased the cost to the president for adopting them.
I'm not even surprised by the snarling AM-radio tone he has taken. the most striking aspect of Cheney's conduct this week has not been his widely reported unwillingness to apologize for the Iraq war. Long after most torture apologists have grown weary of the fight.including waterboarding -.C. He argues this despite the fact that virtually nobody who knows anything about torture in general and the "enhanced interrogation program" in particular agrees with any of those conclusions.com/articles/2011/08/31/lightning_rod. and effective. torture program -. legal.as "safe. I will amend my thoughts accordingly. What surprises me only somewhat is the report. though it's clear why it might be stunning to Colin Powell and others who believed that high-level politicians do not speak of one another in the manner of The Real Housewives of D. A torturous rigidity By Dahlia Lithwick Like most others. that Cheney so readily describes the U. The U.foreignpolicy." Cheney admitted in 2008 that he had been directly involved in approving abusive prisoner interrogation techniques used by the CIA and that he had personally played a critical role in approving waterboarding. I would be surprised if he had the capacity to acknowledge personal error. It's a position espoused by a fistful of men who either created the torture program themselves or believe in legal fictions cooked up on TV shows like 24. To my mind." and his oft-repeated claim that he has "no regrets" because the program "saved American lives.An FP Roundtable | Foreign Policy http://www. In August 2009.Lightning Rod . or legal philosophers with plenty of time to ponder nonexistent "ticking time bomb" scenarios. I write this before reading In My Time. Cheney's legacy has been a continued devotion to the idea that torture is both legal and effective.. basing my conclusions instead on Dick Cheney's statements as part of his book tour/charm offensive..S. If I am proved wrong when I get my hands on the book. for instance on this week's Today show interview with Matt Lauer. a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by anti-torture groups revealed that the CIA knew that that non-abusive techniques actually 7 of 15 9/1/11 11:59 PM .S. torture program did not save lives.
while foreigners need not be. It's working for him as a legal matter. Most interrogation experts agree that information elicited through torture is neither reliable nor useful. Dahlia Lithwick is a legal correspondent for Slate. forces have been damaged for life. for some reason he could not articulate. it was not legal. That's precisely the kind of legal analysis that has ensured that Cheney's chief legacy will be his forever standing alone. Long after the legal and international communities have concluded that the facts do not support any of these pro-torture legal claims. military advisors argued that torture made Americans less safe in the field.com/articles/2011/08/31/lightning_rod. a federal judge used the word "torture" to describe conduct that didn't even include waterboarding.foreignpolicy. Cheney said in his Today show interview that. The vice president continues to pretend all of their expertise and experience away. John Yoo.Lightning Rod . That required completely reinventing the definition of pain and suffering and immunizing torturers from all but the most inhuman acts. Furthermore. That is why Japanese officials were prosecuted and convicted for waterboarding Americans in World War II. It contravenes both long-standing U. domestic law and international treaties to which the United States is a signatory.. That's because nobody. and thrilling Jack Bauer plot lines. 8 of 15 9/1/11 11:59 PM . it isn't legal. The program was not safe.S. Waterboarding was only "legal" because Cheney's underling. briefly made it so through the memoranda he wrote for the White House Office of Legal Counsel. But torture isn't safe.. and whether or not anyone will ever prove that it "saved American lives" is and has always been immaterial.S. In July. in the same way he might have emptied Cheney's ashtray or brought him a coaster. Cheney will continue to argue from his dusty old toolbox of counterfactuals. believes that torture becomes not-torture simply by rewriting the law in secret for a short time. declassified and now-discredited memos. American citizens should be spared torture. helped elicit some of the most important information obtained in the war on terror.An FP Roundtable | Foreign Policy http://www. and it will probably sell a few books. with the exception of the former vice president. From the outset. Many of those subjected to waterboarding and other forms of torture while detained by U.
. better known as waterboarding.S. Cheney says that intelligence obtained through torture saved lives.Lightning Rod . Bush's administration. such as controlled drowning. A few young soldiers caught on camera using them in Abu Ghraib prison ended up in jail. But there is no convincing evidence to support that claim.S. But prior to George W.S. as journalists occasionally do. the legality of warrantless surveillance. and that is torture. I am referring to techniques. China. that U.its moral authority as a country of principles and laws -. Misleading information extracted through torture contributed to the intelligence failures prior to the war in Iraq. America's most important strategic asset -. Tom Malinowski is the Washington director of Human Rights Watch.com/articles/2011/08/31/lightning_rod. Torture has occurred in every war the United States has fought.An FP Roundtable | Foreign Policy http://www. where their use helped fuel insurgencies that claimed many American lives. Many decent officials in the Bush administration and the military opposed Cheney's methods.foreignpolicy. The moral costs of this shift were incalculable. government had never before sought to give it legal sanction. The justification for the Iraq war.S. And the U. Vice President Dick Cheney relates in his new memoir. His cruel and unusual legacy By Tom Malinowski Reasonable people can disagree about most of the history that former U. led by John McCain. Republicans in the Senate.. FBI Director Robert Mueller has said that no attacks on the United States were disrupted because of evidence obtained through the euphemistic "enhanced techniques. and the Soviet Union.convincing some Americans that there is actually a debate about the definition of the term). Once authorized for so called "high-value" terrorism suspects.S. Evidence needed to prosecute suspected terrorists was tainted. 9 of 15 9/1/11 11:59 PM . Ethicists sometimes have considered whether there are exceptional circumstances under which individuals might be justified in violating domestic and international laws against torture. Ultimately.I may have strong opinions on some of these issues. the wisdom of engaging with Iran -." The known intelligence breakthroughs leading to the capture or killing of al Qaeda leaders came about through traditional means. helped stop the use of these techniques. But there is one aspect of Cheney's legacy that people cannot reasonably disagree about. courts have prosecuted as torture for over 100 years. The practical costs can at least be estimated. and President Barack Obama closed what legal loopholes remained. cruel techniques made their way into interrogation guidelines issued to U. to "interrogation techniques that human rights groups claim constitute torture" (this is also part of Cheney's legacy -. as they can about most of the controversies debated in Washington. Cheney's harmful legacy lives on. And here I am not referring. government has condemned as torture when perpetrated by dictatorships like North Korea. that the U.was undermined. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. and others. But so long as torture is seen as a legitimate subject for debate in American politics. like long-term sleep deprivation and "stress positions" that cause excruciating pain without leaving scars. but I also have respect for people (including friends who worked for Cheney) who disagree. any more than there was a debate about the legitimacy of rape or slavery. there was no debate in America about the legitimacy of the practice per se.
Tommy Franks repeatedly to simply reduce the size of his invasion force. In 1991. Rumsfeld's nit-picking approach by itself was not wrong.. Ricks Dick Cheney and his old mentor. Both were tough. and especially how they dealt with their senior generals. Norman Schwarzkopf to be more imaginative. in the process. on the eve of the Iraq invasion. in 2002 and 2003. but Cheney productively so. I covered the tail end of his time at the Pentagon and remember the vibe of the place back then. To ensure that happened. but its focus was.. more innovative. while Rumsfeld almost certainly contributed to the problem. Cheney was a cooler customer. panicky. Rumsfeld thought he was reaching for innovation and instead pushed Gen. When Cheney was good By Thomas E. Rumsfeld tended to chew on people endlessly but stop short of firing them. Donald Rumsfeld. Reading Cheney's memoir brought this back to me. As a journalist. Bush's administration that it is easy to forget how different they were as defense secretaries. pro-torture hard-liners of George W. but Cheney did so more successfully. Both men sought to control their military subordinates. Cheney pushed Gen.com/articles/2011/08/31/lightning_rod. he and Franks exhausted a planning staff that should have put aside the relatively easy question of how to invade an exhausted country with a broken military.An FP Roundtable | Foreign Policy http://www. during the planning for the Gulf War. the Pentagon would have other options. The biggest difference between Cheney and Rumsfeld was how they handled planning for their respective wars. are so linked by now as the unapologetic. he started his own independent planning effort and let it be known that if Schwarzkopf did not come up with something else besides "hey diddle diddle. generally remote from his 10 of 15 9/1/11 11:59 PM .Lightning Rod . right up the middle" as an approach. and instead looked at what to do after getting to Baghdad. By contrast.foreignpolicy.
Mike Dugan. Cheney was very similar to Robert Gates. He is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and the author of Foreign Policy's Best Defense blog. The brutal.. as something he targeted for elimination as a way of giving Congress something to fight with him about. a first-class defense secretary whose decades of intelligence work apparently taught him how to decapitate people so quickly that their heads remained in place. produced an endless stream of "snowflakes. or Gen.S. He also knew that Congress would follow his lead. as Tea Party Republicans have largely rejected his costly military adventurism and intrusive government surveillance. Dick Cheney's policies may seem to be in decline within the GOP. In this regard. generals but quick to fire them when he wanted to -. often with a smile on the face. take-no-prisoners political tactics now in routine use by the party may be Cheney's most enduring legacy. like other good defense secretaries -. All in all. Dick Cheney seems to have been much more like Robert Gates than he was like his friend Donald Rumsfeld. a political warrior By Jake Bernstein For the moment.Gates and William Perry come to mind -. as a defense secretary.Cheney picked his fights well. Rumsfeld.foreignpolicy. 11 of 15 9/1/11 11:59 PM . First and foremost. Fred Woerner.just ask Gen. Ricks covered the U. In addition. the Marine Corps' quixotic helicopter-airplane hybrid.com/articles/2011/08/31/lightning_rod. by contrast. But make no mistake: Today's GOP is still very much Dick Cheney's. he put it away and never looked at it again. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. But when he saw the Pentagon's huge organizational chart. In his memoir.An FP Roundtable | Foreign Policy http://www. fired before the invasion of Panama.Lightning Rod . if he gave it to them." little querying notes that often just tired out subordinates. calculating that attempting any reorganization was a bridge too far.. he singles out the V-22 Osprey. Thomas E. defenestrated for being too candid with reporters. He understood that the military establishment is so huge that not every pressing problem can be addressed.
Cheney quietly supported the rise of Newt Gingrich and his Young Turks.can be considered an act of will. Cheney's faith in his ability to dictate reality is unsurprising from a man whose very existence -. Congressional overseers. not deficits. Cheney's method -. Tax cuts always lead to growth. Cheney's inability to acknowledge in his memoir the disasters his policies caused. under President Gerald Ford. Just ask Joe Wilson or John McCain.grew disenchanted with the results. there were no consequences for his hubris.is one he acquired early. and ruthlessness were given full rein. As House minority whip. Those who dared defy him were demonized or subverted. Even at that high level. It's an unfortunate message for an ascendant GOP enamored with the former vice president's hard-line approach to the exercise of political power. And. 12 of 15 9/1/11 11:59 PM .politics is war by other means -. taught his protégé how to influence policy in multiple ways. In 2006.com/articles/2011/08/31/lightning_rod. Bush's administration that Cheney was able to put all his political skills to work. underscores that at least for him. and Pentagon procurement officers all found themselves rolled by Cheney and his staff at one point or another. Cheney's style of uncompromising positions and bullying tactics has become the accepted mode of governance among Republicans. Environmental Protection Agency scientists.An FP Roundtable | Foreign Policy http://www. where he was known for his fierce anti-communism and uncompromising positions. the vice president moved from victory to victory before the only person who could stop him -.W. it will eventually be the same for Democrats as well. intelligence. by arms-race logic.after five heart attacks -. Jake Bernstein is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter. Cheney's knowledge. becoming the most influential vice president ever. As the youngest chief of staff in White House history. Bush -. he co-wrote Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the America Presidency. For almost six years. Bush's administration before he could take advantage of their conquest. Justice Department officials. In the march to the Iraqi war. Nor was he able to make full use of it in his next few jobs. Unfetter the markets and the economy performs. Today. Donald Rumsfeld. from a ballooning deficit to the Iraq fiasco.George W. that the appearance of strength becomes strength itself.foreignpolicy. but he left to become defense secretary in George H. It was not until George W. What shines through is the philosophy of a man who clearly believes that the exercise of power creates its own reality. There. He moved on to Congress.. A bomb doesn't just destroy a target. from the no-fingerprints leak to the late insertion in a presidential address.Lightning Rod . Cheney's prideful new memoir exults in his accomplishments without a hint of regret or too many details about how he achieved them. the vice president played the press like a fiddle. the previous chief of staff. it sends a message. guile. he was thwarted by old administration hands who kept him from exercising his full talents. Cheney learned how to manipulate the levers of federal power from a master. Most of the checks in the system proved ineffective against his talents.. Cheney was too young and the Ford administration too short-lived for him to be able to do much with this knowledge. with Lou Dubose.
The court denied us the ultimate relief we sought. whose inner workings remain a mystery to this day.An FP Roundtable | Foreign Policy http://www. George W. So far Washingtonians' heads remain intact. And with historians denied access to records that would also fill that hole. but allowed the lawsuit to continue through discovery targeting the vice president's record-keeping practices. suggesting he was beyond the reach of many laws. the true extent of his power and influence over the Bush administration remain as secret as ever. By all accounts. while ultimately unsuccessful. including those designed to ensure preservation of the president's and vice president's papers. Toward that end. CREW's lawsuit on that front. Dick Cheney promised that heads in Washington would "explode" on account of its contents. instead resurrecting old canards. Bush's presidency represents a watermark in secrecy. And of course the secrecy in the Bush administration was jump-started by the Cheney-led energy task force. established the helpful precedent that in such cases. Cheney.com/articles/2011/08/31/lightning_rod.. For many. yet refused to act. advanced a novel and radical interpretation of his status as vice president. and of a critical aspect of how he did so: secrecy.foreignpolicy. millions of emails mysteriously went missing from White House servers during critical times in the administration. his memoir does little to fill in the gaping hole in the historical record. 30 release of his book. No secret-sharer he By Anne Weismann In the lead-up to the Aug. Americans were denied access to anything the Bush administration feared would raise questions about its legitimacy or tarnish its legacy. Cheney's legacy of secrecy remains intact. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). even a vice president is not immune from legal action. He reveals little new information. for his part. But Cheney's book does remind us of its author's desire to control the story line of his vice presidency. Cheney's new book suggests the vice president has not changed his stripes.Lightning Rod . 13 of 15 9/1/11 11:59 PM .. and the National Security Archive revealed the Bush White House knew of the missing email problem. And litigation by my organization.
will offer correctives and alternate interpretations. Scholars will have a number of questions about Cheney's performance.An FP Roundtable | Foreign Policy http://www. Bush's defense secretary? Was it 9/11 that made the difference? Was he correct about the harsh treatment of terrorism suspects? How responsible was he for Abu Ghraib? What was his role in the outing of Valerie Plame? 14 of 15 9/1/11 11:59 PM . what sort of model should Cheney be for future presidents and vice presidents. Of course. A memoir full of mysteries By Robert Dallek Dick Cheney's memoir will be essential reading for any future historian reconstructing and assessing George W. history makes any information about the man and his part in the foreign-policy decisions that were so central to the Bush administration a compelling attraction to future biographers and historians. Bush's presidential term. First. and possibly Bush himself. In fact.W.S.Lightning Rod . if not the most. how much blame should fall on Cheney? Why did Cheney seem to become so much more doctrinaire as vice president than he had been during his earlier time in government as President Gerald Ford's chief of staff and George H. For these blank spots. the memoir may be more interesting for what it reminds us about the mysteries that are still remaining when it comes to the Bush years -.." and we can be sure that others close to Bush.and Cheney's role in particular. a negative one or a positive one? In other words..com/articles/2011/08/31/lightning_rod. The fact that he has been described as one of the most. influential vice presidents in U. historians will never take Cheney's reconstruction of events or his explanation and defense of administration actions as gospel. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is already disputing some of what Cheney has to say as nothing more than "cheap shots. historians can only wait for the opening of the archives to gain fuller information. was he as influential as contemporary reports made him seem? Was Bush as much under his spell as many journalists reported at the time? And if so. was he a constructive force or simply an architect of controversial policies at home and abroad that opened Bush's presidency to so much criticism? And because Bush is currently seen as one of the poorer presidents in the country's history.foreignpolicy. as with all recollections by high officials. Anne Weismann is chief counsel for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
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