Thursday, June 28, 2007

The imperial vice presidency

At some point, we must begin asking some hard questions about why others in D.C. world respond, respond in a half-hearted fashion, or fail to respond at all, to Dick Cheney's many sins, crimes and power grabs, not to mention the entire Bush administration.

Here is a question that has been on my mind"

Are D.C. Critters afraid of this administration; Cheney, George W. Bush, someone else?

If so, who is afraid and why?

Media types, Congress, Press reporters?

The imperial vice presidency | Salon:

Two months after 9/11, on the day of the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 13, 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney appeared in the Oval Office with a four-page executive order designating terrorism suspects as enemy combatants to be held indefinitely, with no right to have their detention reviewed by any court except newly created military commissions, where they would not be permitted to learn the accusations or evidence against them, or be represented by counsel, or even know that their case had been heard and decided.

The secretary of state and the national security advisor were deliberately kept uninformed as the White House staff secretary prepared the order for signature. According to a four-part series published this week in the Washington Post on the extraordinary power of the vice president, 'When it [the order] returned to the Oval Office, in a blue portfolio embossed with the presidential seal, Bush pulled a felt-tip pen from his pocket and signed without sitting down. Almost no one else had seen the text.' Colin Powell was stunned when he learned of the fait accompli. 'What the hell just happened?' he asked. Condoleezza Rice was described as 'incensed.' But neither of them, then or later, effectively challenged Cheney's usurpation of executive authority. And, as can be gathered inferentially, Bush never bothered to ask Cheney about their opinions on the exec-order or to call them, nor did he seem to care.

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