"The Decider decides that Cheney will decide what the Decider decides. "

Bruce Fein in Slate says: "Impeach Cheney: The Man Has Run Utterly Amok and Must Be Stopped":
Under Dick Cheney, the office of the vice president has been transformed from a tiny acorn into an unprecedented giant oak. In grasping and exercising presidential powers, Cheney has dulled political accountability and concocted theories for evading the law and Constitution that would have embarrassed King George III. The most recent invention we know of is the vice president's insistence that an executive order governing the handling of classified information in the executive branch does not reach his office because he also serves as president of the Senate. In other words, the vice president is a unique legislative-executive creature standing above and beyond the Constitution. The House judiciary committee should commence an impeachment inquiry. As Alexander Hamilton advised in the Federalist Papers, an impeachable offense is a political crime against the nation. Cheney's multiple crimes against the Constitution clearly qualify.
Sidney Blumenthal in Salon, sums up the chilling details of Cheney's crimes [all emphasis is mine]:
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 executive order or to call them; nor did he seem to care.

The Washington Post series, written by Barton Gellman and Jo Becker, is an acknowledgment, after more than six years, of the hardly secret scope of Cheney's unprecedented influence. The articles provide fresh detail of his elaborate network within the federal government and how he pulls its strings. ...
[...]
Cheney thrives in darkness, operating by stealth within the government, and makes a cult of secrecy. None of these insights are new, except for additional telling details. Reports the Post: "Man-size Mosler safes, used elsewhere in government for classified secrets, store the workaday business of the office of the vice president. Even talking points for reporters are sometimes stamped 'Treated As: Top Secret/SCI.'"
[...]
... Cheney has acted as the Stalin of the Bush administration, the master of the bureaucracy, eliminating one rival after another, ruthlessly and unscrupulously concentrating power, the culmination of a more than 30-year career. The Post articles are based on information provided by dissidents who have suffered at Cheney's hand and have given Post reporters stories proving that Cheney's whole point is power.
[...]
Even as the spotlight shines on the opaque Cheney, the light reflects on others as well. By shielding Bush from alternatives, Cheney has locked in certain decisions that Bush stubbornly defends as his own. The president's plight is not that of a removed ruler tragically kept from knowing what his government is doing in his name. He has had time to observe the consequences. He is aware of what Cheney says to him. The Decider decides that Cheney will decide what the Decider decides. This is not a case of if-only-the-czar-knew. In the seventh year of his presidency, Bush's decision making consists of justifying his previous decisions.

Of the Bush Cabinet secretaries, former Attorney General John Ashcroft most strenuously confronted Cheney about his seizures of power. Ashcroft was perhaps the most conservative member of the Cabinet, and it was out of a sense of his own constitutional obligation that he objected. When Ashcroft discovered that John Yoo, the deputy assistant in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, had been recruited by the Cheney operation to write memos on detainee policy that would deny any role in the new legal process to the Justice Department, he was outraged. At the White House he confronted Cheney and Addington. "According to participants [at the meeting]," the Post reported, "Ashcroft said that he was the president's senior law enforcement officer, supervised the FBI and oversaw terrorism prosecutions nationwide. The Justice Department, he said, had to have a voice in the tribunal process." But Cheney did not relent. Ashcroft received no meeting to discuss the matter with Bush. Cheney was the gatekeeper -- the decider for the Decider.

The narrative of Powell's internal struggle with Cheney remains largely unknown. From conversations I have had with former senior CIA officials, it is clear that Powell himself does not fully understand all the ways he was misled, manipulated and abused in order to get him to make the case for the invasion of Iraq. To this day, Powell still does not really know what the CIA and the White House knew about weapons of mass destruction and when they knew it, largely because Cheney was so successful in his rigging of the intelligence process.
[...]
Despite the recent round of punditry that Cheney's influence has waned, he remains a formidable force. These are Cheney's final days; this is his endgame. He will never run again for public office. He is freed from the constraints of political consequences. He now has no horizon. He lives only in the present. He is nearly done. There are only months left to achieve his goals. Mortality impinges. Next month, he will have his heart pacemaker replaced. He disdains public opinion. He does not care who's next. "We didn't get elected to be popular," he said on Fox News on May 10. "We didn't get elected to worry just about the fate of the Republican Party."

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