Below The Beltway

I believe in the free speech that liberals used to believe in, the economic freedom that conservatives used to believe in, and the personal freedom that America used to believe in.

Cheney To Throw Bush Under The Bus In Upcoming Memoir

by @ 7:31 am on August 13, 2009. Filed under Dick Cheney, George W Bush, Politics

cheney_bush1

Today’s Washington Post reports that former Vice-President Cheney’s upcoming memoir will contain an unflattering portrait of the man he served under for eight years:

In his first few months after leaving office, former vice president Richard B. Cheney threw himself into public combat against the “far left” agenda of the new commander in chief. More private reflections, as his memoir takes shape in slashing longhand on legal pads, have opened a second front against Cheney’s White House partner of eight years, George W. Bush.

Cheney’s disappointment with the former president surfaced recently in one of the informal conversations he is holding to discuss the book with authors, diplomats, policy experts and past colleagues. By habit, he listens more than he talks, but Cheney broke form when asked about his regrets.

“In the second term, he felt Bush was moving away from him,” said a participant in the recent gathering, describing Cheney’s reply. “He said Bush was shackled by the public reaction and the criticism he took. Bush was more malleable to that. The implication was that Bush had gone soft on him, or rather Bush had hardened against Cheney’s advice. He’d showed an independence that Cheney didn’t see coming. It was clear that Cheney’s doctrine was cast-iron strength at all times — never apologize, never explain — and Bush moved toward the conciliatory.”

While it went un-reported during the Bush Administration, it now appears that the relationship between Bush and Cheney was far less cordial than everyone thought. Just last month, we learned that the final weeks of the Administration were marked by contentious discussions between the two regarding a pardon for Scotter Libbey, and that Cheney remains upset that no pardon was ultimately granted. Now, it appears that Cheney became more frustrated with his President as Bush started listening to other advisers and not necessarily following the path Cheney advocated:

Cheney’s imprint on law and policy, achieved during the first term at the peak of his influence, had faded considerably by the time he and Bush left office. Bush halted the waterboarding of accused terrorists, closed secret CIA prisons, sought congressional blessing for domestic surveillance, and reached out diplomatically to Iran and North Korea, which Cheney believed to be ripe for “regime change.”

(…)

Cheney himself has said, without explanation, that “the statute of limitations has expired” on many of his secrets. “When the president made decisions that I didn’t agree with, I still supported him and didn’t go out and undercut him,” Cheney said, according to Stephen Hayes, his authorized biographer. “Now we’re talking about after we’ve left office. I have strong feelings about what happened. . . . And I don’t have any reason not to forthrightly express those views.”

For better or worse, I think we can say with confidence that Cheney’s book will be the most anticipated Vice-Presidential memoir in history.

Post to Twitter Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

4 Responses to “Cheney To Throw Bush Under The Bus In Upcoming Memoir”

  1. I wonder if Cheney realizes that by throwing Bush under the bus, he may in fact be vindicating Bush in the eyes of an awful lot of people while also confirming the worst suspicions about Cheney in the eyes of still more. As a general matter, there seems to be a consensus on all sides that the last two or three years of the Bush Administration were the least-bad.

  2. I’m I the only one that finds the idea that this WaPo piece relies on so many anonymous sources a wee bit, to quote the White House Snitch List, “fishy”?

    Everything I’ve heard previously about Cheney and his inner circle of advisors pointed to the loyalty those people held to their boss. Now, with a book that I would doubt has even reached the distributed galley stage, all these folks are suddenly dropping dimes to some WaPo reporter?

  3. WJ says:

    Agree with TC, that this article is thinly sourced.
    The key second hand “quote” from Cheney in the whole article is this “In the second term, he felt Bush was moving away from him,” said a participant in the recent gathering, describing Cheney’s reply. “He said Bush was shackled by the public reaction and the criticism he took. Bush was more malleable to that.”
    The above is a pretty straight forward accurate opinion that I do not see any malice in.

    The next sentence on the “implication” is pure conjecture by the “journalist”.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this is not a little PR going on by the book publisher to drum up interest in the book.

  4. [...] who’s going to pre-order on Amazon? Doug Mataconis of Below the Beltway, it seems: While it went un-reported during the Bush Administration, it now appears that the relationship [...]

[Below The Beltway is proudly powered by WordPress.]