The First Draft: Will Cheney spill the beans about Bush?

August 13, 2009

USA-SECURITY/CHENEYHow would you spend the dog days of summer, if you were a former vice president? If you were Dick Cheney, you would be ensconced in your new office above the garage in McLean, Virginia (just down the road from the CIA!), writing your memoir of the administration of George W. Bush. But would you tell all?

The Washington Post indicates Cheney might. In a front-page story that was one of the paper’s most-viewed online, unnamed sources say the former veep was frustrated with Bush, especially in the second term.

When Cheney was asked at an informal meeting to discuss his memoirs if he had any regrets, one meeting participant told the Post: “(Cheney) said Bush was shackled by the public reaction and the criticism he took … 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 at all times — never apologize, never explain — and Bush moved toward the conciliatory.”

If Cheney does open up about his problems with Bush and others in that administration, that would be unusual. Cheney himself has shown public disapproval of those who leave office and then write about what went on behind the scenes. As former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told the Post, “If he goes out and writes a memoir that spills beans about what took place behind closed doors, that would be out of character.”

Since he left office, Cheney has been one of Obama’s most vocal critics, taking aim especially at the current president’s opposition to harsh interrogation techniques at Guantanamo. He is also at the heart of a planned House of Representatives investigation into the concealment of a secret CIA program from Congress. One senator said the program was hidden on orders from Cheney; Republicans see a partisan attack.

Throughout his career, Cheney has remained largely silent on the inner workings of government and policy, but that could be at an end when his memoir comes out. According to the Post, Cheney has said “the statute of limitations has expired” on many of his secrets.

What do you think: should Cheney tell all, and let the chips fall where they may? Or would that be unseemly, impolitic and dangerous?

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing (Washington, November 6, 2008)


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“What do you think: should Cheney tell all, and let the chips fall where they may? Or would that be unseemly, impolitic and dangerous?”

Three words that aptly describe the Bush Administration.

Posted by Coach McGuirk | Report as abusive

Omg lets all run out in the street!!!

Dick Cheney will expose Barney Frank’s boyfriends!

How dumb can you be with this article seriously?

Posted by Ian | Report as abusive

I think he should tell all. His doing so will display to the world what a horrific monster he is and, if we have the grace of God and the luck of an inside straight, create enough outrage to have him arrested and convicted and put away so he doesn’t damage the world more.

Posted by Bob Miller | Report as abusive

Evidently George Bush made a mistake in choosing Dick Cheney as his running mate and Vice-President. Vice-President Cheney was abrasive to the core and his methods flouted Geneva Conventions. So when Rumsfeld was still in the Cabinet, the two senior appointees of the Bush Administration were incorrigible. America’s standing in the world was at a nadir. Fortunately the Administration had Secretary of State Condoleza Rice to keep the ship afloat! With the exit of Rumsfeld, matters certainly improved. However President Bush was never able to exert himself in any positive way. So Dick Cheney had a free hand with the disastrous unilateral policies. America lost its way. The Obama Administration is bending itself backwards to make America stand tall again. Fortunately President Obama has a very competent Secretary of State in Hillary Clinton.

Posted by Pancha Chandra Brussels | Report as abusive

Oh, Bush was hardened against Cheney’s advice, and started to exercise unexpected independence in his second term? That’s extremely interesting — it certainly explains why the later years of the Iraq War were so much better than the disastrous beginning.

I bet Cheney was against firing Rumsfeld. “Never apologize, never explain” — never do anything that indicates you are in touch with reality, and realize that your plans have not worked and need to change. Never admit a mistake — even to yourself — and certainly never try to fix a mistake. Only the weak admit mistakes. The strong continue to beat their head against the brick wall of reality insisting they are right.

I really wonder what he thinks of Sec Def Gates, since everything he’s done since day one is essentially a repudiation of everything that had been done before.

Posted by CB | Report as abusive

Most of us referred to Dick Cheney as “Dr. Evil”. We also all knew that for a long time, he was the de facto President. Now he’s trying to exonerate himself and place blame on Bush – I don’t think it will work for him. I belive the man should be investigated & held accountable for the evil that he’s responsible for. I never thought G.W. Bush was a good President, but i don’t think he was evil, only incompetent.

Posted by Jeanne | Report as abusive

A tell all for from a war criminal. Toilet paper for his prison cell awaiting the same death sentence exectued in Baghdad, on December 30th 2006 at 5:45 AM.

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

It will be interesting to hear the protests from the democratic leaders who were present when bush was given authorization to proceed with his push against Iraq.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive