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Cheney’s Dead-Enders..."times seem grim for the Dick Cheney wing of the Bush administration"

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-12-07 08:53 PM
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Cheney’s Dead-Enders..."times seem grim for the Dick Cheney wing of the Bush administration"

Cheney’s Dead-Enders

Rumsfeld is gone, but the veep’s other loyalists remain.

By Laura Rozen

With the departure of his longtime friend Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton’s resignation as U.N. ambassador, and Democrats taking over Congress, times seem grim for the Dick Cheney wing of the Bush administration. The vice president’s vision of a “unitary executive”—otherwise known as the imperial presidency—will almost certainly be challenged by congressional oversight committees, and perhaps by the courts. But Cheney—former aide to Rumsfeld in the Nixon administration, chief of staff in the Ford administration, defense secretary in the first Bush administration, and House intelligence committee chairman during the Iran-Contra scandal (in which he backed the Reagan White House)—is no novice in the art of bureaucratic warfare. He has long surrounded himself with impeccably loyal aides who both share his worldview of a powerful presidency unchecked by the legislative branch, and who have also installed like-minded allies throughout the government. Such allies provide crucial intelligence of inter-departmental debates, enabling Cheney to make end-runs around the bureaucracy and head off opposing views at key meetings. Call it Cheney’s state within the state. Herewith a brief guide to the Cheney network, dwindling and beleaguered, but by no means to be underestimated:

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Her former top aides, deputy assistant secretary for Near Eastern Affairs J. Scott Carpenter and senior advisor David Denehy, both democracy specialists formerly with the International Republican Institute, who did Iraq tours as CPA advisors, are allegedly feeling orphaned during her absence. Denehy is reportedly mulling a move to the vice president’s office to work on Iran. The concern? Since spring 2005, Deneny has overseen the mysterious Iran-Syria Operations Group, conceiving ways to poke at, or perhaps dislodge, the Tehran regime. If Denehy is seconded to Cheney’s office, he’ll take the interagency group farther underground with him. (He’d also join a large group on the axis-of-evil portfolio, including Cheney’s principal deputy assistant for national-security affairs, David Wurmser, national-security advisor John Hannah, both of the neoconservative-hawk persuasion, as is Samantha Ravitch, Cheney’s deputy assistant national-security advisor with responsibility for Iran and North Korea counter-proliferation issues. What the other 84 people working for Cheney do is anyone’s guess.)

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Deeper in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Gates should also watch a secretive Iranian directorate de facto supervised by Abram Shulsky, a Straussian neoconservative intelligence expert who oversaw the controversial Office of Special Plans (OSP), which produced discredited intelligence analysis tying Saddam to al Qaeda and hyping the WMD threat. Two other OSP veterans toil in the six-person directorate: John Trigilio, a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, and Ladan Archin, a former graduate student of Paul Wolfowitz. Archin, who went to the vice president’s office briefly last year, returned to the DoD a few months later, continuing to advocate for a harder line against Iran. Whether she and other denizens of the Iran directorate and larger policy shop will remain under Gates—who has called for negotiations with Iran—remains to be seen.

Also to watch at DoD, general counsel William J. Haynes II, author of a Nov. 2002 memo outlining harsh interrogation techniques echoing Cheney’s views. Consequently, Haynes’ nomination for a federal judgeship is probably dead. According to Jane Mayer’s New Yorker series, Cheney’s pro-torture network included Addington; Haynes, Rumsfeld and Cambone at Defense; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). Only Cheney, Addington and Haynes remain. The OLC’s acting head, Steven Bradbury, “is not a true Addington believer in the way John was,” said a former Justice Department official. “But recognizes Cheney/Addington as his client.” Nevertheless, with former White House counsel, now attorney general, Alberto Gonzales generally inclined to see things the White House’s way, it’s hard to envision his department vigorously resisting the controversial philosophies of Cheney and his network.

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Kelly Rupert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-12-07 08:54 PM
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1. Don't worry, I'm sure they're in their last throes. n/t
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-12-07 09:00 PM
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2. Good riddance
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JohnnyLib2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-12-07 09:05 PM
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3. ". . .but by no means to be underestimated" --


read the fine print, folks. Darth lives.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-12-07 09:09 PM
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4. They have plenty time to do even more
damage to our dear land. We can't let them get away with anything.
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