A piece of the same title by Sidney Blumenthal was posted by Salon.com . The curious title drew me to the piece because I never thought of that angle on the guy who I have labeled the worst traitor in American history. Blumenthal's expose of his thesis is long- three pages- and begins with this opening line: "...[Cheney's] supposedly changed character became a subject of intense speculation. Brent Scowcroft, who had been George H.W. Bush's national security adviser, and had counseled against the invasion of Iraq, told The New Yorker magazine in 2005, "I consider Cheney a good friend -- I've known him for thirty years. But Dick Cheney I don't know anymore."
Blumenthal goes on to explain Scowcroft's meaning: "Scowcroft's judgment was less about Cheney's temperament than his policy positions. The press, however, sought to disclose the sources of his "darkening persona," as a cover story in Newsweek described it. "Has Cheney changed? Has he been transformed, warped, perhaps corrupted -- by stress, wealth, aging, illness, the real terrors of the world or possibly some inner goblins?" A cover story entitled "Heart of Darkness," published in The New Republic, suggested that Cheney's heart disease had produced vascular dementia. "So, the next time you see Cheney behaving oddly, don't automatically assume that he's a bad man."
Well, Mr. Blumenthal, that is a daunting assumption, one that I cannot swallow. The article continues with this information about Cheney's role in promoting the neocon preemption goal:
The Iraq war was largely a neoconservative production conducted under the guidance of Cheney and Rumsfeld. Cheney took command of the intelligence process, even arranging for Bush to sign Executive Order 13292, written by Addington, giving the vice president the same power over intelligence as the president. The disinformation campaign that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction was a joint enterprise of the Office of the Vice President and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, providing a steady stream of evidence that was later revealed to be false and fabricated.
Blumenthal points out Cheney's dream: Cheney's reliance on neoconservatives was essential in carrying out his long conceived project of creating an imperial presidency, an executive unfettered by Congress or the press, that under the banner of war could enact any policy and obey or ignore any law that it wished. Cheney's use of the neoconservatives to attain his aims -- the core goals of the Bush presidency -- was hardly happenstance or an alliance of sudden convenience.
Here is the concluding statement: Cheney had not changed over the years; on the contrary, he could not have been more explicit and direct about his goals all along. There never was a real mystery about him. Early on, Cheney's notions for an imperial presidency and his relationships with the neoconservatives merged on to a single track. Since the beleaguered Ford White House, he sought out people to develop and implement such ideas, which became the governing policy of George W. Bush's administration. Only through Cheney was the rise of neoconservatism made possible. Now its next phase will revolve around finding a new sponsor to return them to power despite the catastrophic consequences of their ideas.
A new sponsor? I suppose the 'pass the torch to a new genereation' line comes to mind. Pass the torch: ignite the Constitution, bring back the monarchy, war without end. That is precicely why
I called Dick Cheney 'the greatest traitor in Ameircan history.'